Tech support scams promoting suspicious toll free numbers are nothing new but yet they continue to affect and fool many users. One of the reasons for their success is that such scams always apply the name of Microsoft or another well-known company (like Dell) to achieve authenticity.
However authentic such scams may appear at first glance, calling the provided numbers is a very bad idea. One of the latest such scams involves the 888-793-9250 phone numbers, a fake BSOD screen and a Windows Defender Error code 0x80073afc. Continue reading to learn more about the scam and how to prevent it from appearing in the future.
|Name||Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc|
|Type||Fake Tech Support, Fake BSOD|
|Short Description||A pop-up is displayed prompting the user to call a fake tech support number.|
|Symptoms||An intrusive pop-up, a fake BSOD, unusual browser behavior.|
|Distribution Method||Via PUPs, installed by bundling, by visiting suspicious third-party sites.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc.|
888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error Code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Description
Once affected by this particular fake tech support scam, the user will witness the following message and a fake blue screen of death shortly after:
This is what the message reads:
Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
Error Code 0x800705b4 when Starting Windows Defender
Windows Defender Time Out Error code 0x8007005b4
Error code 0x800705b4 when trying to open Windows Defender
Windows health is CRITICAL!
Please Contact Help Desk: +1-866-261-2971 (Toll-Free)
Needless to say, any of the displayed information concerning Windows Defender is untrue. The displayed phone number is definitely not toll-free and will likely overcharge the user multiple times.
888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Distribution
In terms of distribution, tech support scams are not much different from ad-supported applications. As a matter of fact, such pop-ups prompting the user to call 88-793-9250 or a similar number are most likely generated by an ad-supported extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer.
Typically, such pop-ups don’t provide the option to be closed the normal way (via the X in the upper right corner). In addition, the pop-ups may be quite intrusive and may continue re-appearing. Even though such unusual behavior from your browser is definitely unpleasant, users shouldn’t panic. This behavior is a result of aggressive scareware tactics used by crooks to rush users into calling their fake tech support numbers.
Calling the 888-793-9250 will not solve any issues – you won’t be speaking to a Microsoft certified technician on the other side of the line but to a crook. The crook may try and trick you into giving away personal details, credit card data, etc.
Fraudster attempts generally include:
- Asking users for personal information.
- Obtaining financial credentials.
- Requesingt users to download actual malware on their computers.
- Charging users by the minute for the phone call under the pretext the call is “Toll-Free”.
- Subscribing the phone number of the user to an expensive and automatic SMS service.
888-793-9250 Windows Defender Error Code 0x80073afc Pop-Up Removal Options
To rid your system of this pop-up, you need to take unorthodox measures. First, you should stop the browser process by entering Task Manager and ending the browser as a task. Then, you may proceed with removing the actual program that is causing this pop-up via following our instructions.