Enter Windows Registration Key To Unblock POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Enter Windows registration key to unblock"?

"Enter Windows registration key to unblock" is the name of a technical support scam. Scammers use it to extort money from people, however, they can only do this if they are contacted in the first instance. Typically, websites of this type are opened by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on users' systems.

I.e., they are not generally opened intentionally by victims of this scam. In addition to these redirects, PUAs often serve users with intrusive advertisements and collect information relating to browsing habits.

Enter Windows registration key to unblock scam

When visited, this deceptive website enables a pop-up window stating that it is a virus alert from Microsoft and that the computer is blocked. Visitors are urged not to close this window/website or restart their computers.

It goes on to state that the computer is blocked due to one (or more) of the following reasons: the Windows Operating System is registered with an illegal key; there is pirated software installed on the system; the operating system is proliferating viruses over the internet; the computer is hacked or used from undefined location.

To unblock and reactivate the computer, scammers encourage users to contact them via the "1800 516 5594" telephone number, or to enter the Windows registration key. To make this scam more believable, scammers designed this website to be opened in several windows - this results in having the system (or browser) crashed or unresponsive.

They attempt to give the impression that the computer is blocked, when in fact the Windows or browsers simply stop working. To close this scam, we recommend that you use Task Manager and end all browser processes that keep the "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" scam active.

Note that the closed browsing session should not be restored, since this will reopen the deceptive web page. Unwanted apps that open untrustworthy, deceptive pages usually also deliver ads and collect data. They deploy coupons, pop-ups, banners, surveys, and other unwanted ads that usually conceal underlying content of visited websites (on systems with PUAs installed).

If clicked, these ads open dubious websites (including scam sites) or execute scripts that download/install various untrustworthy apps, some of which might be malicious.

Additionally, most apps of this type collect user-system information including, for example, IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations and other similar data, however, it is possible that these PUAs might also record personal details. PUAs developers continually share the data with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Criminals pose as Microsoft company employees and claim that the system key has been blocked for security reasons.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number 1800 516 5594
Relating URL(s)
Detection Names (onlinebankingerrors[.]gq) Spamhaus (Phishing), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Fortinet (Spam), Malwarebytes hpHosts (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (onlinebankingerrors[.]gq)
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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"Enter Windows registration key to unblock" is virtually identical to a number of other scams of this type such as "Error XR01F5", "Error Code 09-986-6321", and "Windows Protected Your PC". The main goal is to trick visitors into contacting scammers who then try to convince people that they need to use their services or software (that must be purchased).

Websites of this type should never be trusted. Do not use PUAs - they may seem legitimate and useful, however, they deliver none of the promoted functions. On the contrary, developers use them to generate revenue, which leads to a number of problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are usually installed through clicked intrusive ads or together with other (usually free) software. They are often bundled into the set-ups of other programs that people download/install intentionally. Developers hide information regarding the bundling of PUAs into set-ups - settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on. If users leave these settings unchecked/unchanged, they often allow PUAs to be installed/downloaded with regular software that they wish to download and install.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download all software using official and trustworthy sources and websites. Do not use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, and other dubious tools. Install/download software carefully. Check available "Custom", "Advanced" settings of the installation/download set-ups.

Deselect any offers to install additionally-included, unwanted apps and only then finish the installation or download process. Note that not all advertisements can be trusted. Many dubious ads redirect to dubious, deceptive websites such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on.

If you continually experience unwanted redirects or intrusive ads,it is possible that unwanted apps are installed on your browser or operating system.

Check the list of installed extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons on your browser, and programs on your computer. Remove unwanted, unknown software immediately. 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 in "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" pop-up:

Call For Support
1800 516 5594

***This computer is BLOCKED***
Do not close this window and restart your computer
Your computer's registration key is Blocked.
Why we blocked your computer?

The window's registration key is illegal.
This window is using pirated software.
This window is sending virus over the internet.
This window is hacked or used from undefined location.
We block this computer for your security.
Contact microsoft helpline to reactivate your computer.

Enter Windows registration key to unblock or Call Support at
1800 516 5594(Toll Free)

Screenshot of multiple browser processes triggered by this scam that might cause a system crash:

scam opens multiple pop ups and tries to crash users computer

The appearance of "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" pop-up (GIF):

Enter Windows registration key to unblock scam gif

Text presented in the website background:

Windows Support Alert
Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity to 1800 516 5594
Ignore Alert Chat Now

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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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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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