How To Remove Scareware?

Scareware, or malware designed to frighten and intimidate computer users into paying money for a bogus “fix,” has been around since the 1990s.

The proliferation of scareware in recent years can be attributed to two factors: The increasing sophistication of hackers who create it; and the ever-growing global economy, which demands more computers.

Scareware comes in many forms, but all are based on a straightforward idea: To trick you into believing your computer is infected with viruses, worms, spyware, or other threats so that you’ll pay them money for protection when you don’t need it. This article will explain how these types of software work – their various tactics – so you can protect yourself against them.

What Is Scareware, And Why Does It Exist?

Scareware is a type of malware designed to scare the user into buying or downloading something they don’t need or want by simulating an expensive infection. It is typically installed when the user clicks on an attachment in an email (often containing a virus) or visits a website that distributes it without realizing it. 

The software may be disguised as legitimate antivirus software, but once installed, it takes over the machine and displays messages that say your computer has been infected with viruses, spyware, or adware. It will then warn users that they need to pay to remove the viruses and often ask for credit card information. 

If you give your credit card number, it may just be used by the scammers as a method of payment to purchase and distribute more scareware! It is best not to attempt to remove any software it displays as this could increase its hold on the computer, but there are instructions below to help you remove it.

How To Identify If You Have Been Infected With Scareware?

It is common for people to find it challenging to identify if they have been infected with scareware. This is because scareware can be installed on your computer without you even noticing. You may be wondering how the infection took place, but it could have happened through various methods.

For example, hackers may have sent you an email that looked legitimate, but when you opened the attachment, the virus was downloaded without your knowledge. Another example would be downloading something from a torrent website. Again, it is probably best for you to make sure that your computer has scareware on it if you did not initiate the download yourself because this means that someone else hacked your device and installed the virus. But how do you know if you have been infected? Although there are no specific symptoms of infection, there are some ways you can tell if you have been hacked.

How To Remove Scareware From Your Device?

1. Reboot the computer.

2. Restart the screen-saver with Ctrl+Alt+Delete or if you are on Windows 8, press Windows+Space to return to the home screen, then press the power button to shut the device off.

3. Access your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

4. Select “processes” and look for any unusual entries. One of these may be “svchost” which malware uses to execute itself on your machine.

5. Go to C:\Windows\system32 and delete any file that is named svchostexe*.exe or svchost*.dll

6. Go into %AppData%

7. Delete any suspicious files that are in this directory

8. Reboot the computer again, and you should be back to normal.

9. If, after restarting, there are still problems with your machine, then you may need to do a system restore, or if the infection is very severe, reformat your hard drive.

You may need to do a system restore, which you can learn about how to use System Restore in Windows 8.

Common Misconceptions About How To Get Rid Of Malware On A Computer

There are many misconceptions about what leads to the installation of malware on a PC. One common misconception is that it is necessary to open an email attachment or click off a pop-up ad for the virus to enter your machine. In reality, this is not always the case and can happen even after you’ve been surfing websites, opening files, and browsing around your hard drive. 

Malware can be installed without any user interaction at all. The best way to prevent malware from entering your device is to keep it updated and run a good antivirus program. Also, never open attachments that come from unknown sources.


Scareware is a type of malware that tricks computer users into clicking on malicious links by displaying false warnings about their device, such as fake antivirus notifications. These alerts will often require the user to install an update or virus removal tool to fix it and restore functionality to normal. 

Scareware can be difficult for even tech-savvy people to spot because they mimic real security messages from your operating system vendor, like Microsoft Windows. 

If you have been infected with scareware, there are many easy steps you can take right now at home without needing any specialized knowledge or expensive software:  

  • Update your anti-virus protection regularly (at least once per week). 
  • Back up all important data before installing new programs onto your PC.

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