What kind of scam is "Trojan:Slocker"?
While investigating deceptive websites, our researchers discovered the "Trojan:Slocker" technical support scam. It warns that the visitor's device has been infected with trojan/ransomware and urges them to call the provided helpline. Note that this scheme may be preceded by the "Ransomware EXE.01092-1_Alert" pop-up.
It must be stressed that the infection claims are fake, and this content is in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation or any of its products/services.
"Trojan:Slocker" scam overview
The website promoting this scam is presented as Microsoft's official website. The scheme displays multiple pop-up windows, one of which can be "Ransomware EXE.01092-1_Alert".
The topmost pop-up claims that the device is infected with "Trojan:Slocker", which endangers personal and financial data. The alert urges to call "Microsoft Support" to eliminate the ransomware.
As previously mentioned, all the information provided by this scam is false, and it is not associated with Microsoft or any of its products/services.
The scheme is triggered by calling the fake helpline and may take place entirely over the phone. Scammers, while pretending to be "support", "Microsoft-certified technicians", etc., can trick victims into disclosing sensitive data, making monetary transactions, downloading/installing malware, etc.
Threats posed by tech support scammers
Tech support scammers can cause various severe issues once connected to users' devices, e.g., disable/remove genuine security tools, install fake anti-viruses, extract information and/or funds, infect the system with malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.), and so on.
Data of interest may include log-in credentials (e.g., emails, social networking/media, e-commerce, online banking, cryptowallets, etc.), personally identifiable details, and finance-related information (e.g., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.)
Cyber criminals can acquire information over the phone, deceive victims into providing it to phishing sites/files, or extract it with stealer-type malware.
Furthermore, the "services" of scammers (e.g., fake malware removal, security software installation, etc.) cost exorbitant sums.
Criminals use difficult-to-trace methods to obtain money, as that diminishes the chances of persecution and victims retrieving their funds; some examples include cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift cards, as well as cash hidden in packages and shipped. What is more, successfully scammed victims are often targeted repeatedly.
In summary, by trusting a scam like "Trojan:Slocker" – users can experience system infections, data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
Should it be impossible to exit a deceptive webpage – use Windows Task Manager to end the browser's process. Keep in mind that restoring the previous browsing session will reopen the scam page; hence, when reaccessing the browser, start a new session.
If you have allowed scammers to access your device remotely – immediately disconnect it from the Internet. Afterward, remove the remote access software used, as the cyber criminals may not need your permission to reconnect. Lastly, perform a full system scan with an anti-virus and remove all detected threats.
If you have disclosed your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if your other private data has been compromised (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the appropriate authorities without delay.
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Device is infected with malware and vulnerable data is at risk.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1 (866) 777-1016|
|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.
Technical support scam examples
"Your Security Is Not Up-To-Date", "Blocked Due To Illegal Activity By The State", and "Operating System Blocked Due To Questionable Activity" are just a few examples of tech support scams that we have investigated recently.
Various scams are promoted on the Web; there is likewise a wide variety of models used to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust.
Due to how prevalent deceptive and malicious content is on the Internet – we strongly recommend exercising caution while browsing.
How did I open a scam website?
Scam pages can be force-opened when a website that uses rogue advertising networks is accessed. Alternatively, the rogue site may generate redirects to the aforementioned webpages when hosted content is interacted with (e.g., clicking buttons, text input fields, links, etc.).
Additionally, misspelling a website's URL can result in a redirect (or a redirection chain leading) to a deceptive page. Intrusive advertisements and spam browser notifications promote online scams as well.
Adware can also display ads that endorse scams or force-open websites running them. Spam in general (e.g., emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, forum/ social media posts, etc.) is utilized in scam promotion.
How to avoid visiting scam websites?
Fraudulent and dangerous online content is usually presented as legitimate and harmless – therefore, we highly recommend being careful while browsing. For example, while intrusive ads and spam browser notifications may look innocuous – they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
We advise against using websites that offer pirated programs/media or other dubious services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), As these pages typically use rogue advertising networks.
Another recommendation is to pay attention to URLs and type them with care. To avoid receiving unwanted browser notifications – do not permit suspicious webpages to display them (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.). Instead, ignore or deny notification delivery from such pages (i.e., select "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).
To prevent bundled/harmful software from infiltrating the system – download only from official/verified channels and treat installations with caution (e.g., read terms, study possible options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, features, etc.).
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 "Trojan:Slocker" scam's topmost pop-up:
Microsoft® Support Center
Address IP: - 10/25/2023, 9:55:23 AM
This Device Has been Infected With Trojan:Slocker,
Your Personal And Financial Information Is At Major Risk.
Please Call Microsoft Support Center Immediately To Stop This Dangerous Ransomware.
Call Microsoft Support +1 (866) 777-1016
The appearance of "Trojan:Slocker" pop-up scam (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "Trojan:Slocker" pop-up?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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?
Pop-up scams are messages designed to trick users into performing certain actions, e.g., calling fake support lines, allowing scammers to access their devices remotely, making monetary transactions, disclosing private information, downloading/installing software, and so forth.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams, like all other types, are primarily used to generate revenue. Cyber criminals profit predominantly by obtaining funds through deception, selling or abusing sensitive information, endorsing content, and spreading malware.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are promoted on deceptive webpages. Users primarily access these sites via redirects generated by misspelled URLs, websites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
I cannot exit a scam page, how do I close it?
If you cannot close a scam page – end the browser's process using Windows Task Manager. When reaccessing the browser, do not restore the previous browsing session – since that will reopen the deceptive site, thus repeating the problem.
I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?
If you have allowed scammers to remotely access your computer – you must first disconnect it from the Internet. Secondly, uninstall the remote access software that the cyber criminals used (e.g., UltraViewer, TeamViewer, AnyDesk, etc.). Lastly, run a complete system scan with an anti-virus and remove all detected threats.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by a pop-up scam, what should I do?
If you have provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if the disclosed information was a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the corresponding authorities without delay.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams and the malware they proliferate?
Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate all manner of threats; that includes warning the user when they enter a deceptive/malicious webpage. Additionally, it can restrict all further access to such sites. Combo Cleaner can also detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. Note that since sophisticated malicious programs tend to hide deep within systems – running a full system scan is essential.