How to spot fake warnings like "Error Code: 0x80073b01"

Also Known As: Error Code: 0x80073b01 technical support scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Error Code: 0x80073b01"?

During our examination of this website, we discovered its involvement in a technical support scam, wherein misleading pop-up messages are displayed to deceive visitors into believing their computers are compromised. It is essential to avoid such websites, as they are designed to deceive users into providing sensitive information, transferring money, or taking other actions.

Error Code: 0x80073b01 scam

"Error Code: 0x80073b01" in detail

The message displayed by this technical support scam page poses as a warning from the Microsoft Windows Security Center. It indicates the detection of five virus/malware infections on the user's device, accompanied by an error code 0x80073b01.

The message warns of a significant security breach that puts personal data, banking information, and web login credentials at risk. Users are urged to contact Microsoft Windows Support at +1-866-552-3512 for assistance.

The purpose of this scam is to manipulate users into believing that their devices are infected with viruses or malware, creating a sense of urgency and fear. By displaying a fake error message and a supposed contact number for Microsoft Windows Support, scammers aim to deceive users into calling the provided number.

Once users make the call, scammers may employ various tactics to extract money from victims, often by offering unnecessary services, requesting remote access to the computer, or selling fraudulent software. A couple examples of scams where scammers use legitimate software to obtain remote access to computers are TeamViewer and UltraViewer scams.

Additionally, scammers might attempt to gather sensitive personal information, such as credit card details or login credentials, for malicious purposes like identity theft or financial fraud. Moreover, they can use such scams to distribute malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Error Code: 0x80073b01 technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Computer is infected and damaged
Disguise Warning from Microsoft Windows Security Center
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-866-552-3512, +1-888-447-0024
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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Similar scams in general

Technical support scams are deceptive schemes where scammers impersonate legitimate technical support providers, often using alarming messages or pop-ups to create a sense of urgency. They claim that computers are infected with viruses, malware, or other issues and prompt users to call a provided phone number for assistance.

These scams aim to extract money from victims by offering unnecessary services, selling fake software, or gaining remote access to devices to further their fraudulent activities. It is important to be cautious of unsolicited messages or pop-ups claiming technical problems and only to seek support from trusted sources.

Examples of similar scams are "Error Code:- G-0x80070057", "!!Dridex007!! Malware Detected", and "Virus Has Been Detected On Your Device".

How did I open a scam website

Users can inadvertently encounter fraudulent websites, including technical support scams, by interacting with malicious ads or pop-ups that redirect them to such sites. This can also occur through notifications from untrustworthy pages. Phishing emails may contain links to these deceptive websites, enticing users to click on them.

Additionally, adware can facilitate the spread of such scams. Moreover, users come across scam websites while browsing pages associated with rogue advertising networks. Websites like illegal movie streaming platforms, torrent sites, adult content websites, etc., commonly utilize these networks.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Refrain from clicking on links in suspicious emails or advertisements on shady websites. Avoid permitting questionable pages to send you notifications. Steer clear of websites that could be linked to rogue advertising networks. It is also advisable to regularly scan your computer for adware and unwanted software.

When downloading applications, it is advisable to choose official websites and verified app stores. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "Error Code: 0x80073b01" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Error Code: 0x80073b01 scam

Text presented in "Error Code: 0x80073b01" pop-up:

Microsoft Windows Security Center

(5) Virus/Malware infections have been detected on your device.
Error code: 0x80073b01

Your personal data, banking information and web login credentials saved on this PC are at risk due to a major security breach.
Contact Microsoft Windows Support: +1-866-552-3512 (Microsoft USA)

Microsoft Windows [Deny] [Allow]

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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?

A pop-up scam entails the deceptive use of unexpected pop-up messages, often claiming that a computer is infected with malware or experiencing issues. Scammers use these scams to trick users into performing specific actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scammers aim to mislead users into calling the provided phone number, paying for fake or unnecessary services, or clicking on malicious links, leading to further exploitation, potential financial fraud, or the introduction of malware or other undesirable software onto their systems.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams become visible to users when dubious applications are present on their computers or when accessing websites via rogue networks, such as illegal movie streaming platforms or torrent sites. Additionally, these scams can be promoted through notifications originating from untrustworthy websites.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can thoroughly scan the websites you visit, including potentially malicious ones. It can detect websites that intend to display pop-up scams. Once such a site is visited, Combo Cleaner will issue a warning and restrict access to protect you from being deceived by scams.

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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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