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Microsoft Authorised Device Care POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Microsoft Authorised Device Care" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Microsoft Authorised Device Care"?

"Microsoft Authorised Device Care" is a deceptive website that may seem to be a legitimate virus alert from Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft has nothing to do with this scam. Typically, users are redirected to these websites by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

These unwanted apps are often installed unintentionally without direct user permission. Once installed, they usually deliver intrusive ads and gather various data.

Microsoft Authorised Device Care scam

The "Microsoft Authorised Device Care" fake virus alert message states that the operating system is infected with three viruses (in this case, two malware-type infections and one phishing/spyware-type infection). According to this scam, immediate removal of detected threats is required and the system damage is 28.1%.

To prevent data loss (photos, applications, and other files) and avoid risk of personal and banking information being stolen, visitors of this website are urged to scan the system by clicking the "Scan Now" button. There is also a time limit given (five minutes) to perform the scan, after which permanent damage to data/personal details will occur.

Like many other scams of this type, this one displays fake results ('detected threats') and attempts to trick users into downloading and installing an application that will supposedly remove computer infections. In most cases, these apps must be purchased - this is how scammers generate revenue using these deceptive websites. Do not trust this or other similar websites.

If you are redirected to a website of this type, simply close it. If it prevents you from closing it, terminate the entire browser process using Task Manager, or simply restart the computer.

Do not restore the previously-closed session the next time you open your web browser, since this will return you to the deceptive website (or the website that redirected you there in the first place).

Potentially unwanted apps (that redirect to deceptive websites promoting scams such as "Microsoft Authorised Device Care") also feed users with intrusive ads and gather data. The ads are usually coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

Generally, they are displayed using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site and conceal underlying content. When clicked, they can redirect to untrustworthy websites. Some might run scripts designed to download/install other unwanted apps.

Another downside of having PUAs installed is that they usually gather data such as IP addresses, search queries, URLs of visited websites, geo-locations, and so on.

Some of the recorded information might include personal/sensitive details. The information is shared with third parties (cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, data sharing can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "Microsoft Authorised Device Care" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Activate Your Windows Now, This Computer Is Blocked, and MS MALWARE ALERT are just some examples of other scams that cyber criminals (scammers) use to trick people into paying for products (software) or services (such as the assistance of 'technicians').

Most of these scams are similar, as are the associated PUAs. Developers promote these apps as 'legitimate programs' by offering various tools or useful features, however, this is just a way to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps that later cause problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most users install unwanted apps of this type unintentionally through clicked intrusive advertisements or when software developers use "bundling", a deceptive method used to trick people into installing unwanted apps together with other software.

These installations are achieved by hiding unwanted apps in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings of the installation/download set-ups. Information about the inclusion of these apps is not properly disclosed. Note, however, that skipping installation/download steps or leaving settings unchanged grants permission to download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software from trustworthy and official sources/websites. Do not use third party software downloaders/installers, torrents, or other similar sources. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings when downloading or installing software. Do not skip these processes without first checking the settings.

Deselect offers to download/install any additionally-included unwanted apps, and only then finish the procedure. If you continually encounter advertisements that cause redirects to dubious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.), it is possible that adware (or other PUAs) are installed on your browser or operating system.

Check your browser for any unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons, and remove all unwanted/unknown or suspicious entries. Also check the list of programs installed on your computer. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented on "Microsoft Authorised Device Care" deceptive website:

Microsoft Authorised Device Care
Your system is infected with 3 viruses! [date]
Your Windows is infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware.
System damage: 28.1% - Immediate removal required!

The immediate removal of viruses is required to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos, or other files.
Traces of 1 phishing/spyware were found on your Windows.

Personal and banking information is at risk.

To avoid more damage click on 'Scan Now" immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately.
[time_left]
Scan Now

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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Microsoft Authorised Device Care virus QR code
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