How to remove apps designed to promote the Trojan Spyware Alert scam?

Also Known As: Trojan Spyware Alert tech support scam
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Removal instructions for apps designed to promote pages like Trojan Spyware Alert scam

What is Trojan Spyware Alert scam?

Scammers behind this tech support scam attempt to trick unsuspecting visitors into believing that a computer is infected with some Trojan and/or Spyware and calling the provided number. In most cases users who contact scammers behind websites like this one are encouraged to pay for unnecessary services and/or software, or even provide a remote access to the computer. In one way or another, websites of this kind must be ignored. This particular page is hosted using the Amazon AWS - a legitimate service provided by Amazon. It is not the first case when cyber criminals/scammers employ this service for malicious purposes.

Trojan Spyware Alert scam

Like most tech support scam pages this one is designed to look like an official Microsoft website. Although, the actual Microsoft company has nothing to do neither with this or any other website of this kind. This particular page displays two deceptive pop-up windows notifying visitors that it has detected "Trojan Spyware", found the error code "#0x898778" and blocked the access to a computer for security reasons. Also, this page claims that data such as email credentials, banking passwords, Facebook login credentials, pictures and documents have been compromised as well. Visitors are instructed to solve the occurred problem with the help of "Windows Support" by calling the +1-(877)-570-9733 number as soon as possible. In most cases scammers behind such pages attempt to trick users into paying money for supposedly legitimate technical support services, software or allowing them to access and control a computer remotely via some Remote Access/Administration Tool (RAT). It is worthwhile to mention that by having such access cyber criminals/scammers could infect a computer with some malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan-type malware), steal personal information or perform other malicious actions.

Threat Summary:
Name Trojan Spyware Alert tech support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A computer is infected and blocked for security reasons
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-(877)-570-9733
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)

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A couple of examples of other similar scams are "ERROR # 0x6a4-0xf9fx3999", "Activation Failed! (Error Code 001)" and "Windows Error Code: DLL011150". To sum up, in most cases scammers behind such pages attempt to trick visitors into believing that there is something wrong with their computers and calling a certain number. Once called, scammers try to extract some money from callers or attempt to trick them into installing some RAT. it is worthwhile to mention that most users do not visit websites of this kind on purpose - such pages get opened through other untrustworthy sites, deceptive ads or by installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

One of the most commonly used ways to distribute/promote PUAs is to integrate them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". Users download and/or install PUAs together with other programs when they leave settings like "Advanced", "Custom" of their setups unchanged (or available checkboxes unticked). Simply said, when users do not decline offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Also, in some cases users cause unwanted downloads and/or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is not recommended to download software, files from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, etc., or install software with third party installers. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Another way to prevent unwanted downloads and/or installations is to check downloaders and/or installers for "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings and see if they mention offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Intrusive advertisements that appear on various questionable pages should not be clicked as well - quite often such ads are designed to promote other untrustworthy websites or even cause downloads and/or installations of unwanted apps. Any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons and plug-ins that are installed on a browser should be removed. The same applies to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system/computer. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of Trojan Spyware Alert pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Trojan Spyware Alert scam

Text presented in the initial pop-up of the Trojan Spyware Alert scam:

Windows Defender

 

Trojan Spyware Alert - Error Code: #0x898778
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.

 

Contact Windows Support: +1-(877)-570-9733

 

Threat Detected - Trojan Spyware
App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

 

Run Anyway Back to Safety

Screenshot of the second pop-up window:

trojan spyware alert pop-up scam second pop-up

Text in this pop-up:

Windows Defender - Security Warning
** ACCESS TO THIS PC HAS BEEN BLOCKED FOR SECURITY REASONS **

 

Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Trojan Spyware. The following data has been compromised.

 

> Email Credentials
> Banking Passwords
> Facebook Login
> Pictures & Documents

 

Windows Defender Scan has found potentially unwanted Adware on this device that can steal your passwords, online identity, financial information, personal files, pictures or documents.

 

You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone.

 

Call Microsoft Support immediately to report this threat, prevent identity theft and unlock access to this device.

 

Closing this window will put your personal information at risk and lead to a suspension of your Windows Registration.

 

Call Microsoft Support: +1-(877)-570-9733 ( USA Toll Free )

 

Cancel

Text in the background page:

Error: Unknown System Failure!

 

Contact Support

 

+1-(877)-570-9733

 

( USA Toll Free )

 

 LIVE CHAT

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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:

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 trojan spyware alert 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 trojan spyware alert 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 trojan spyware alert 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.

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 trojan spyware alert 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

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 trojan spyware alert tech support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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
Trojan Spyware Alert tech support scam QR code
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