Avoid getting scammed by the fake "Windows Alert & Warning"

Also Known As: "Windows Alert & Warning" tech support scam
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"Windows Alert & Warning" scam removal instructions

What is the "Windows Alert & Warning" scam?

"Windows Alert & Warning" refers to a technical support scam, promoted on various deceptive webpages. There are several variants of this scheme, however they are practically identical message-wise, with slight graphical differences between them. As the name of this scam implies, it is disguised as an alert/warning from Windows. It must be emphasized that this scheme is in no way assisted with the Microsoft Corporation. Additionally, all of the information provided by "Windows Alert & Warning" scam is false. Typically, users access deceptive sites via redirects caused by intrusive ads or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already installed onto the system.

Windows Alert & Warning scam

To elaborate on the false information provided throughout all of the "Windows Alert & Warning" scam versions, it is claimed that users' devices have been infected with "Pornographic Spyware and Riskware". The system has supposedly alerted "Windows" of this infection and the error code is specified as "ER000009078". The nonexistent malware is allegedly in the process of stealing users' Facebook and email log-ins, bank account and credit card details. Users are urged to call a tech support helpline to prevent further damage and damage the threats. As mentioned in the introduction, "Windows Alert & Warning" is a scam and it must not be trusted. While the telephone numbers listed in these types of schemes are usually presented as free - that is seldom the case. Scammers typically attempt to extract sensitive and personal information from their victims and to gain access to their devices. The vulnerable data can be revealed by the users themselves or stolen from them without their knowledge. Remote access software is used to facilitate entry and control over the device. This access gained through deception can then be used to infect the system with malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.), possibly with Remote Access Trojans (RATs) that can ensure continuous access and control over the machine - without user consent. Scammers target personal information, such as names, addresses, emails, banking account and credit card details - and they use various tactics for extraction of this data. Furthermore, the "technical services" of scammers are expensive and users are asked to pay for them. The fake fees are paid through dubious payment portals (which collect entered information) and/or via digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift-cards, etc.) due to them being difficult/impossible to trace. What is more, scammers tend to repeatedly scam the same individuals and abuse the established trust - to generate maximum profit. In summary, trusting the "Windows Alert & Warning" scam is likely to result in significant financial loss, system infections, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. In some cases, it is impossible to close a deceptive website. Should that occur, the Windows Task Manager is to be used to end the browser's process. Additionally, when the browser is reopened - it is important not to restore the previous browsing session. Failing the latter - will result in the scam page being reopened as well.

One of the main culprits behind rogue redirects to various questionable and malicious sites - are PUAs. However, these apps can have other/additional abilities. PUAs classified as adware - deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. Browser hijacker types modify browsers in order to promote fake search engines. What is more, most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspicious software must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Windows Alert & Warning" tech support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims users' devices are infected with malware.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1 (855) 619-0255
Related Domains actuallyveryseriouscondition[.]gq
Detection Names (actuallyveryseriouscondition[.]gq)
Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Kaspersky (Malware), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (actuallyveryseriouscondition[.]gq)
165.227.217.30
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.

"System Activation KEY Has Expired", "A Virus Has Been Detected On Your Computer", "ERROR # ER36dx9832(3)" are a few examples of other tech support scams. The Internet is rife with various deceptive webpages that can make likewise varied claims. Popular scam models include (but are not limited to): warnings that the system is infected or at risk, alerts that a crucial piece of software is outdated or missing, fake prize giveaways and ludicrous deals. Regardless of what scams offer, claim, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue to the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are proliferated via download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing technique of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g. skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the device. Some PUAs have "official" download websites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is strongly recommended to research products before download/installation. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy channels, like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts typically appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to highly questionable webpages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this type, users must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Windows Alert & Warning" scam background page:

Windows Alert & Warning
Error Code: ER000009078
Please call us immediately at:
+1 (855) 619-0255 (Helpline)
Do not ignore this system alert.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and Riskware. The following information is being stolen...

 

1.Facebook Logins
2.Credit Card Details
3.Email Account Logins
4.Bank Account Details

 

Please call us immediately to prevent your computer from being disabled or any information loss.
Call Technicians : +1 (855) 619-0255 (Helpline)

Text presented in the pop-up at the bottom-right corner of the page:

Windows Defected Potential Threats On Your Computer.

 

Windows Security Essentials was unable to block the virus. Windows Detected several potential threats that will compromise your privacy and harm your computer.

 

Error Code: 0x8024402c , Windows couldn't install the definition updates.

 

More Information & Support Please Contact

Screenshot of the second "Windows Alert & Warning" scam variant, displayed after the first one on Google Chrome browsers:

Windows Alert & Warning scam second variant displayed on Chrome after the first one

The appearance of "Windows Alert & Warning" scam on Google Chrome browsers (GIF):

Windows Alert & Warning scam appearance Chrome

Text presented in this variant's pop-up window:

System Warning:

 

System Alert & Warning

 

Error Code: ER000009078
Please call us immediately at: +1 (855) 619-0255 (Helplin)
Do not ignore this alert.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and Riskware. The following information is being stolen...

 

1.Facebook Logins
2.Credit Card Details
3.Email Account Logins
4.Bank Account Details

 

Please call us immediately to prevent your computer from being disabled or any information loss.

 

Helpline: +1 (855) 619-0255

The appearance of "Windows Alert & Warning" scam on Mozilla Firefox browsers (GIF):

Windows Alert & Warning scam appearance Firefox

Text presented in this variant's pop-up window:

Windows Alert & Warning

 

Error Code: ER000009078
Please call us immediately at: +1 (855) 619-0255  .
Please do not ignore this critical alert..
Your system has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and Riskware.

 

The following information is being stolen:
 1.Facebook Logins
 2.Credit Card Details
 3.Email Account Logins
 4.Bank Account Details.

You must contact us immediately so that our technicians can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us immediately to prevent your computer from being disabled or any information loss.

 

Helpline Number:+1 (855) 619-0255 

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 "windows alert & warning" tech 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 "windows alert & warning" tech 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 plugins 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 "windows alert & warning" tech 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 "windows alert & warning" tech 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 "windows alert & warning" tech support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "windows alert & warning" tech support scam or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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.

QR Code
Windows Alert & Warning tech support scam QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Windows Alert & Warning" tech support scam on your mobile device.
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