How to remove apps that open scam pages like MS-Windows Support Alert?

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

Removal guide for apps that open MS-Windows Support Alert scam

What is MS-Windows Support Alert scam?

In most cases technical support scam pages like this one are designed by to look like official Microsoft websites. As a rule, they display fake notifications, virus alerts saying that there is some problem with a computer (e.g., it is infected with some malware) and it needs to be solved as soon as possible. The main purpose of such scams is to trick unsuspecting users into calling the provided number and paying money for unnecessary services, software or get users to allow remote access to their computer. Either way, scam websites like this one should never be taken seriously, they should be ignored.

MS-Windows Support Alert scam

There are two variants of this technical support scam, both of them display the same virus alert notifications. The only differences are the provided number that users supposed to call and the color design. This website is designed to trick visitors into believing that it has detected spyware on their computers and that it might damage data and used to track financial activities. Visitors are encouraged to remove detected malicious software with the help of technicians by calling the +1-888-630-3830 or +61-1800-875-294 number. Typically, when scammers are contacted, they attempt to trick users into paying money for their services or some software, or they ask for a permission to access the computer. If allowed, scammers could install malware on the operating system, steal sensitive information (like credit card details, login credentials), or use the access for some other malicious purposes. In one way or another, when a browser opens such website, it should be ignored. If a browser opens websites of this kind often, then it is very likely that there is some potentially unwanted application (PUA) installed on it (or the operating system). Note, this page is designed to download various files to stop a browser from responding so that users could not close it. In such case a browser/this scam page can be closed through Task Manager. This page should not be reopened when a browser is launched after being closed via Task Manager.

PUAs are apps that can be designed to open untrustworthy, deceptive pages, gather various data and/or serve advertisements. It is common that PUAs target IP addresses, websites of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, etc. Also, they can be designed to collect sensitive details as well. Their developers could sell gathered data to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in some another way. Also, such apps can be designed to serve coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and other forms of advertisements. It is common that their ads are designed to open untrustworthy websites, or even cause downloads, installations of unwanted applications by running certain scripts.

Threat Summary:
Name MS-Windows Support Alert technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Windows system is infected with spyware
Tech Support Scammer Phone Numbers +1-888-630-3830, +61-1800-875-294
Related Domains shieldportectionmessage[.]tk, hypersophisticated[.]club
Detection Names (shieldportectionmessage[.]tk) Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), 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)

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"Important Security Alert!", "TROJAN Error Code 0xdc2dgewc", "Windows Defender - Security Warning" are examples of other scam websites that are quite similar to this one. As mentioned in the introduction, most of these websites are disguised as official Microsoft pages, however, this company has nothing to do with any of these scams. It is worthwhile to mention that users download and/or install PUAs that promote untrustworthy pages (including technical support scams) unknowingly.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In some cases users download and/or install PUAs by clicking deceptive ads that are capable of executing certain scripts. However, more often they cause it during downloads and/or installations of other programs. To be more precise, when PUAs are included in various download and/or installation setups of other programs as extra offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". In most cases offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted apps can be found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of setups. However, users often leave them unchanged. By leaving those settings unchanged they agree with offers to download and/or install PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised not use various third party software downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule etc.), questionable, unofficial websites, etc., as tools to download or install any software. It should be achieved using official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. Also, it is recommended to check what are the "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings of setups. Quite often those settings can be used to decline offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Advertisements on questionable, untrustworthy pages should not be trusted as well. More often than not they are designed to open other sites of this kind or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Any unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins or add-ons that are installed on a browser should be eliminated. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "MS-Windows Support Alert" pop-up scam (GIF):

MS-Windows Support Alert pop-up scam appearance

Text in the main pop-up window:

Windows Security

Microsoft Edge

The server is asking for your user name and password.
That server also reports: "Suspicious movement distinguished on
you IP address because of a spyware introduced in you PC. Call
us for any help. Your information is at a Serious risk. There is a
Computer framework record missing because of some Harmful
malware infection Debug Malware error (code 0x80093acf). Call
Immediately to correct the issue. Please do not Open web browser
or make any changes for your Security Issue to avoid data loss &
Corrupt system files & drivers, Call immediately to save Hard disk
failure & Data loss. This Harmful malware is affecting your online
information & can Track Financial Activity Contact Certified
Technicians. Call Helpline @ +1-888-630-3830 for any help".

Text in the pop-up in the backrground:

VIRUS ALERT FROM MS-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 MS-Windows  helpline to reactivate your computer.
MS-Windows  Security Tollfree:
+1-888-630-3830

Text on the website:

MS-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  +1-888-630-3830

Screenshot of the second variant of MS-Windows Support Alert scam page:

ms-windows support alert scam another variant

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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 ms-windows support alert 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 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 ms-windows support alert 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 ms-windows support alert 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.

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 ms-windows support alert 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

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 ms-windows support alert technical support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on ms-windows support alert technical 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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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
MS-Windows Support Alert technical 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 MS-Windows Support Alert technical support scam on your mobile device.
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