“Microsoft license key has expired” Scam - Remove It
THREAT REMOVAL

“Microsoft license key has expired” Scam – Remove It

This article has been created in order to help explain what is the Microsoft License has expired tech support scam and how you can remove it from your computer effectively.

A new computer voice type of phone call and error page has been detected by researchers. The scam aims to trick victims into calling the phone number 1-888-756-2254, where Indian accented people explain that they are from Microsoft and victims must pay a lot of money for a new license or give them access to their computers remotely. If you have seen messages related to this scam, we recommend that you read this article. It will help you to understand what is causing it and how you can remove it effectively from your computer.

Threat Summary

Name“Microsoft license key has expired”
TypeFake Tech Support
Short DescriptionAims to convince users that their Windows License Key is expired.
SymptomsYour web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by “Microsoft license key has expired”

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss “Microsoft license key has expired”.

Your “Windows license key has expired” Distribution Methods

The main method used for these scams to be spread could be conducted as a result of files ad other types of objects that may have let you compromise your computer with adware or even worse – malware. One way via which victims can become compromised is by downloading a setup of free software and the adware may be embedded in one of the files installed alongside this setup. In addition to this, the adware may also be added as a result of bundling with such installers. This may mean that when you try to install a free third-party software, you may see “Add this program as a free extra” or similar installation prompts or steps. And it is very easy to miss such prompts since they are generally located in the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation modes in the setup you are trying to install.

Other methods may include you visiting a suspicious site that causes a redirect to such a page or if your computer becomes a virus victim as a result of you clicking on a malicious web link.

“Microsoft license key has expired” – More Information

Usually, as soon as your computer becomes compromised by the “Microsoft license key has expired” Trojan, you may begin to see suspicious activity on your computer. Since this may also turn out to be a lockscreen, you may be logged out of your Windows and begin to see the following screen:

In addition to this, another variant of the “Microsoft license key has expired” scam may also arrive on your computer via a web browser and display a tech support scam page that may lock your browser. Such images look like the one below and they also ask you to call the tech support number that is provided (1-888-756-2254).

If you see a lockscreen directly on your computer, however, the issue might be more serious and malicious files, belonging to this Trojan Horse may exist in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Temp%

As soon as the virus installs it’s payload files on your computer, it may heavily modify your Windows Registry Editor in order to replace your Windows Log-On screen’s components. This happens by obtaining administrative privileges and using them in order to interfere with the Windows Registry Editor, more importantly the following Windows sub-keys:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Creative\

In addition to this, the “Microsoft license key has expired” virus may perform other forms of activities on the computers of victims, such as:

  • Create mutexes on your PC.
  • Take screenshots to spy on you.
  • Obtain any saved passwords from your computer.
  • Read and Write permissions over your files.
  • Log your typed keystrokes.

In addition to this, the number that is provided on the “Microsoft license key has expired” scam message is reported to be similar to another tech support number 1-574-444-7543, which was reported to directly call random numbers:

Microsoft license key has expired. WHAT???????????
10-13-17

I just received a computer voice phone call saying my Microsoft license key has expired and soon my computer will stop working. To prevent that, I must call back and reference a number that was spoken by the computer voice. Here’s the phone number I was called on. 574-444-7543. I called that number back and got a real person (Indian accent). I told him I have never heard of such a thing and how do I know I’m actually talking to a Microsoft authorized person? He gave me some bull about, “how would they know my license had expired if they weren’t from Microsoft? I told him I would call back later and hung up. WHERE DO WE REPORT THESE CRIMINALS? WHO IS GOING AFTER THESE PEOPLE? HOW DO I FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT? WHAT IS MICROSOFT DOING ABOUT THESE THINGS? I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN AN EMAIL FROM MICROSOFT EITHER DESCRIBING SUCH A LICENSE ISSUE, NOR TELLING US THAT THIS IS A FRAUD AND DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

“Microsoft license key has expired” – How to Remove It

If you want to remove this scam from your computer we would strongly suggest that you read the instructions on this article thoroughly. They have been created with the main idea in order to best help you to delete most of the virus files on your computer either manually or automatically. If the manual remova methods do not seem to work, we strongly suggest that you remove the Microsoft license key has expired scam automatically as most security experts would also recommend. This can happen by scanning your computer with an advanced anti-malware software, that is created in order to automatically scan your computer, detect and remove any malicious files from it or any adware that may be causing the ”Microsoft license key has expired” scam messages to appear.

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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