Avoid getting scammed by sites stating "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update"

Also Known As: Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update tech support scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update"?

Discovered by our research team during a routine inspection of shady websites, "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" is a technical support scam promoted on rogue websites. Like most deceptive pages of this type, it makes various fake claims about viruses, hackers, blocked computers, etc. - to scare users into calling bogus helplines, thus triggering an elaborate scam process.

Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update scam

"Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" overview

When we accessed a webpage promoting the "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" scam, it presented us with multiple pop-up windows that were disguised as Microsoft alerts. It must be emphasized that this scheme is in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation or its products.

The scam displays a system scan, its results, and several virus alerts. It states that due to the threats detected on the device, it has been blocked - hence, Windows 11 cannot be updated. The scheme instructs calling the provided telephone number to resolve the nonexistent issues.

It must be mentioned that no site can perform system scans or find threats present on visitors' systems; therefore, any that make such claims are scams.

We have researched many tech support scams and can conclude that they begin by tricking victims into calling the scammers, yet afterwards - the scam model can vary drastically. Typically, the cyber criminals (pretending to be customer support, certified technicians, etc.) instruct users into allowing them remote access to their devices.

After connecting to a machine, scammers can damage it variously. For example, they may uninstall genuine security tools, install fake anti-viruses, infect the system with malware (trojans, ransomware, etc.), and similar - all the while confusing their victims with technobabble.

The criminals usually target personal data, credit card numbers, online bank account credentials (IDs, usernames, passwords, etc.), and other vulnerable information. They can obtain this data by having users reveal it over the phone, type it where the scammers supposedly cannot see it, enter it into phishing websites/files, or acquire it with the aid of information-stealing malware.

Furthermore, cyber criminals tend to request ludicrous sums for their "services"; paying can also expose victims' financial/banking data. Scammers typically ask for payments to be made in difficult/impossible to trace methods, e.g., digital currency (gift cards, pre-paid vouchers, cryptocurrencies, etc.) or cash hidden within innocuous-looking packages and shipped.

What is more, successfully scammed victims are often targeted repeatedly. To summarize, victims of technical support scams like "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Should it be impossible to close a scam page, we advise using the Windows Task Manager to end the browser's process. Upon opening the browser again, the previous session must not be restored - as that would reopen the deceptive site.

Threat Summary:
Name Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update tech support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Computer is infected and Windows 11 cannot be updated
Disguise Windows threat/virus alerts
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1(888) 298 0208
Related Domains outookmine[.]com
Detection Names (outookmine[.]com) N/A (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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Tech support scam examples

"Pornography Warning Error", "Firewall Error: #ST43400X", "Child Pornography Access detected", and "Critical Framework Error" are just some examples of the tech support scams we have researched.

These scams rely heavily on scare tactics, and they frequently use the names of genuine entities/products (e.g., Microsoft, Windows Defender, McAfee, Norton, etc.). Regardless of what such scams warn, threaten, claim, or promise - their sole goal is to generate revenue at user expense.

How did I open a scam website?

Our researchers accessed the "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" site through a spam browser notification; however, such webpages can be entered variously. For example, scam websites can be accessed via mistyped URLs or redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, deceptive browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (through its ads or force-opened on a browser).

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

We strongly recommend exercising caution when browsing. Scam pages are often promoted through websites that use rogue advertising networks. These networks are commonly employed by Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, and other sites offering questionable services/content.

We advise against permitting suspicious webpages to deliver browser notifications (i.e., "Allow", "Allow Notifications, etc.). Instead, you should ignore or decline these requests (i.e., "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.), as the notifications are used for advertising deceptive/malicious material.

Scam websites can also be accessed via adware-delivered advertisements or force-opened by this software. To avoid installing advertising-supported software, it is crucial to download from official/verified sources and approach installation processes with care (e.g., read terms, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, opt-out of all additions, etc.).

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. Security programs must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats. If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate all threats.

Text presented in "Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update" scam pop-up:

Alert! Windows-11 Can Not Update


Your System is at risk!

Error Code: #0x268d3(00x7)


Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons
(Hacker can hack or attack our Files)
Contact Windows Support: +1(888) 298 0208

Threat_Detected - Windows - 11 Update Alert!

App: Ads.IPAddresstrack(1).exe

[Ignore] [Quick Support]

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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:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

Essentially, pop-up scams are deceptive messages designed to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, victims may be deceived into allowing cyber criminals remote access to their devices, disclosing private data, purchasing unreliable/harmful applications (e.g., fake anti-viruses), downloading/installing untrustworthy/malicious software, transferring funds, and so on.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

In general, pop-up scams aim to generate revenue for their designers. Scammers can profit by obtaining funds through deception (e.g., fake service, shipping, storage, transaction, and other bogus fees), abusing or selling personal information, promoting software, proliferating malware, and so forth.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are run on rogue webpages. They are typically entered by mistyping URLs or through redirects caused by spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, sites using rogue advertising networks, or installed adware.

I cannot exit a scam page, how do I close it?

If you cannot close a scam site, you have to end the browser's process using Windows Task Manager. Note that the previous browsing session must not be restored when opening the browser again. If it is restored - the deceptive webpage (or one that redirected to it) will be reopened as well.

I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?

If you have allowed cyber criminals to access your computer, first - you must disconnect it from the Internet (as scammers may not need your consent to re-access it). Secondly, uninstall the remote access software they used to connect to your device. Lastly, use an anti-virus program to scan the system for malware; if a threat is detected - remove it immediately.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by a pop-up scam, what should I do?

If you have provided account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams and the malware they proliferate?

Combo Cleaner will scan the websites you visit and alert you if they are detected as deceptive or malicious. It can also block all further access to such websites. Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating most of the known malware infections. It must be emphasized that running a full system scan is critical - since sophisticated malicious programs tend to hide deep within systems.

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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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