Internet, Networking, & Security Antivirus 25 25 people found this article helpful How to Remove That Microsoft Warning Alert It's a scam you don't want to fall for By Daniel N. Martin Writer Daniel Martin is a writer and researcher with 10+ years' experience. He is a professional librarian and an experienced tech and information literacy teacher. our editorial process LinkedIn Daniel N. Martin Updated March 11, 2020 Ja_inter/Getty Images Antivirus Browsers Cloud Services Error Messages Home Networking 5G Antivirus VPN Web Development Around the Web View More Tweet Share Email The most common form of the Microsoft Security Alert scam comes from malware pop-ups on everyday websites you could visit by mistake. If you happen to download an app or play an online game from the wrong site, you could introduce Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) into your computer. In addition to directing your web browsers to unsafe sites, the programs record information about you and your systems while spamming you with malicious pop-ups. What Is The Microsoft Security Alert Scam? Digital criminals have created several variations of this program, but the basic version of the scam has a few distinguishing features. First, you will receive a fake pop-up that strongly resembles a legitimate antivirus warning from Microsoft Security Alert. The pop-up will inform you that a virus has compromised your system and you should download and install the necessary antivirus software and call the number provided to contact technical support. If you attempt to dismiss the window, your computer access will be remotely disabled. If you contact the number, you will be instructed to download software that will not fix your issue, but almost certainly install more malware on your system. You may also be prompted to pay a one-time fee of several hundred dollars to regain access to your computer, or be encouraged to sign up for a fraudulent subscription service. Once you call the fake number and give the scammer access to your computer, they are free to manipulate your data to make regular system data appear as signs of a significant issue. You should be aware that even with the ransom paid, the malware will remain on the computer and operate more discretely. The only real way to get rid of the Microsoft Security Alert ransomware involves seeking professional assistance. Don't Be Fooled by Fake Security Alerts This scam amounts to a complete fiction designed to have you install malware on your computer while believing you're following Microsoft’s instructions. The whole idea behind this particular scam and the reason it so often proves effective is that it creates a false sense of panic. This sense of panic allows the scam to work by preying on our anxiety and trust in legitimate companies. By convincing you that your computer is under attack and your personal and financial information is at risk, scammers create an exploitable opportunity to do just that. Fortunately, with a little knowledge of what to look for, these scams are easily avoided and resolved. There are several strategies you can use, including resetting your web browser, running antivirus and anti-malware programs to protect your computer from further attacks, and contacting genuine technical support. Examples of the Microsoft Security Alert Scam You Could Receive These viruses are well known for stealing your personal and financial information. Further action on your computer or any other device in this network could reveal your private information and create serious risks. You should also completely avoid contacting any phone numbers provided at all costs. Pornography/Malware Microsoft Security AlertMalicious Spyware/Malware Detected!Internet Security Alert – Your Computer Might Be Infected With Harmful Viruses!Your computer has been locked.Your network access has been restricted.Your computer’s registration key has been blocked.Do not attempt to close this window or restart your computer.Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected by spyware and riskware.The following information is being stolen: Facebook Logins, Credit Card Details, Financial Data, Photos stored on your computer, Email Account Logins.Call 1-872-387-3724 to reach a qualified technician in the next 5 minutes before the rest of your network is infected! How to Tell If a Message from Microsoft is Genuine It should be noted that Microsoft will never contact you out of the blue and give you a phone number to call them back. You should only contact Microsoft directly through their website and the Contact Us webpage. Fortunately, there are many ways to verify whether the warning on your screen is a fake message or a genuine warning: You must initiate any communication with Microsoft before they contact you.It is not Microsoft’s policy to call you unsolicited, nor will they spontaneously offer to provide tech supportMicrosoft tech support will not ask you for any personal or financial information.You will never be asked by Microsoft to pay for any services with a gift card, or cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Ways to Prevent the Microsoft Warning Alert Scam from Happening There are a few ways to avoid a scam before it ever becomes a problem: Only download from official sources: Only download software from the Microsoft Store or official Microsoft partner websites. Third-party software providers may have had their pages unwittingly modified by cybercriminals to serve their purposes.Use Antivirus software: Make sure your computer is running Windows Security antivirus software, which helps detect malware in real time and prevent it from affecting your system.Pop-up Blockers: Install a pop-up blocker program for additional defense. You can’t click on something that’s blocked before you see it.Don't call the phone number: If you get a warning message with a phone number, never call it. Genuine Microsoft warnings and error messages will not feature any phone numbers. Strategies for Dealing with False Microsoft Security Alerts One of the easiest ways to tell if the Microsoft Warning Label is fake is whether the message is displayed within your web browser. Resetting your browser is one of the quickest and easiest ways to avoid getting your computer infected in the first place. Should you see the warning pop up or you notice additions to your browser toolbar you don’t remember installing, consider trying a reset. You may want to export your bookmarks beforehand to be safe, but they're usually unaffected. It's pretty easy to perform a browser reset on Mozilla Firefox and reset Google Chrome. What to Do If a Scammer Gets Your Information Unfortunately, even the most careful among us can be fooled by a particularly persuasive scam. Should this happen, you need to take every available step to mitigate the damage done to your finances or identity. In the event you give a scammer access to your computer and personal or credit card information, there are a number of things you can do to try and fix the issue: Call your credit card companies and financial institutions: Go over your accounts and monthly statements and be prepared to contest any charges you may have paid or that the scammers have purchased.Remove apps: Remove and uninstall any applications that you have been asked to install.Scan your system: Run a full scan with your antivirus and anti-malware programs, as well as actual Windows Security to remove any malicious software.Inform Microsoft: You can also help prevent further scam by notifying Microsoft about your experiences with the scam. To report a false warning message or bogus website to Microsoft, you can fill out a Report An Unsafe Site Form on their official website.Reach out to Microsoft Support: If you urgently need help or tech support, contact Microsoft Support or Microsoft’s Global Customer Service.