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 malware|
|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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc
Step 2: Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc will be removed.
Eliminate Windows Defender Error Code: 0x80073afc from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.