TechSpace Knowledgebase
Search:     Advanced search
Browse by category:
Contact Us

Scammers Are Using a Fake Version of AdwCleaner to Trick People

Views: 229
Votes: 0
Posted: 20 Dec, 2016
by:
Updated: 28 Feb, 2017
by:

The latest trend in the awful Windows ecosystem is pretty ridiculous ó scammers have a fake version of the reputable AdwCleaner tool, which is a real tool for Windows experts. And this one pretends your computer is infected and tries to make you pay them to remove it.

AdwCleaner is indeed a real freeware tool, with a good reputation for removing spyware and adware. Itís not as well known as MalwareBytes because itís not all that user friendly, since it is meant for Windows experts rather than regular users. And the scammers have tried to mimic the interface, stealing the logo, and even ripping out the icon (badly) for their fake version.

Fake AdwCleaner is Being Distributed Through Adware Infections

The ironic thing is that this is getting on peopleís PCs that are already infected with adware or spyware of some type, which then keep popping up windows to a page that looks like this oneÖ which tells you that adware is detected. Which is surprisingly accurate, although the fake app isnít going to remove that adware.

Malware alerting you about malware never has your best interest in mind.

Once you click through that dialog, itíll give you a scary message like this, telling you to download AdwCleaner. Since youíve probably heard your geeky friends talking about AdwCleaner, a normal user might be tempted to download it.

This is not the AdwCleaner you are looking for.

If you make the mistake of downloading and running this fake AdwCleaner, youíll be quickly presented with a window that looks an awful lot like the real thing.

The fake version is actually a bit more user-friendly.

Once the fake one finishes scanning, itíll present you with a dialog saying your PC is completely infected with spyware and browser hijackers, and then itíll offer to remove it, as long as you pay $59.99 to them through Paypal. And, of course, that fire sale ends tomorrow.

Itís important to note here that the real AdwCleaner is completely free. You can download it from BleepingComputer.

That seems expensive, even for malware.

Hopefully somebody at PayPal can suspend the account by Mardel Innovations, because they are clearly a bunch of scammers.

Follow the money. Thatís what the government should be doing.

The ironic thing is that the real AdwCleaner doesnít actually detect this fake version at this point.

Removing the Fake AdwCleaner From Your PC

Freudian slip?

Removing this fake version of AdwCleaner is luckily really easy. Right-click on the icon in the Taskbar and click Close Window, making sure to notice that it actually admits that it is a piece of adware called AdwareBooC. Guess they forgot to change that.

Go delete the downloaded file from whatever folder you saved it to.

Now to stop it showing up at startup, use WIN + R to open up a Run dialog, type in msconfig and hit the enter key. Once System Configuration is open, switch over to the Startup tab, find the Adware line, and uncheck it. Notice the path, which currently is in our local appdata folder.

From what we can tell, the path might end up being random.

If you donít have msconfig because you are using Windows 8, you can also use Autoruns from SysInternals (which is part of Microsoft). Find the startup entry in the Logon tab and delete it.

SysInternals tools are amazing. Read our full guide.

Now open up Windows Explorer and type %localappdata% into the location bar.

You can also use %appdata% to open the Appdata\Roaming folder

You should see the same file that is loading at startup. Delete it.

At this point your PC should be free of the fake AdwCleaner. But it isnít free of viruses and malware, because you probably got infected with this thing because your PC is infected with other malware.

Scan Using MalwareBytes to Remove Other Spyware and Adware

The best bet for cleaning up spyware and malware is Malwarebytes. You might ask yourself why you wouldnít just use your regular antivirus product, but the fact is that antivirus just doesnít detect spyware very often. Itís only useful for viruses that try to destroy your PC, which are few and far between at this point. Almost all of the malware out there is trying to spy on you, redirect your browsing, and insert more ads into pages that youíre viewing. Itís all about the money.

So the only really good product on the market that will find and remove spyware, adware, and other malware is Malwarebytes. Luckily they have a free version that will let you clean up and remove everything ó if you want to pay for the full version that has active protection to prevent these things from happening, thatís fine too.

Once youíve downloaded and installed it, youíll be prompted to run a scan, so click that big green Scan Now button.

After it completes scanning, itíll find a big huge list of things to remove. Click the Apply Actions button to actually remove all the malware.

Youíll want to reboot your computer to make sure that everything is fully cleaned up. If anything seems to come back, run Malwarebytes again, remove anything found, and then reboot again.

