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Do not trust the VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows scam

Also Known As: Virus Alert from MS-Windows technical support scam
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" removal instructions

What is "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows"?

Like many other technical support scams, this one is designed by scammers who attempt to trick unsuspecting users into calling them via the provided number. In most cases, their main purpose is to trick people into paying to fix a non-existent computer problem (remove viruses). In any case, such scams should be ignored. Note that the deceptive websites associated with these scams are often opened through dubious ads, bogus websites, or installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows scam

This technical support scam website displays a pop-up window/deceptive notification claiming that the user's computer (Windows registration key) is blocked due to some installed software being pirated, the Windows registration key is illegal, and the operating system is hacked and/or used from an undefined location and is sending viruses over the internet. To unblock the computer and prevent possible tracking of data and financial activities, the user is encouraged to call the +1-844-900-0923 number, supposedly a Microsoft Support (helpline) number. Generally, scammers behind these websites try to sell fake technical support software or services. The scammers commonly ask users to install software that gives them remote access to the computer. Scammers can then steal sensitive information and install malicious software (e.g., ransomware, Trojans). In any case, you are strongly advised not to trust these scams and simply ignore them. Scam pages that prevent users from closing them can be forcibly closed through Task Manager by terminating (ending) the running browser process.

As mentioned, technical support scams and other deceptive web pages are often opened by browsers with PUAs installed on them. These apps not only promote untrusted websites, but also gather various data and display ads. Typically, they collect browsing data such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, and other data of this kind. They might also record personal, sensitive details as well. Furthermore, the developers can sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Collected data is often misused to steal identities, or for other purposes. Therefore, users might become victims of identity theft, experience problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy, etc. The apps can also display coupons, banners, surveys, coupons and other ads. These open dubious web pages and, in some cases, execute scripts designed to download and install PUAs or other unwanted software. Therefore, you should remove all PUAs from browsers and computers immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Virus Alert from MS-Windows technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim This scam claims that the user's computer is blocked.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-844-900-0923, +1-855-585-8598
Detection Names (va10jhoni22[.]xyz) Netcraft (Malicious), SCUMWARE.org (Malware), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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 Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Some more examples of similar scams are "Windows Firewall Has Blocked Some Features Of This Program", "Error # 0x80092ee9" and "System Warning Alert". The scammers behind them generate revenue by offering paid fake technical support. In some cases, the criminals try to trick people into giving them remote access to computers. By trusting these scams, users can suffer monetary loss, become victims of identity theft, have their computers infected with malware, and experience other issues. If such web pages are opened often, it is very likely that the browser has PUAs installed.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, potentially unwanted applications are distributed by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". PUAs are included as 'additional offers' and are generally listed in "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings. When users download and install their programs without checking and changing the aforementioned settings, they agree by default with offers to download and install additionally-included apps. In some cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused through deceptive advertisements that, when clicked, execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Do not use dubious websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, installers or other similar methods to download or install programs/files. Software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct download links. Check all "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install PUAs before completing the process. Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they appear on dubious web pages. These might be capable of running scripts to download and install unwanted apps. Remove any unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) already installed on the browser immediately. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of the "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" scam page (GIF):

virus alert from windows pop-up scam appearance

Text presented in "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" pop-up:

VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows

 

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 Windows helpline to reactive your computer.
Windows Security Tollfree:
+1-844-900-0923

Text at the bottom of the page:

Windows Support Alert
Your System Detect Some Unusual Activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity +1-844-900-0923

Another variant of "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" pop-up scam:

VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows POP-UP Scam (2020-06-12)

Appearance of another variant ("Virus Alert from MS-Windows") of this pop-up scam:

Virus Alert from MS-Windows pop-up scam (2020-06-17)

Another variant of "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" pop-up scam:

VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows pop-up scam (2020-06-18)

Yet another example of "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" pop-up scam:

VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows pop-up scam (2021-02-03)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the virus alert from ms-windows technical support scam, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the virus alert from ms-windows technical support scam, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with virus alert from ms-windows technical support scam removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the virus alert from ms-windows technical support scam, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove virus alert from ms-windows technical support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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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.

QR Code
Virus Alert from MS-Windows technical support scam QR code
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Platform: Windows

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