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Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (Free Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Malware

“Windows Defender Security Center” scam baffles Windows users

Screenshot of “Windows Defender Security Center” scam

“Windows Defender Security Center” is a newly detected tech support scam[1] which tricks Windows users into believing that their machine has been infected with malware and the only way to fix it is to call a support number provided. However, this alert is only indirect alert that your computers is infected with adware.

Typically, redirects to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam starts after unintentionally installing potentially unwanted program (PUP). As soon as adware gets inside, it might affect all installed web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. After altering their settings, PUP starts redirects to tech support scam website or displaying other shady ads.[2]

“Windows Defender Security Center” virus is designed to look just like all other Microsoft notifications. The theme of the pop-up is copied precisely. Hence, it might be quite difficult to distinguish whether these claims of threat are legitimate or not. Please be aware that these computer crooks have nothing to do with Microsoft.

The fake “Windows Defender Security Center” alert explains to the user that his/her machine has been infected with Spyware/Riskware which was detected by Windows Defender. Therefore, the user should telephone the following number: +855-559-2111 (note that telephone number may vary) to seek the alleged tech support:

Windows Defender found some Malicious Spyware/Riskware. Please call us immediately at:
1-855-559-2111

Do not ignore this critical alert. If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network. Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Spyware and riskware.

You must contact us Immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disable of from any information loss.

Researchers have noticed several versions of this scam that uses slightly altered message. However, the main principles remain the same. Victims have to call “specialists” who would walk them trough virus removal procedure.

“Windows Defender Security Center” scam also tries to threaten people into making a phone call by telling hat they will lose access to their computer if they do not follow the provided instructions. However, security specialists warn that calling “technicians” might end up with big problems, researchers from dieviren.de[3] say.

Once the fake tech support is contacted, they would often ask the user to allow them the remote access to their machine and then demand payment for “services” provided. At this time, hackers might attempt to steal personal data or download malware into victim’s machine.

Also, the call itself might cost the user extortionate amount of money. Please be vigilant and do not fall a victim of these scammers! Ignore these messages and close down your browser at once. Afterwards, proceed with “Windows Defender Security Center” virus removal.

At the end of this article, you can find detailed instructions how you can remove “Windows Defender Security Center” adware from the computer manually. However, we recommend opting for automatic elimination and scan the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to make sure that all adware-related components are gone for good.

Image of “Windows Defender Security Center” technical support scam“Windows Defender Security Center” scam imitates legitimate alert of Microsoft security software.

Adware which is responsible for redirecting to tech support scam spreads as optional component in software bundles

Typically, potentially unwanted programs get into users’ machines without their consent. A deceptive marketing campaign called bundling is used. Users are often careless when installing free software from the internet. They frequently skip through steps and use Recommended settings.

Despite developer recommendations, Advanced settings should always be used. Users should pay attention to process, read through installation instructions properly and opt out of any unwanted programs.

Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” malware from your computer

There are two ways you can remove “Windows Defender Security Center” virus from your machine. First one is manual. To do that, please follow out step-by-step guide below. Please be aware that it is critical to perform every step carefully and in exact order. Otherwise, your browser might continue redirecting you to scam website.

The second “Windows Defender Security Center” removal method is easier. It requires scanning the system with an updated anti-malware/anti-spyware software. However, once your chosen security software cleans dangerous components, you should reset your web browsers as well.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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.

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Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam, follow these steps:

Delete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Windows systems

Follow these steps to locate and remove all adware-related components from Windows operating system:

To remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam (or any other recently installed 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.

Uninstall “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for “Windows Defender Security Center” scam-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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam, 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 related to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the “Windows Defender Security Center” scam-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Internet Explorer (IE)

Follow these guidelines to reset Internet Explorer and stop redirects to “Windows Defender Security Center” technical support scam website:

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for “Windows Defender Security Center” scam and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Microsoft Edge

Fix Microsoft Edge by following these steps:

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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Eliminate “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall questionable add-ons from Mozilla Firefox to stop unwanted activities on the browser.

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 plugins that are related to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case “Windows Defender Security Center” scam did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Google Chrome

The adware that is responsible for redirecting to scam website may have arrived on the system in the form of Chrome extension. Check the list of installed extensions and remove unknown entries.

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 “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the “Windows Defender Security Center” scam-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 to complete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete “Windows Defender Security Center” scam from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to “Windows Defender Security Center” scam 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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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