What can be expected from the Tech Support Scam virus?
With the technology developing every day, we are increasingly involved in the virtual world. The criminals have learned to make use of this involvement and are inventing numerous ways to exploit the unsuspecting victims. Thousands, if not millions, of people have already been tricked through scam calls, but Tech Support Scams puts this deceiving business on a whole another level. This type of scam involves both computer and phone technologies to extort money from the users. The criminals involved in such scams usually employ knowledge of the human psychology and use social engineering to involve people into their fraudulent operations. The vulnerability they target the most is the security and health or the users computers. The scammers invent fake companies or work under the names of famous ones, such as Microsoft. They try to trick the users into obtaining unnecessary products or services which may not even exist. If they do exist, though, they may be simply non-functional or even hazardous to the PC. Therefore, if you ever see a notification on your computer, claiming that your system is infected with malware or some other system malfunction has unexpectedly occurred, closely inspect and evaluate this message before taking action.
What are the basic principles of a Tech Support Scam virus?
We have already discussed that Tech Support Scam is related to both, telephone and computer technologies, but initially, it all begins with a cyber infection. Tech Support scammers use technology similar to adware. It allows the virus to infiltrate the system together with other software and start generating pop-up ads and other notifications on random sites you visit online. So, there is actually no way of indicating what websites you should avoid. Of course, it is always recommended to keep away from obscure and unreputable sites, but remember, there are no guarantees that such dubious ads will not pop-up on your favorite news page or social networking site as well.
It is difficult to pinpoint what exactly do these ads claim because there are numerous different Tech Support Scam viruses currently roaming the Internet and every one of them may use their own tricks to outwit you. The scammers may pretend to be representatives of Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center, Microsoft Support or similar supposedly respectable Microsoft representatives. What is know for sure, though, is that these notifications may feature security-related warnings about malware infections or offer you to obtain a subscription of remote technical support to solve your computer’s issues. These notifications always indicate a phone number which the user should call in order to receive or purchase these services. Unfortunately, if you tried calling the number, you would be immediately connected to a scammer rather than a remote professional technician or the Microsoft representative. In such a case, you should hang up at once and scan your computer for malware responsible for generating these warning messages.
How can you tell if you are targeted by scammers?
The primary and the main goal of the Tech Support scammers is to extort money from the users. So, a major warning sign that you might be dealing with cyber criminals is an insisting manner of communicating. The scammers may encourage you to let them remotely access your computer and solve the problems indicated in the fake notifications. Once they are connected, they will imitate a system scan and report major problems on your device, even though, in reality, it might be completely clean. Simultaneously, the scammers may install additional malware themselves to back their claims. After reporting issues with the system, the victim will be pushed into purchasing the “one and only” solution which can “fix” the indicated problems.
How this virus reaches computers and is there a way to avoid it?
Tech Support scam viruses can infect computers similar ways other potentially unwanted programs do. They may install together with other freeware or shareware applications and silently carry out their activities on the infected computer. To prevent this, you should take your time when installing newly downloaded software and always choose the advanced installation mode. In the software’s setup opt out suspicious or unnecessary software package components, if there are any. Also, be security-cautious online as well. Refrain from visiting unreputable sites, do not click on suspicious links and advertisements. This will help you stay few steps further from getting infected with such malware. However, do not cross out the possibility of getting infected and equip your system with tools capable of indicating and removing the infection.
Tech support scam virus versions:
Adobe Flash Tech Support Scam virus is one of the latest Tech support scams. It starts its activity after the user unknowingly installs infected software packages or downloads fake Adobe Player updates. The next time virus victims open their browsers, they are greeted by a notification claiming that “Windows has been block due to suspicious activity”. Pretending to be representatives from Microsoft, these scammers will urge the user to dial 1-888-322-9655 in order to contact remote technicians and “fix” the supposed issue. In reality, the extortionists are simply trying to gain a full access and control of the user’s computer or attempting to swindle out sensitive information such as credit card details or online banking credentials. In case you suspect you have become a victim of Adobe Flash Tech Support Scam, cut the network connection immediately and block bank accounts you’ve provided the scammers the access to.
Microsoft Inc Warning! Support scam virus. Just like most tech support scams, this parasite also operates on the behalf of Microsoft technical support. The program is designed to drop notifications alerting the victim about a Trojan virus infection, tricking the user into believing that his/her sensitive information, including banking details, credit card information and account passwords are at risk. To stop this supposed invasion, the user has to ring up the “Microsoft technicians” by a tool free number 1-844-507-3556. Of course, the purpose of such a call is entirely different to what the users are made to believe. During the course of the conversation, the scammers may try convince the victim that his/her computer state is critical and that he/she must buy some security utility to repair it. Also, they may try to gain the computer’s administrative, steal the sensitive information stored on it or install some malicious keylogging software to spy on the victim even after the Microsoft Inc Warning! Support scam virus is eliminated from the computer.
