How to spot technical support scams like "Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State"

Also Known As: Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State technical support scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State"?

Upon examination, it has been concluded that this is a technical support scam aiming to lure unsuspecting visitors into calling the provided number. Typically, these schemes are orchestrated to steal sensitive information or money or even disseminate malicious software. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that users disregard such web pages and promptly close them.

Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State scam

"Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State" in detail

This scam page displays a warning message to deceive the visitor, claiming that their Microsoft Windows system is infected with the trojan SLocker, a notorious ransomware. The message asserts that the visitor's device is on the verge of being locked, creating a sense of urgency.

It urges the visitor to reach out immediately for assistance, promising the intervention of a technician to resolve the problem. The page also presents information that seemingly identifies the user's IP address and other information. The message alleges that the device has been blocked due to illegal activities.

To resolve the issue, it provides a phone number for contacting "Microsoft Windows Support" at +1 (888) 435-6474. The visitor is presented with the option to either continue or leave the page, attempting to pressure them into making an immediate decision.

This scam page capitalizes on fear and urgency to lure users into contacting the provided number, ultimately with the aim of extracting sensitive information or money. Another objective of these scams can be to convince users to establish remote access connections with the fraudsters, usually by asking them to install remote desktop software.

Once they have gained access, the scammers can engage in a variety of malicious activities, including theft of personal and financial data, installation of malware (e.g., ransomware), unauthorized financial transactions, and more.

A couple of examples of scams used to trick visitors into providing access to their computers are UltraViewer and TeamViewer scams.

Threat Summary:
Name Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A computer is infected and blocked diue to illegal activities
Disguise Warning from Microsoft
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1 (888) 435-6474
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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Similar scams in general

Technical support scams share several characteristics that help identify and categorize them as fraudulent activities. Firstly, they typically involve unsolicited and aggressive outreach through deceptive websites or unsolicited pop-up messages targeting unsuspecting users.

These scams often employ alarming and coercive language, creating a sense of urgency and fear to prompt immediate action. Furthermore, they frequently claim that the user's device is infected with malware or experiencing critical issues.

In these scams, scammers pose as legitimate technical support representatives, providing phone numbers or urging users to download remote desktop software to establish a connection. Ultimately, the overarching goal is to gain access to the victim's computer, extract sensitive information, and, in some cases, demand payment for fictitious services or ransom.

Examples of similar scams are "Operating System Blocked Due To Questionable Activity", "Critical Error IP Threat Detected", and "Your Google Account Has Been Locked!".

How did I open a scam website?

Users may inadvertently encounter deceptive websites through various means. One prevalent route involves engaging with alluring online advertisements, pop-ups, or banners on untrustworthy websites. These advertisements are cleverly designed to capture attention and often redirect users to fraudulent websites.

Furthermore, scammers frequently employ phishing emails that contain links leading recipients to these deceptive websites. In some instances, these scam websites manage to infiltrate search engine results, camouflaging themselves as legitimate web pages, thereby successfully drawing in users who are searching for information or services.

Additionally, specific websites, such as torrent platforms, pages claiming to offer YouTube video downloads, unauthorized movie streaming sites, and notifications from dubious sources, can all act as conduits that guide users to these deceptive web pages.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Be skeptical of unsolicited emails, especially those containing suspicious links or attachments. Always verify the legitimacy of websites before clicking on links or providing personal information. Stick to well-known and trusted websites for downloads and information, avoiding unauthorized movie streaming sites, torrent platforms, and suspicious sources.

Employ reputable antivirus and anti-malware software to help detect and block malicious websites and content. Regularly update your web browser and operating system to benefit from security patches that guard against vulnerabilities. Do not agree to receive notifications from suspicious websites.

Avoid interacting with ads and pop-ups displayed by shady sites. Lastly, stay informed about the latest scams and deceptive tactics employed by cybercriminals to remain vigilant and protect yourself from falling prey to fraudulent websites. 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 "Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State scam

Text in the message presented by this scam website:

This Microsoft Windows is infected with trojan:SLocker, a dangerous ransomware and it will lock your device!
Virus must be removed immediately!
Please contact us immediately. A technician will help you solve the problem.

Microsoft Windows Security Center

IP Address:
City: -
Region: -
Longitude: -
Latitude: -

Your device has been blocked due to illegal activity by the State of -
Contact Microsoft Windows Support: +1 (888) 435-6474

Microsoft Windows

[Continue] [Leave]

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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 a misleading online strategy in which deceptive pop-up windows or messages, such as counterfeit alerts or error notifications, emerge on a user's computer or device, often during their internet browsing. The objective of these pop-ups is to entice users into specific actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

A pop-up scam primarily aims to capitalize on users' trust, fear, or lack of awareness in order to achieve financial gain or compromise their personal information and devices.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Deceptive pop-ups are frequently encountered while browsing the internet for a range of reasons. They may surface as a result of malicious advertisements, phishing emails, compromised websites, manipulated search results, and unwelcome software installations. Such misleading pop-ups are often associated with webpages accessed through torrent sites, illegal movie streaming platforms, and analogous avenues.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to conduct thorough scans of the websites you visit, enabling it to detect those with malicious intentions. This encompasses websites created to facilitate pop-up scams. If you come across such a site, you will promptly receive a warning and access to the site will be immediately restricted.

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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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