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Do not trust the Code 0x03A10 (0E10) scam website

Also Known As: Code 0x03A10 (0E10) technical support scam
Damage level: Medium

What is Code 0x03A10 (0E10) scam?

Most technical support scam websites are designed to look like official, legitimate pages and display error, virus, or other notifications. The main purpose of these scams is to trick unsuspecting visitors into believing that there is a problem with their computers and calling the provided number to solve it (e.g., to fix errors, remove viruses).

These scams must be ignored. As a rule, users who fall for them lose money, install unwanted or even malicious software on their computers, or encounter other problems.

It is worthwhile to mention that technical support and other scams are promoted through deceptive advertisements, other untrustworthy pages, potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). In other words, users do not visit such pages intentionally.

Code 0x03A10 (0E10) scam

This technical support website displays a fake error notification claiming that a computer has been blocked due to detected system error "0x03A10 (0E10)". It encourages visitors not to restart a computer or ignore this critical alert and immediately call 09 73 03 56 39 to remove the detected error.

The main purpose of this scam is to trick visitors into believing that credit card details, saved passwords, and files on a hard drive will be lost if they do not call the provided number and fix the problem. It is common that scammers behind technical support scams seek to trick users into purchasing unnecessary or fake software, paying money for technical support, or providing remote access to their computers.

It is important to know that by having access to a computer, scammers could use it to install unwanted, malicious software on the operating system (e.g., ransomware, trojan, cryptocurrency miner), download personal files, and access personal files accounts, and so on. This could lead to monetary loss, identity theft, loss of personal files and access to banking, social media, email, and other accounts, etc.

Another important detail about this technical support scam website is that it downloads a file on a computer. A file that this page is designed to download may be malicious.

This website and a file that it downloads should never be opened/trusted. It is worth mentioning that apps designed to promote technical support scams and other deceptive, potentially malicious pages can be designed to collect browsing data and other information and generate advertisements.

Most of them target Internet Protocol addresses, visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, and other browsing data. Although, some PUAs can access sensitive information as well.

Either way, it is common that data gathered by PUAs is sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), used for marketing purposes, or monetized using other ways. Examples of ads that PUAs display are coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads.

Most of those ads are designed to promote questionable sites. Although, those ads can unwanted cause downloads, installations by executing certain scripts as well. Therefore, it is highly advisable not to have any PUAs installed on browsers or computers.

Threat Summary:
Name Code 0x03A10 (0E10) technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Computer is blocked due to critical error
Disguise Error notification from Microsoft
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number 09 73 03 56 39
Serving IP Address 51.68.89.231
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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There are many examples of similar scams, some of them are "Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity", "Error Code: #0x564897", "WIN-8x0007 Error". Most of them are designed to look like official Microsoft pages, display fake virus or error notifications, and encourage visitors to call the provided number (contact scammers).

Quite often, those pages are designed to prevent users from closing them. In such cases, users have to close them via Task Manager (by ending the running browser process).

Also, some of these technical support scams download potentially malicious files. Those files should never be opened/executed.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

The majority of potentially unwanted applications are distributed by bundling them together with other programs (by including those apps in downloaders, installers for other programs). Typically, users can opt out additionally included apps via "Custom", "Advanced", or similar settings, or by unticking ticked checkboxes.

If those settings are left unchanged, bundled applications get permission to be downloaded and installed alongside desired programs. It is worthwhile to mention that most of the times PUAs are bundled with free programs.

Sometimes users cause unexpected downloads, installations through deceptive advertisements. They cause them by clicking ads that can execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Applications should never be downloaded via third-party downloaders (or installed via third-party installers), Peer-to-Peer networks like eMule, torrent clients, from unofficial websites, etc. Files and apps downloaded through the aforementioned sources can be malicious.

It is recommended to use only official websites and direct links. Downloaders and installers with "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other similar settings or ticked checkboxes often are bundled with potentially unwanted applications.

It is important to decline unwanted offers before finishing downloads, installations. Ads appearing on shady pages should not be trusted as well - it is common that by clicking those ads users open untrustworthy sites.

Sometimes they cause unwanted downloads, installations of unwanted applications. Unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser and apps of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed as soon as possible.

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 Code 0x03A10 (0E10) scam website (GIF):

Appearance of Code 0x03A10 (0E10) scam

Text in the pop-up window:

support.windows.com says:
** VOTRE ORDINATEUR A ÉTÉ BLOQUÉ **
Erreur système 0x03A10 (0E10)
Merci de ne pas éteindre ni redémarrer votre ordinateur.
Contactez la ligne d’assistance Windows pour réactiver votre ordinateur.
Ne pas ignorer cette alerte critique.
Si vous fermez cette page, votre accès à l'ordinateur sera désactivé.
Votre système est piraté ou utilisé depuis un emplacement non défini.
Toutes ces données seront perdues si vous continuez:
* Les informations des cartes bancaires
* Les mots de passe enregistrés
* Les données enregistrées sur le disque dur
Vous devez nous contacter immédiatement afin que nos ingénieurs experts puissent vous guider tout au long du processus de suppression par téléphone afin de protéger votre identité.
Détails de l'erreur : Code 0x03A10 (0E10)
Support Microsoft : 09 73 03 56 39  (Appel gratuit)
Quitter

Text in the background:

Support technique : 09 73 03 56 39 (Appel gratuit)
Bienvenue dans le Support Microsoft
Gérer mon compte
Demander à la communauté
Contacter Answer Desk
Centre de téléchargement

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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 code 0x03a10 (0e10) 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 code 0x03a10 (0e10) 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 code 0x03a10 (0e10) 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 code 0x03a10 (0e10) 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 code 0x03a10 (0e10) 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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