What is the "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" scam?
"ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" is a technical support scam. At the time of research, this scheme was promoted via the azurewebsites[.]net - Microsoft Azure website-hosting platform. In general, online scams are promoted on various deceptive web pages.
The gist of tech support scams is claiming that users' devices are infected and/or at risk, and urging them to call fake helplines - they then abuse victims' trust. These schemes are often disguised as important messages, warnings or alerts from legitimate companies/service providers.
The "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" scam is no exception to this and is presented as a warning from Microsoft. In fact, this scheme is in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation. In many cases, users access deceptive sites via mistyped URLs, redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or by Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already installed on their devices.
This software does not need express permission to infiltrate systems, and hence users may be unaware of its presence.
The "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" scam urges visitors not to ignore this critical warning. Supposedly, if they close the message, access to their devices will be disabled. This course of action will be taken to prevent further damage to the machine, as it has allegedly been infected with "Pornographic Spyware and riskware".
To further alarm users, the scheme claims that the photographs stored on their computers, email and Facebook account log-in credentials (usernames and passwords), and credit card details are currently being stolen.
To stop this alleged process, the scam informs users that they must call the toll-free "Windows helpline" and have "expert engineers" aid them with the malware removal process. The goal of technical support scams is extracting sensitive/personal information from victims and gaining access to their devices.
How scammers achieve their goals often varies. Once they have access to the machines, they can instruct users about how to remove the bogus threats and provide a variety of false information.
The most common choice in malicious software stealthily infiltrated into systems are RATs (Remote Access Trojans), which are used to establish potentially indefinite remote access and control over the device. How scammers obtain private data likewise varies.
They can ask victims to simply provide the information or trick them into believing that it is being submitted privately, via phishing websites or dubious payment gateways (that record entered data), typed onto text editing programs (under the pretence that the scammers cannot see it), and so on.
The main source of revenue for tech support scams are the fees scammers ask victims to pay - these costs tend to be extraordinarily high. Furthermore, the requested currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift-cards, etc.) and/or payment methods tend to be difficult/impossible to trace.
Furthermore, successfully scammed victims are often targeted repeatedly. To summarize, by trusting "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" or other scams, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses and even identity theft.
Deceptive websites can prevent visitors from exiting them by disabling their ability to close the pages. In such cases, Windows Task Manager must be used to end the browser process. Upon reopening the browser, it is important not to restore the previous browsing session, as failing to do so will reopen the scam web page.
PUAs are one of the main causes of rogue redirects to deceptive and otherwise bogus websites, however, these applications can have different functionalities and these capabilities can be in varied combinations. Adware-type PUAs run intrusive advertisement campaigns.
I.e., they deliver various intrusive ads. Once clicked, the delivered ads redirect to untrustworthy and malicious sites, and some can even stealthily download/install software. Browser hijackers are another type of PUA, which make modifications to browser settings and restrict/deny access to them to promote fake search engines.
The promoted web searchers are seldom able to provide search results, and so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate search engines. Most PUAs can track data. They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).
The gathered data is then monetized by sharing with and/or selling to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.
|Name||ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3) tech support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims users' devices are infected and access to them might be blocked.|
|Disguise||Warning from Microsoft.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1-844-279-2314|
|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.
"Windows Error Code: WIN.DLL0151930", "MS-Windows Support Alert", "Important Security Alert!" and "TROJAN Error Code 0xdc2dgewc" are some examples of other tech support scams. The internet is rife with various schemes.
Popular scam models include warnings that the device is infected, alerts that an essential piece of software is outdated, fake prize giveaways and raffles, "amazing" deals, and so on. The sole purpose of these online scams is to generate profit for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them. You are strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.
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
You are advised to research all software before download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule), and other third party downloaders commonly offer harmful and bundled content, and are therefore untrusted and should be avoided.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious and malicious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).
If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" scam:
** Microsoft Important Warning **
ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)
Please call us immediately at:
+1-844-279-2314 (Toll Free)
Do not ignore this critical warning message.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
2.Credit Card Details
3.Email Account Logins
4.Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity and from any kind of identity theft or information loss.
Call Windows : +1-844-279-2314 (Toll Free)
The appearance of "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)" pop-up scam (GIF):
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 "ERROR # 0xuaO-0x156m(3)"?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
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:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the error # 0xuao-0x156m(3) tech support scam, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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.
Computer users who have problems with error # 0xuao-0x156m(3) 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, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the error # 0xuao-0x156m(3) tech support scam, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the error # 0xuao-0x156m(3) 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Commonly, 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.
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