Others in this Category
document How to Clear Your Computer’s CMOS to Reset BIOS Settings
document Install Hyper-V and create a virtual machine
document Configure DHCP Using Policy-based Assignment
document What Are Domains and Forests?
document Phoenix ISA/MCA/EISA BIOS Beep Codes
document How to make a self extracting archive that runs your setup.exe with 7zip -sfx switch
document Configuring a Syslog Agent in Windows Server 2012
document Configuring PHP Development Environment in Windows
document Installing and Configuring target iSCSI server on Windows Server 2012
document How To Make UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 8
document TCP/IP Command-line
document How to set up an Internet email account in Outlook 2013 or 2016
document Enable Hyper-V on Windows 8.1
document Quickly Turn ON/OFF Windows Firewall Using Command Line
document How to List All of the Windows and Software Updates Applied to a Computer
document How to Repair a Windows 7 System with an Installation Disc
document How to Create Bootable USB from a Windows ISO
document How to Create Bootable USB from an IMG File
document 20 Terminal shortcuts developers need to know
document How to Update Your BIOS
document Getting Started With Lync Mobile 2010 For Android Devices
document "Attachment size exceeds the allowable limit" error when you add a large attachment to an email message in Outlook
document How do I renew the IP address for my computer ?
document Is your Windows 10 PC slowing you down, and the SFC utility is unable to fix the problem? Then use DISM to repair the Windows image to enable SFC to do its job.
document How to make a full backup of a Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 PC
document How to create a System Restore Point in Windows 10 with a simple double-click
document How to properly remove the Windows.old folder on Windows 10
document How control your Windows 10 PC or phone with another computer with the Connect app
document How to use Bing images within Office and Edge on Windows 10 PC.
document How to fix taskbar search not working in Windows 10
document How to disable or uninstall OneDrive on Windows 10 PC
document How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change
document How to change the system language across your whole Windows 10 PC
document Use Windows Defender Offline to remove tough viruses from your Windows 10 PC
document 16 Essential keyboard shortcuts everyone should know using Continuum for phones
document How to disable Action Center in Windows 10
document How to use Storage Spaces in Windows 10
document How to generate a Battery Report in Windows 10.
document HOW TO CONTROL YOUR PRIVACY IN CHROMEBOOKS VS. WINDOWS 10
document Create Fake File in Window PC in Any Size and Any Format
document INCREASE BATTERY LIFE OF LAPTOP EASILY
document How to perform an image backup in Windows 8.1 or 10
document Block Windows 10 Upgrade
document Chrome reset for adware issues
document Revert from Windows 10 back to previous operating system
document Windows 7 Guide to using Microsoft Security Essentials
document Force Dragon Naturally Speaking to load a particular user profile
document Texthelp Read and Write Gold Prediction returns strange results or receives double letters
document Connect Powershell to your Windows Azure subscription
document How to set up desktop background image rotation in Windows 8
document How to adjust your Laptops screen brightness in Windows 8/8.1
document Microsoft Security Essential Install, Windows 7
document Set the default Microsoft Word template back to a blank document
document Schedule Windows to shutdown or restart after a time limit
document 20 Windows 8 and 8.1 shortcuts
document Bypass Windows 8 and 8.1 login screen
document All the Ways You Can Still Get Windows 10 for Free
document The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support
document How to Stop Skype from Running in the Background on Windows 10
document How to Upgrade to a Larger Hard Drive Without Reinstalling Windows
document How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Windows
document How to Use OneDrive as Your Default Save Location on Windows 8.1
document How To Fix a Blue Screen of Death
document How To Fix Comdlg32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Fm20.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Gdi32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Libxml2.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Mfc42.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Mfc90.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcp71.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcp80.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcr70.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msxml6.dll Errors
document How to Fix Ole32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Oleaut32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Shell32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Sqlite3.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Ssleay32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix STOP 0x00000005 Errors
document How To Fix STOP 0x0000007B Errors
document Keep the Windows 10 Taskbar Visible While Using the On-Screen Keyboard
document EdgeDeflector Forces Cortana to Use Your Default Web Browser
document How to Move the Clock to Right-Most Corner on the Taskbar in Windows 10
document Add Control Panel (Or Any Program) To Your Right-Click Menu With a Registry Tweak
document Six Keyboard Shortcuts Every Computer User Should Know
document How to Upgrade Your Computer's Login Screen
document How to Use Windows 8's New File History Backup (aka Time Machine for Windows)
document What Kind of Maintenance Do I Need to Do on My Windows PC?
document How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and Tweaks
document How to disable Microsoft Windows 10 keylogger (enabled by default)
document How to Use the Cortana Voice Assistant in Windows 10
document How to Map a Network Drive in Windows 10
document How to Sync Your iPhone with Windows 10
document How to turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10
document How to Change a NetBIOS Name
document How to turn off Windows Automatic Updates in Windows 8/8.1
document How To Disable Updates in Windows 7
document How to Run Disk Cleanup on a Windows 7 Computer
document How to Check If Windows 10 Is Activated or Not
document How to Check CPU Speed
document How to Create a Shortcut to Windows Update in Windows 10
document How to Enter the BIOS Setup Utility or Boot Menu with windows
document How to Install Drivers
document How to Check the Application Event Log for Errors
document How to Optimize Windows 10 Performance by tweaking Visual Effects
document How to Setting Password Protected Print Jobs
document How to Change User Account Name in Windows 10
document How to Set Up and Use Remote Desktop for Windows 10
document How to Find Drivers for Devices Using a Hardware ID
document How to Changing BIOS mode from UEFI to Legacy
document How to Speed Up Windows 10
document How to Outlook 2010 - Rebuild the index file
document How To Fix Outlook 2016 Search Problems
document How to Release and renew IP address
document How to HP Printers - USB Printer Setup (Windows)
document How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 7
document How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 8 and 8.1
document How to Use Simple IF Statements in Excel
document Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need Two Program Files Folders?



RSS