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How to uninstall apps that promote Pornographic Alert and similar scams

Also Known As: Pornographic Alert technical support scam
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is the Pornographic Alert scam?

This is a typical technical support scam website that displays a fake notification stating that the computer is infected and instructs visitors to dial the provided number for help/remote technical support. In most cases, these web pages seem to be official, legitimate Microsoft pages, however, none have anything do to with the Microsoft company.

Note that technical support sites are often visited by users unintentionally - typically, they are opened via deceptive ads, other dubious pages, or by installed potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).

Pornographic Alert scam

This web page runs a fake virus scan and then displays a pop-up window stating that access to the computer has been blocked due to security reasons. It also displays another pop-up stating that the computer has been infected with spyware and adware, and that data such as email and Facebook credentials, banking passwords, pictures and documents, other personal files, have been compromised.

The main purpose of this page is to trick visitors into calling the +1-800-756-1068 number. In most cases, when scammers behind these pages are contacted, they try to trick users into paying for “support"/online services of certain software or ask to give them remote access to the computer to run a diagnostic test or other function. By gaining access to the computer, scammers can use it to install malware (such as Trojan-type malware, ransomware) on the operating, access personal documents, steal identities, make fraudulent purchases, and for other malicious purposes.

Therefore, these bogus web pages should never be trusted. Sometimes, they cannot be closed in the normal way and, in such cases, use Task Manager by ending the browser process.

Threat Summary:
Name Pornographic Alert technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A computer has been infected with malware and adware
Disguise Microsoft website
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-800-756-1068, +1-844-390-3951, +1-866-512-6106, +1-888-927-0789
Related Domain bgfght[.]tk
Detection Names ESET (Phishing), Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
IP Address 155.138.198.225
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.
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More examples of tech-support scam websites are "Pirated software has been detected", "Error code # MS-6F0EXFE", and "Error # WINDOWS-PORN-91".

Most are similar and are designed to trick visitors into paying for services that they do not actually need (fix problems that do not exist or giving scammers remote access to computers). As mentioned, these pages are promoted by unwanted apps, and users often download and install them inadvertently.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".

Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and settings, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.

Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not trust irrelevant emails that have files attached (or contain website links) and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages or other similar sources/tools.

Use only official websites and direct links. Installed software should never be updated or activated with third party, unofficial tools, since they can install malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to use third party tools to activate licensed software.

The only legitimate way to update and activate software is to use tools and functions that are provided by the official developers. Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.

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 the Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Pornographic Alert scam

Text in the red pop-up window:

Windows_Firewall_protection

Pornographic Alert - Error Code: #0x268d3(x7)
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Windows Support: + 1-800-756-1068
Threat_Detected - Pornographic Spyware
App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe
[Quick Support] [Go Back Safety]

Another example of "Pornographic Alert" pop-up scam:

Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (2021-01-22)

Text presented within:

Windows-Firewall-Protection

Pornographic- Alert - Error Code: #0x2d6i8df3 (x07)
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Windows Support: +1-(844) 325-0278

Threat_Detected - Pornographic Spyware
App: Ads.Ads.financetrack(1).exe
[Quick Support] [Go Back Safety]

Another example of "Pornographic Alert" pop-up scam:

Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (2021-02-19)

Text in the pop-up:

Windows-Firewall-Protection

 

Microsoft

Pornographic Alert - Error Code: #0x268d3(x7)
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Windows Support: +1-888-612-3097

 

Threat_Detected - Pornographic Spyware


App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

[Quick Support] [Go Back Safety]

Yet another variant of "Pornographic Alert" pop-up scam:

Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (2021-03-26)

Another variant of Pornographic Alert pop-up scam:

Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (2021-04-27)

Yet another example of pornographic alert-themed pop-up scam:

Pornographic Alert pop-up scam (2021-07-22)

Text presented within:

Windows_Firewall_Protection_Alert !

Pornographic_Spyware Alert - Error Code: #0x268d3(00x7)
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Microsoft Support: +1-888-927-0789
Threat_Detected - Pornographic_Spyware
App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe
[Quick Support] [Go Back Safety]

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 10 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.

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.

macOS (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 pornographic 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 plug-ins 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 pornographic 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 pornographic 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 pornographic 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 pornographic alert technical support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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Pornographic Alert technical support scam QR code
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