Tech Support Scams are not new to most users, but there are still some PC users don’t realize that they are running into a scam when receiving a popup asking them to call a tech support number to fix the “problems” on their PCs. One of the popular Tech Support Scams in 2017 is the “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” Scam. This scam tricks Internet users into thinking they had a virus and spyware on their PCs and charged them for unnecessary repairs.
Scammers take advantage of people’s fear of losing confidential information, precious photos or important work to cheat them into paying for service they actually don’t need. If you are suffering from the “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scam, please keep calm and try to remove the pop up immediately instead of calling the phone number.
About Tech Support Scams
According to Wikipedia:
Technical Support Scams refers to the activities that scammer use a variety of confidence tricks to get the victim to install remote desktop software, with which they take control of the victim’s computer, then use various Windows components and utilities (such as the Event Viewer), third-party utilities (such as rogue security software), and other tasks to make the victim believe that the computer has issues that need to be fixed, before proceeding for the victim to pay for “support”. The scammers often claim to be associated with a legitimate-sounding third-party, with a name like “Microsoft” or “Windows Technical Support”.
Tech support scammers originally used cold calls, but they have evolved their approach greatly in recent years. Their use of digital tactics started in 2013 when tech support fraudsters began launching scam pop-ups telling Internet users their computers had been hacked, prompting them to call a phone number for tech support. A research by Microsoft shows that, there are 2 out of 3 Internet users have experienced a tech support scam. Microsoft has announced in this blog that scammers billed 3.3 million Americans out of $1.5 billion in 2015, and it is estimated that since May of 2014, it has been sent over 175,000 customer complaints about tech support scams.
Tech Support scammers mainly target computers whose users located in United States. It reaches of 58% of the scam attacks in 2016. Significant encounters are also registered in United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, France and Spain, with 13%, 11%, 8%, 4% and 3% of encounters, respectively.
Figure 1. Top counties that saw the most number of tech support scam encounters in 2016
If you have received a tech support scam popup on your web browser and want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, please use the tool below to perform a thorough system scan and get rid of the adware which generates the popup now!
(This tool is designed to detect and remove all types of malware threats like adware, browser hijackers, Trojans, rogue programs, rootkits, and ransomware)
How “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” Scam Works
Similar to Zeus Virus Scam, this scam cheats you by showing a fake security alert on your computer. The scammers develop a piece of adware that can redirect you to the scamming website. Once your computer gets infected by this adware, usually via social engineering, free downloads, or suspicious ads, you will encounter the scam.
After making some changes to your system settings and browsers’ settings, this adware begins to generate a popup on your web browser that appears to be an official Microsoft message with logos and color schemes, saying “Warning! YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED”. It urges you to call a tech support number for help. It looks official, but it is not.
Once you called the number, you will be connected to the scammers who claim to work in or with a well-known companies like Microsoft. They would ask for remote access to your computer and run a fake system scan which will “discover” a lot of problems (actually they are not existent) in your device. Finally, they would pretend to “fix” the “problems” for you and charge you hundreds of dollars for that unnecessary repairs.
Remember, legitimate tech support companies will never make unsolicited contact with you, claiming knowledge of problems with your system. “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scammers claims to be from large, recognizable computer companies in order to relax your vigilance and further cheat you for money.
Here’s the full text of the pop-up message:
Using the dialogue loop technique, the scammers have the ability to effectively lock your browser and no matter how many times you click the OK button on the popup message, it won’t go away. You can neither leave the website, nor close your browser by simply clicking the X icon in the top right corner. You can only close the browser via Task Manager. This design aims to make the “virus infection” more believable. The scammers’ goal is to scare you into calling a toll-free number and then they will try their best to pressure you to buy unnecessary repair services, service plans, antivirus software, and worthless warranty programs. So, don’t fall for it! The most important you should do is to get rid of the scam popup from your PC
Screenshots of the Scam Popups
Cases Involving This Tech Support Scam
Case 1: A victim called R_Fox received the scam popup and he was urged to call the tech support number. Luckily, he kept a cool head and wasn’t scammed.
Case 2: Another victim called 12Taylor believed what was said on the fake alert message and called the so-called tech supported. The scammer wanted him to purchase a Microsoft warranty, and fortunately, he didn’t pay the money.
