“Virus Support Alert” can look like an alarming warning about the danger that your computer is in, even saying that the computer is “BLOCKED”. In reality, this is nothing more than a tech support scam trying to prey on people’s concern about their cybersecurity. “Virus Support Alert” has nothing do with Microsoft, or the state of your computer. The warning is fake and only there to get people to call the provided phone number to lure them deeper into the scam.
Virus Support Alert Scam quicklinks
- How to avoid tech support scams
- How dangerous are fake warnings?
- How to remove “Virus Support Alert”
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to remove "Virus Support Alert" using Windows Control Panel
- How to remove "Virus Support Alert" from macOS
+1-866-391-4111 is the phone used by “Virus Support Alert”, but all the scams are very similar, even if they use different contacts: YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED, Microsoft Error: Unknown System Failure, and Error #268D3 all behave very similarly and are only a few examples of fake security warnings targeting Windows users.
Microsoft is aware of the problem, and even has helped arrest some Microsoft support impersonators. But “Virus Support Alert” and its clones are still floating around the Web, and new versions are still being released.
How to avoid tech support scams
If you are seeing the “Virus Support Alert” popup regularly, it could be that an adware program or a browser hijacker is redirecting you to “Virus Support Alert”. But these “warnings” can also be encountered without the help of adware; possibly while you’re on a website that has poor quality ads, “Virus Support Alert” pops up, taking up the whole screen and reading out the text through your speakers. If this happens, stay calm. If you don’t interact with the ad and don’t call the provided number or type in your password, your computer will be fine.
There are a few red flags that can tell you that a security warning is fake.
- Alarmist: scams try to stress and scare people. Normal antivirus programs are calm when they tell you that they found a potential threat, and they certainly don’t read out the warning text.
- Originates on the browser: warnings like this one can easily be faked, even created from scratch. In fact, if you have an html file called “This computer is BLOCKED.html” (some versions of this scam download themselves on people’s computers), the whole warning can fit in there and viewed by anyone, regardless of the state of their computer.
- Poor English: Windows runs their English through experts to make sure to not leave any errors, and their vocabulary is rigid and technical. “Virus Support Alert”, on the other hand, calls your computer “window” and has minor grammar errors.
- Includes a phone number in the warning: if you go to Microsoft’s websites, you might find ways to contact them, but Windows warnings never include phone numbers. “Virus Support Alert”, on the other hand, has the phone number clearly visible.
- Requires people to input their password: if a website requests you to register for seemingly no reason, it’s good to pause and think about the circumstances. Does it make sense for you to type in your password right now? Or could this be a phishing scam?
How dangerous are fake warnings?
Tech support scams like “Virus Support Alert” can trick people to spend hundreds of dollars for fake antivirus protection. The people behind “Virus Support Alert” convince their victims to give them access to the computer, where the scammers are able to see all the files and install whatever programs they want, including spyware — a type of virus that can collect your information, including passwords. This is very concerning considering that a lot of people do banking online. Banking Trojans, for example, are already used in hacking people’s bank accounts. Besides that, if your credit card information is exposed to scammers, like if you bought anything from them, they could later charge you without authorisation.
Fake warnings still cost people relevant, as scammers online continuously work to promote their scams. If you contacted the scammers and gave them access to your computer, you’ll need to act quickly: change your passwords, uninstall whatever applications they installed, and scan your computer thoroughly. If you gave your credit card information to the scammers, you might want to contact your bank.
How to remove “Virus Support Alert”
If you are always directed to websites like it, maybe you have adware. This could be a program on your computer, or a browser hijacker. A browser hijacker would only affect one browser, but adware might affect all of them.
Whatever the culprit is, you can probably remove them manually. If the problem persists, or if you don’t know which of your programs is malicious, use an antivirus program to scan your computer, for example, Spyhunter. It can be difficult to know which application on your computer is malicious because some of them disguise as important programs, but an antivirus program will look beyond the name and identify not only viruses, but also potentially unwanted applications which are known for unethical behaviour. For that, it’s worth keeping your antivirus program up-to-date and allowing it to scan your computer regularly.
