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Www.helpme.net scam. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Adware

www.helpme.net is a legitimate platform being abused by cybercriminals in a tech support scam scheme

www.helpme.net scam
www.helpme.net is a legitimate website but used by crooks to gain remote access to victim's machine

www.helpme.net is a cleverly engineered tech support scam[1] that has been terrorizing internet community for the past few years, and complaints from users recently renewed, meaning that it is still actively used. Those who try to access the website are redirected to fastsupport.com, which is a legitimate platform powered by LogMeIn. Unfortunately, unfair individuals seek to gain access to the targeted computer using this service. www.helpme.net can only materialize once the users contact fake tech support by a provided number on a bogus website, claiming that their device is damaged by malware or that important sensitive data is at the risk of being stolen. These redirects are usually caused by adware – an ad-supported software that initiates redirects, pop-ups, ads and various other unwanted content on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any other popular browser.

SUMMARY
Name www.helpme.net
Category Adware
Type Tech support scam
Infiltration Software bundling, unsafe sites
Symptoms Countless redirects to scam, phishing, malware-laden sites, increased amount of advertisement on all web browsers
Elimination Use our instructions below and then scan your machine using Reimage to fix the damage done by the virus

As a general rule, adware is not a malicious program by itself, but it can be associated with several unsafe activities that are almost virus-like. For such reasons, users who end up on the scamming site call it www.helpme.net virus. Nevertheless, adware is usually propagated with the help of unfair advertisement techniques and bundled software.

Because adware can redirect users to questionable sites, users can be easily deceived. This activity can result in malware infections, such as ransomware or trojans. These malicious programs can inflict much more significant damage than the www.helpme.net website itself (for example, ransomware can lock up all personal files and hold them hostage until payment is made).

Adware can cause various disturbances during web browsing sessions, including:

  • Redirection to unsafe sites;
  • Sponsored links appear in web search results;
  • Pop-ups, banners, offers, deals, coupons, auto-play ads are presented using the virtual layer, covering the contents of legitimate websites;
  • Slow response/loading time of web pages.

Additionally, adware like www.helpme.net is known to gather a significant amount of non-personally identifiable information in order to create a targeted advertisement, which helps sponsors to produce ads that are related to the computer owner's interests. 

Therefore, do not hesitate if you think whether or not you should remove www.helpme.net scam your browsers, think no further. Check our instructions below for full guide, and then scan the PC using Reimage, it will fix all the unwanted changes performed by adware.

www.helpme.net adware
www.helpme.net scam is initiated by an adware program that usually sneaks in bundled with free applications

Peculiarities of www.helpme.net scam

There were several reports from users on Reddit[2] and Microsoft forums[3] about the www.helpme.net scam being active.  Many users use ad-block or similar applications to stop pop-ups and sponsored links from plaguing their browsers.

However, quite a few are also no using such programs. One of the users explained that he searched for “Amazon” in the search bar, and the first link led him to amazon.com/DEALS. Consequently, he was asked to call a technical support number because of the allegedly stolen personal data and potential malware risks. Reddit user then called and recorded the conversation with the alleged technician in what turned out to be a hilarious prank on scammers themselves.

The user was aware of the scam and decided to prank fake technicians. They immediately asked for remote access to the PC with the help of www.helpme.net website, which redirects to the fastsupport.com. Those who follow directions of unknown individuals, i.e., enter the Support Key provided by them, end up granting permission for scammers install malware, steal personal data and perform many other shady activities.

Additionally, users said that, after allowing the remote access and visiting www.helpme.net site, they were left with a wholly broken computer. While it might be possible to fix it, victims might have to reinstall the entire Windows operating system.

Therefore, do not trust these scammers, as they might steal your money, disrupt the operation of your PC and leave you feeling betrayed and well… scammed. 

Once you encounter one of these fake messages, close down your browser, and take care of www.helpme.net adware removal – we explain how to do so below. Never give access to your computer to unknown individuals. Remember that Microsoft does not ask users to call the tech support in their error messages.

www.helpme.net fake technicians
Users reported that, once the fake technicians are contacted, they keep getting returning phone calls

Beware of potentially unwanted programs that are hidden in software bundles

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether or not the computer is affected by adware or other PUPs. Therefore, users might keep using their device for a while before they realize that there is something wrong. Thus, it is best to avoid unnecessary applications in the first place – they only clutter the computer and bring no benefit to the end user.

Experts[4] recommend following these simple rules when browsing the internet and installing applications:

  • Select a trusted source for your downloads, i. e., official websites instead of third-party ones;
  • Avoid file-sharing and torrent sites – downloads from there can result in malware infections;
  • Before proceeding with the program installation, read through ToS and Privacy Policy carefully (never install anything that does not provide these documents prior to installation);
  • When prompted, select Advanced or Custom installation settings and never pick Recommended/Quick ones;
  • Remove all the pre-ticked box marks before finalizing the process.

Uninstall adware related to www.helpme.net scam

If you encountered a suspicious alert on your browser, stating that your machine is infected with multiple viruses, simply ignore it. However, if you are forced to face such redirects regularly, you need to make sure you remove www.helpme.net adware from your machine.

We suggest you first try to eliminate the unwanted application by following our detailed guide below. If not successful, you can make use of automatic www.helpme.net virus removal. All you have to do is install reputable security software and perform a full system scan.

Remember that, if you opt for manual www.helpme.net scam elimination, you will have to reset each of the affected browsers as explained below.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove www.helpme.net scam, follow these steps:

WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase www.helpme.net scam from Windows systems

To remove www.helpme.net adware from your Windows machine, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. 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. 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'.
  3. Uninstall www.helpme.net scam and related programs
    Here, look for www.helpme.net scam or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete www.helpme.net scam from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. 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. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for www.helpme.net scam and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. 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.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete www.helpme.net scam removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove www.helpme.net scam from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, www.helpme.net scam should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of www.helpme.net scam from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select www.helpme.net scam and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete www.helpme.net scam removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall www.helpme.net scam from Google Chrome

Make sure you reset Google Chrome before you proceed to use your browser as usual:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select www.helpme.net scam and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete www.helpme.net scam removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase www.helpme.net scam from Safari

  1. 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. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for www.helpme.net scam or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. 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 www.helpme.net scam removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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