Error 268D3-XC00037 Tech Support scam virus generates pop-ups that issue the massage claiming that “YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED”. At the end of this warning notification, the user is provided a phone number (+18886098597) to call for help. Again, instead of being put through to the technicians from Microsoft, the users who call this number fall into the trap of the fraudulent salespeople that only try to sell them fake products or services. On top of it all, the virus blocks the victim from accessing security sites and downloading security related software. Such program must be terminated without hesitation or delay. In case you provided some of your personal details to the scammers, you should also contact the corresponding institutions, to protect yourself from identity theft or financial loss.
What should you do if you have been infected?
First of all, if you have just been infected with Tech Support virus and started noticing warning notifications do NOT contact the indicated number. Do not make any transactions and do not allow the cyber criminals to gain remote access to your PC. If it is too late for that and you have already given your details and free access to your computer to the criminals, there might still be time to prevent further damage. If the criminals are still connected to your computer, terminate the connection immediately. Close the remote access application or reboot the computer. After your computer is rebooted, scan it for malware, because the criminals may have installed some key-loggers, Trojans or worms on your computer to spy on you in the future and steal your data. The third step is to change your system passwords, all the social, email login details, and your online banking passwords. If you went even further and provided the criminals with your credit card information, inform the credit card company or related bank about it, and they will inform you about the further steps that need to be taken to protect your account. Also, if the crooks are now aware of your sensitive information, such as SSN, home address, date of birth, etc., you should contact the FTC’s and inform them about the potential identity theft.
You should also make sure that the virus is completely removed from your computer, and you will not be targeted by similar threats in the future. Even though the infection itself can be eliminated from the infected computer rather easily, you must employ professional antivirus utilities for this purpose. You never know what additional malware could have been sneaked on your device by the fraudulent Tech Support scammers.
You can remove Tech Support Scam automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.
Manual Tech Support Scam virus Removal Guide:
Remove Tech Support Scam from Windows systems
Note that Tech Support virus will not be labeled like that in your Control Panel. It may be hidden under various titles, so you may have to do a little research before you remove it. Closely inspect all the suspicious programs and double-check their reliability online.
- Click Start → Control Panel → Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
- If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program.
Uninstall Tech Support Scam and related programs
Here, look for Tech Support Scam or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
- Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes.
Remove Tech Support Scam from Mac OS X system
Even though Tech Support virus usually targets Windows users, your Mac OS X may be in danger as well. Look for software with suspicious titles in the “Applications” section.
- If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications.
- Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Tech Support Scam or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.
Remove Tech Support Scam from Internet Explorer (IE)
The Tech Support virus usually works like an adware. Typically to such programs it may install additional extensions on your browser. You should look for suspicious-looking extensions and eliminate them.
Remove dangerous add-ons
Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons.
- You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Tech Support Scam and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable:
Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
- Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes.
Reset Internet Explorer
Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
- Here, select Reset.
- When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Tech Support Scam removal.
Remove Tech Support Scam from Mozilla Firefox (FF)
Tech Support virus may inject its fraudulent ads into your browser with the help of extensions. Do not expect them to be labeled “Tech Support virus”, though, and look for other newly installed extensions instead.
Remove dangerous extensions
Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons → Extensions.
- Here, select Tech Support Scam and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information.
- Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Tech Support Scam removal.
Remove Tech Support Scam from Google Chrome
Tech Support virus often installs extensions on the computer’s browsers to help it generate fraudulent notifications. You should locate these extensions and remove them from your browser. Remember, though, that they will not be labeled “Tech Support virus”, “Tech Support” or anything similar. So, you have to be observant, locate and remove the extensions which you may never seen before or have not installed yourself.
Delete malicious plugins
Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools → Extensions.
- Here, select Tech Support Scam and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries.
- Click on menu icon again and choose Settings → Manage Search engines under the Search section.
- When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name.
Reset Google Chrome
Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
- Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings.
- Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Tech Support Scam removal.
Remove Tech Support Scam from Safari
Even though Tech Support scam usually affects Windows and its browsers, your Safari browser may be targeted as well. Do not put down your guard and check the Safari extension list. If you see some suspicious extensions, uninstall them immediately.
Remove dangerous extensions
Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences.
- Here, select Extensions and look for Tech Support Scam or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them.
Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari....
- Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Tech Support Scam removal process.