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to remove "Virus Support Alert" using Windows Control PanelMany hijackers and adware like "Virus Support Alert" Scam install some of their components as regular Windows programs as well as additional software. This part of malware can be uninstalled from the Control Panel. To access it, do the following.
- Start→Control Panel (older Windows) or press Windows Key→Search and enter Control Panel and then press Enter (Windows 8, Windows 10).
- Choose Uninstall Program (if you don't see it, click in the upper right next to "View by" and select Category).
- Go through the list of programs and select entries related to "Virus Support Alert" . You can click on "Name" or "Installed On" to reorder your programs and make "Virus Support Alert" Scam easier to find.
- Click the Uninstall button. If you're asked if you really want to remove the program, click Yes.
- In many cases anti-malware programs are better at detecting related parasites, thus I recommend installing Spyhunter to identify other programs that might be a part of this infection.
How to remove "Virus Support Alert" from macOSDelete "Virus Support Alert" Scam from your applications.
- Open Finder.
- In the menu bar, click Go.
- Select Applications from the dropdown.
- Find the "Virus Support Alert" app.
- Select it and right-click it (or hold the Ctrl and click the left mouse button).
- In the dropdown, click Move to Bin/Trash. You might be asked to provide your login password.
TopHow To remove "Virus Support Alert" Scam from Google Chrome:
- Click on the 3 horizontal lines icon on a browser toolbar and Select More Tools→Extensions
- Select all malicious extensions and delete them.
- Click on the 3 horizontal lines icon on a browser toolbar and Select Settings
- Select Manage Search engines
- Remove unnecessary search engines from the list
- Go back to settings. On Startup choose Open blank page (you can remove undesired pages from the set pages link too).
- If your homepage was changed, click on Chrome menu on the top right corner, select Settings. Select Open a specific page or set of pages and click on Set pages.
- Delete malicious search websites at a new Startup pages window by clicking “X” next to them.
(Optional) Reset your browser’s settings
If you are still experiencing any issues related to "Virus Support Alert" Scam, reset the settings of your browser to its default settings.
- Click on a Chrome’s menu button (three horizontal lines) and select Settings.
- Scroll to the end of the page and click on theReset browser settings button.
- Click on the Reset button on the confirmation box.
If you cannot reset your browser settings and the problem persists, scan your system with an anti-malware program.
How To remove "Virus Support Alert" Scam from Firefox:Top
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla window and select the “Add-ons” icon (Or press Ctrl+Shift+A on your keyboard).
- Go through Extensions and Addons list, remove everything "Virus Support Alert" Scam related and items you do not recognise. If you do not know the extension and it is not made by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe then you probably do not need it.
- If your homepage was changed, click on the Firefox menu in the top right corner, select Options → General. Enter a preferable URL to the homepage field and click Restore to Default.
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla Firefox window. Click on the Help button.
- ChooseTroubleshooting Information on the Help menu.
- Click on theReset Firefox button.
- Click on the Reset Firefox button on the confirmation box. Mozilla Firefox will close and change the settings to default.
How to remove "Virus Support Alert" Scam from Microsoft Edge:Top
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Microsoft Edge window. Select “Extensions”.
- Select all malicious extensions and delete them.
- Click on the three-dot menu on the browser toolbar and Select Settings
- Select Privacy and Services and scroll down. Press on Address bar.
- Choose Manage search engines.
- Remove unnecessary search engines from the list: open the three-dot menu and choose Remove.
- Go back to Settings. Open On start-up.
- Delete malicious search websites at Open specific page or pages by opening the three-dot menu and clicking Delete.
- Click on Edge's menu button and select Settings. Click on the Reset Settings button on the left.
- Press the Restore settings to their default values option.
- Click on the Reset button on the confirmation box.
How to remove "Virus Support Alert" Scam from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall "Virus Support Alert" and other suspicious extensions.
- If your homepage was changed, click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences and choose General tab. Enter preferable URL to the homepage field.
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Reset Safari…
- Select which options you want to reset (usually all of them come preselected) and click on the Reset button.