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Have a Windows 7 unit with a red patterned lock screen,

Customer Question
Have a Windows 7...

Have a Windows 7 unit with a red patterned lock screen, stating I have a virus etc. It gives(###) ###-####as a Microsoft Security phone # to get the problem taken care of. Is this a valid #, or a step in getting malware on that computer?

Technician's Assistant: Just to clarify, what's the exact model of your computer? And what operating system are you running?

It's an Acer E1-731-2402 laptop running Windows 7

Technician's Assistant: What's the model of your Acer?

Have a red screen that says computer is locked (not this one) and a message to c all Microsoft Security at(###) ###-#### Can you tell me if that is a Microsoft Security #. I don't want to call if it is not. It is an Acer laptp running Windows 7.

Technician's Assistant: When did you purchase your Acer? What troubleshooting have you tried?

I have tried none as my initial attempt to delete an unrelated item would not work. The computer was a refurbished unit purchased from Acer around the time Windows 10 was in beta release.

Technician's Assistant: Anything else you want the Computer Expert to know before I connect you?

Is the phone # a valid Microsoft Security #?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Computer
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/21/2017
Tech Support Specialist: ChrisC, Computer Enthusiast replied 8 months ago
ChrisC
ChrisC, Computer Enthusiast
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 2,542
Experience: Over 15 years experience as a computer technician.
Verified

Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'll be happy to help you with this!

These pop-up messages are NOT legitimate. This is a scam that is going around right now where you will encounter a message saying that your computer has been hacked or you have a virus or something along those lines and that you need to call a number to have the problem fixed. The whole thing just a ploy to get money from you.

The way it works is that small tech companies will pay third-party advertisers to insert their phone numbers into these pop up messages. So what you're actually seeing is a carefully crafted advertisement. If you called the number you'd talk to someone (probably with a foreign accent) who will ask to connect to your computer and then will try to sell you on some kind of support services you don't actually need.

Sometimes these companies will claim to be Microsoft or HP or some other well known company. This is always a lie. Microsoft has released a statement saying they never contact customers directly about computer issues and that all contact must first be initiated by the customer.

If you receive these messages in the future, simply close them out.

You should be able to close the messages out by following these steps:

1. Hold Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard and then select Task Manager from the menu that comes up.

2. In the list of running programs, find the name of your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, whatever you use), click on it to highlight it, and then click the End Task button in the bottom right corner.

That should close the message out 99% of the time.

If it won't let you close it out, then you can just hold down the power button on your computer for 5 to 10 seconds to do a hard shutdown. Once you restart your computer the message should be gone.

If you have any other questions on this, just let me know and I'll be happy to answer them for you.

NOTE: If you have no further questions, please use the rating box at the top of the page to rate the answer at least 3 STARS/OK SERVICE or better so that I receive credit for assisting you.

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