Case 3: Lucas Shaw was also a victim of “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scam. He didn’t fall for the scam and tried to get rid of the scam popup; however, his computer was locked, since he has no any antivirus software installed.
Get Rid of “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” Scam Popup & Other Malicious Programs
The scammers use adware program to redirect you to the scamming website. If you want to stop the pseudo site from popping up on you computer, you have to clean the nasty adware out of your PC. Besides, if you have handed over the control of your PC to the scammers, you also need to check and remove other malicious programs that might be installed by the bad guys. Now follow the removal guide given below to delete “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scam popup as well as other potentially existing threats.
Step 1: Uninstall any unknown programs from the computer system.
Click on the Start menu and then select Control Panel.
Click on Uninstall a program when you view Control Panel items by Category.
In the Programs and Features window, locate the unknown and recently-installed programs from the list and click on Uninstall.
Warm tip: If you cannot uninstall a certain program using Windows uninstall utility, then you can try forcibly removing it with a professional uninstaller.
Step 2: Run SpyHunter to clean the adware program as well as other threats.
Click the button below to download SpyHunter stepup file on your PC. You can save it on your desktop or in any other place easy for you to find.
Select your language and click OK button.
Click the CONTINUE button.
Now you can see the installation progress as below. Wait for the installation to be completed.
When you are prompted a small window telling that the setup is successfully, click the FINISH button.
Then, SpyHunter will automatically run and you can see its main screen as below. Click the Scan Computer Now button to run a full system scan.
SpyHunter now will start scanning your whole system for any existing threats.
As the scanning comes to an end, you can check all threats found on your PC. If there is no problem, you can directly remove them by clicking on the Fix Threats button. Reboot your computer if you are required to do so.
* SpyHunter’s free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter’s malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. If you have any problem in removing the threats, please contact the tech support for further help.
Reset your browsers’ settings to the default.
The adware program should have made changes to your browser’s settings so as to keep redirecting you to the scamming website. So, you need to restore the settings to the default. Just follow the instructions below.
For Internet Explorer:
Open IE browser. Click on the Tools menu at the top-right corner and then select Internet options.
In the Advanced tab click Reset.
In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, select Reset. Restart your browser to apply changes.
For Mozalla Firefox:
Open Firefox browser. Click the Menu icon at the top right and click on the Help option.
Then, selectTroubleshooting Information.
Find and click the Refresh Firefox button on the Troubleshooting Information page.
Click Refresh Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
Firefox will close to refresh itself. When finished, a window will list your imported information. Click Finish and Firefox will open.
For Google Chrome:
Open Chrome browser. Click the menu button in the top right corner of the browser window, and select Settings from the drop-down list.
Scrool to the bottom of the page, click Show advanced settings.
Click Reset settings button under the section Reset settings.
In the box that appears, click Reset.
Check Windows’s HOSTS file and DNS settings.
Click Start menu, and select Run. Put C:WINDOWSsystem32driversetc into the command box and press Enter. In the window that opens, look for a file called hosts, and open it using Notepad.
The hosts file must look the same as the image below. There should be just one line:127.0.0.1 localhost in Windows XP and 127.0.0.1 localhost ::1 in Windows Vista/7. If there are more, then remove them and apply changes.
Go to Start > Control Panel.
In the opened window, click Network and Internet.
Go to Network and Sharing Center.
Select Local Area Connection.
Select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IP V6) and click Properties.
Select Obtain DNS server address automatically and click OK.
After you finished the steps above, please restart your PC so as to make the change take effect.
To sum up, receiving “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scam popup often indicates an adware program on your PC. This adware can be downloaded and installed on your device secretly in various ways, such as bundling with freeware. The only way to permanently remove the scam popup is to clean the adware out of your PC.
However, it should be pointed out that the adware may not be completely removed simply in the manual way, since it may deep hide its related files and registry entries, and you may not be able to find and delete them completely. Without a complete removal of its core files, the adware will come back to your PC. Therefore, we highly recommend using an automatic tool to thoroughly detect and delete all components associated with this hateful adware.
To effectively remove “Your Computer Has Been Blocked” scam popup, please first download a professional anti-malware program on your PC! This tool is able to deal with all kinds of stubborn malware threats and won’t let you down. Just click the button below.
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