How to remove apps that open Important Security Alert! and similar scams
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Important Security Alert! scam?
Generally, these types of technical support scams are designed by scammers who seek to deceive visitors into contacting them via a provided telephone number. Once contacted, they attempt to trick unsuspecting users into paying for unnecessary software and services. In some cases, they demand remote access to users' computers.
Therefore, never trust these scam pages. Note that users do not often visit websites of this type intentionally - they are opened by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
This scam website states that has detected a virus, which might cause problems such as loss of passwords, browsing history, and some sensitive information (such as CC details) and files stored on the hard disk.
It attempts to trick visitors into believing that they will not be able to access the operating system if they ignore this warning and urges them to call the 0808-143-3686 number. I.e., scammers behind it attempt to trick visitors into believing that they can solve the problem (remove the virus) by using customer service representatives.
You are strongly advised not to call the provided number. This scam page may seem similar to an official Microsoft page, however, Microsoft (and its support team) has nothing to do with it. As mentioned, scammers behind technical support scams try to trick visitors who contact them to pay for unnecessary services or software.
In some cases, they even ask users to give remote access to their computers by urging them to install a Remote Administration Tool (RAT). By gaining remote access to users' computers, scammers could install malware onto them, steal personal, sensitive information, or use such access for other malicious purposes.
Note that this particular web page also displays a pop-up asking users to enter their username and password. You are strongly advised not to trust these web pages or enter any personal information on them. As mentioned, users do not often visit tech-support scam pages intentionally - they are opened by PUAs that are installed on browsers and/or computers.
These apps are often designed to open untrusted websites, collect browsing data (and other information), and serve advertisements. Generally, PUAs gather data such as IP addresses, websites of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, and so on.
They might also record sensitive, confidential information. The developers sell recorded information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. PUAs also serve coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and other forms of ads.
These usually lead to untrusted websites, however, they might also cause download/installation of unwanted applications by executing certain scripts. PUAs can cause identity theft, problems with browsing safety, online privacy, and other issues. For these reasons remove all PUAs from browsers and operating systems immediately.
|Name||Important Security Alert! technical support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Windows operating system is infected with a virus.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||0808-143-3686|
|Distributed Unwanted Apps||viewwebinfosales[.]online|
|Detection Names (viewwebinfosales[.]online)
||Kaspersky (Malware), Trustwave (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Serving IP Address||188.8.131.52|
|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.
"TROJAN Error Code 0xdc2dgewc", "Windows Defender - Security Warning" and "Microsoft Important Alert" are some of examples of other, similar scam websites. Most appear as official Microsoft websites and are used to trick visitors into calling scammers via the provided number. If a browser opens these pages often, it is very likely that PUA are installed.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs are often downloaded/installed together with other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
By rushing through download/installation of software (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using "Quick/Express" settings, etc.) many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well.
When clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without users' permission. Some PUAs have "official" download web pages from which they can be downloaded.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Download software and files from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial websites or other sources of this kind. Avoid third party installers. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install unwanted software.
Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious websites, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause unwanted downloads and installations. Remove any unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) that are installed on the browser.
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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
The appearance of Important Security Alert! scam page (GIF):
Text presented in this page:
Read how we're responding to the issues, and get resources to help >
Important Security Alert!
Virus intrusions detected on you computer.Your personal
data and system files may be at serious risk.All system
resources are halted to prevent any damage.Please call
customer service immediately : 0808-143-3686 to report
these threats now.
Windows was blocked die to suspicious activity
The following information may be lost:
2. Browsing history
3. Sensitive information (CC Details)
4. Files on the hard disk
Do not ignore this critical warning. Closing this page will
disable your computer access to prevent further damage
to your network
Call Now : 0808-143-3686
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:
- What is Important Security Alert! technical support scam?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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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