WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE – a fake error message that could lead to malware infections

WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGEWARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE is a tech support scam that tries to convince users that their systems are infected with malware

WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE is a tech support scam that shows up on Google Chrome or another browser and claims that the Windows can't continue working due to suspicious activity. Users are urged to contact Windows support immediately by calling a toll-free +1-888-357-5053 number.

Many scamming websites imitate Windows and other company websites to trick people into believing the threat is real. When users call the given numbers, they might be asked to give remote access to their device or buy some software required to fix the issues.

Furthermore, threat actors behind WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE error claim that if the window is closed, the computer will not work and that the imaginary threat is capable of stealing passwords, credit card info, files from the computer, etc.

Never call any numbers that fake sites ask you to. If you did call the threat actors and gave them access to your device, then you came to the right place. Our cybersecurity experts have compiled a list of instructions on how to delete this threat and any other possible malware that could have been sent to your device if you've allowed remote access to scammers from this site.

Type Tech support scam, phishing
Imitated site Microsoft website
IP address
Fake Tech support scam phone number +1-888-357-5053
Error message Windows has been blocked due to suspicious activity
Symptoms Pop-up errors, fake system warning messages, fake error messages
Risks If remote access is given, malware can be planted on the device. Also, each file can be copied, and sensitive information such as personal details, stolen
Removal Follow our guides at the bottom of this article on how to eliminate this threat. Anti-malware software should be used to make sure no malicious files were downloaded
System repair To fix corrupted system files and settings with a push of a button, use the FortectIntego system repair tool

Users might have been redirected to the site where WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE fake error message struck out of nowhere by clicking on a deceptive ad, visiting other shady portals, having potentially unwanted programs (browser hijackers, adware,[1] etc.) installed on their device, or by some other sneaky method.

The main thing when such a message appears is not to panic. Please remember that websites can't determine if you have a virus infection or that your software is out of data and need updates. All technical error messages received while browsing the internet are a scam.

Tech support scam WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE is made out of two messages. One can be seen as a pop-up window and states:

Contact-Windows-Support: +1-888-357-5053
Please call us: +1-888-357-5053
Program Defender.exe
Verified Publisher: Windows-Defender

Necessary measures: Contact us immediately so that our technicians can guide you through the process of removing the Phone can lead. Please call us within 5 minutes to prevent Your Computer will be disabled.
Quick Help
Go Back Safety
Prevent additional dialogs.

The other one is displayed in the background, claiming that:

Error # MSWindows-77X1
Contact-Windows-Support: +1-888-357-5053 :
Do not ignore this important warning
Windows was blocked due to suspicious activity. Please call us within 5 Minutes to prevent your Computer from being deactivated. The following information may be lost:

1. Passwords
2. Browsing History
3. Sensitive information (credit cards)
4. Files on the hard drive

Do not ignore this critical warning if you close this page, your Computer access disabled to prevent further damage to our network .

WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE virusWARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE is a fake message that tries to imitate Microsoft for malicious purposes

None of these claims are true. By calling the given scam number and giving remote access to a device, users are risking that either (or all) of these scenarios are could come to life:

  • Money is asked for imaginary tech support, i.e., fixing the imaginary system issue
  • Potentially unwanted programs are installed on the device
  • Malware, such as ransomware, Trojans,[2] or any other kind, is planted
  • Sensitive information, such as personal details, credit card info, and any other valuable information, is stolen
  • Various files deleted or copied.

In case WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE scam freezes the browser window and prevents from closing it, users have to open the Task Manager. You can do that either by clicking the right mouse button on the taskbar and choosing Task Manager or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC on your keyboard.

Afterward, choose the browser you were using when it got frozen and press the right mouse button on it. Then click End Task. The browser should be closed, and the error messages should have disappeared. When the next time you launch the browser, don't go for the “reopen last session”, “open closed tabs”, or any other option that would reopen WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE tech support scam virus.

If you've allowed remote access to your device to the scam artists, then you will have to scan your device with reliable anti-malware tools such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes to remove WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE. Keep either of these apps up-to-date so they could prevent such perils in the future.

Cybersecurity specialists at LesVirus.fr[3] highly recommend doing a system tune-up to fix any corrupted files. The best way to it is by using the FortectIntego system repair tool. Download it and run system diagnostics. Once any issues are detected, the app will take care of them with a push of a button.

Instructions to increase cybersecurity level to avoid malware and scam pages

Malware has been circulating the internet for over two decades. Since then, it has evolved into a large, illegal business. Different kinds of malware and scams are constantly being created. Various social engineering techniques are used to fool everyday computer users. Even tech-savvy people can get tricked into downloading malicious files.

Our IT experts decided to compile a simple tutorial on how to increase cybersecurity level. If these guidelines are followed, then it will be much harder for cybercriminals to profit off you:

  • Operating software and installed applications must have the latest available updates installed as soon as their developed (except for BETA versions)
  • Trustworthy, professional anti-malware software must be installed on any device that's regularly used to connect to the internet
  • Backups of all essential information must be kept on at least two separate devices, e.g., cloud, USB drive, external storage
  • System repair tools must be used frequently to maintain the overall health of the system
  • Download software only from legitimate distributors, stay away from torrent sites, illegal vendors, and other shady websites
  • When some sort of an error, ransom note, or other malware indications are spotted, users must stay calm and don't make any rash decisions. Visit cybersecurity pages and find out how to deal with the issue.

Remove WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE from your device

First and foremost, none of the claims that WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE tech scam displays are true. Websites, no matter how identical they look to legitimate tech support sites, can't determine whether something is wrong with your device or not.

Remove WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE by opening Task Manager and ending the task of the browser. However, if your browser works normally, closing down the tab the scam is displayed on will suffice.

To ensure that no malware was installed on your device, it's highly recommended to perform a full system scan with professional anti-malware tools. This type of software will take care of WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE removal from your system if such a threat is present.

Please don't forget to use system repair tools to take care of the device's overall health. Corrupted, edited, or in any other way, modified system settings and files could lead to various system irregularities, such as severe lag, performance loss, crashing, freezing, etc.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To uninstall potentially unwanted programs from Windows, follow these steps:

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

Clean Chrome to ensure no ads or redirects return:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting viruses

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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