If you haven’t already been a target of this scam then beware! The Scam tends to trick you to pay $25 for fake security software according to ZDnet.
The way they do is pretty amazing to look at. There is those dreaded yet phony blue screen of death messages. Furthermore, there is also a fake “Troubleshooter for Windows” application. The application lures you by supposedly selling a similar by name Microsoft product, “Windows Defender Essentials.”
The reason why many people might fall into this trap is that of the major similarity between the counterfeit product and Microsoft’s very own Security Essentials and Windows Defender.
According to Malwarebytes researcher Pieter Arntz, there had been speculations on to how the application is spreading. They came to a conclusion that the app is being distributed through a cracked software installer.
The app doesn’t really do what its supposed to do by its name. Instead of troubleshooting it actually states that the “Windows has encountered an unexpected error”. Furthermore, on top of that, there is also a message stating that the computer is “missing .dll registry files resulting in the computer failure.” By trapping the user now, it further sends out a message that it would be better for the user to choose “next” to perform diagnosis and troubleshooting.
Now that a user is already gone through this much, it goes even further to print out a screen listing fake errors, and then comments that the troubleshooter was unable to fix the issue.
To further trap its victim, the scam then offers another choice to users. The users are given an option of choosing a “Recommended” link to try and fix those problems. The link redirects to a fake “Buy Windows Defender Essentials” website. Now after going on the site, the user is asked to transfer $25 to the scammer’s PayPal account. Otherwise, they won’t be able to get the “phony” fix.
After the transfer is complete, a browser-based screen locker goes away. According to Microsoft, “We can confirm this is a scam, and we recommend users follow advice on how to protect themselves against similar tech support scams in our April 3 and November 20 security blogs.”
According to the famous tech support site Bleeping Computer, there is a way of tricking the scam application into thinking you have already paid. To do that, once you reach the PayPal purchase screen, just hit Ctrl+O to open a dialogue box, and then enter http://hitechnovation.com/thankyou.txt. This ensures that the program shuts down.
If you are interested in further details about the removal instructions for the troubleshooter, then you can do so on the Malware-Bytes website.