The “Security Center Error #0x268d3” Tech Support Scam

The “Security Center Error #0x268d3” page is a browser-based scam that displays fake error messages to trick you into calling a Tech Support Scam phone number.

Image: Security Center Error #0x268d3 - Tech Support Scam

What is Security Center Error #0x268d3 alert?

The “Security Center Error #0x268d3” fake error message is a scam that pretends to be from Microsoft to trick you into thinking that your computer has crashed or that a virus has been detected. It does this to try and scare you into calling one of the listed numbers to receive support.
If you call these phone numbers, scammers will ask you to install a program that gives them remote access to your computer. Using remote access, these experienced scammers rely on confidence tricks typically involving utilities built into Windows (eg. Event Viewer) to gain your trust and trick you into paying for “support” services or even steal credit card account information.

The “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam will put your browser on full-screen mode and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, essentially locking your browser. If this happens, you can use the Windows Task Manager to close your browser and stop this pop-up.

  1. Open the “Task Manager” by right-clicking the taskbar and then selecting Task Manager. You can also open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and then select Task Manager.
    Start Windows Task Manager
  2. Scroll through the list until you see your web browser’s process and left-click on it once so it becomes highlighted. Once you have selected the browser’s process, click on the End Task button as shown in the image below.
    Step2: Close your browser process by clicking on End Task
  3. Your browser window should now be closed. The next time you open your browser, do not allow the browser to open the last opened page.

This is the fake error message that the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” page will display:

Security Center Error #0x268d3

Trojan Spyware Alert – Error Code: #0x268d3
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.

Contact Windows Support:
Threat Detected – Trojan Spyware
App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

Run Anyway Back to Safety
Windows Defender – Security Warning

** ACCESS TO THIS PC HAS BEEN BLOCKED FOR SECURITY REASONS **

Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Trojan Spyware. The following data has been compromised.

> Email Credentials
> Banking Passwords
> Facebook Login
> Pictures & Documents

Windows Defender Scan has found potentially unwanted Adware on this device that can steal your passwords, online identity, financial information, personal files, pictures or documents.

You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone.

Call Microsoft Support immediately to report this threat, prevent identity theft and unlock access to this device.

Closing this window will put your personal information at risk and lead to a suspension of your Windows Registration.

As you can imagine, the above alert is not real and its purpose is to scare you into allowing the scammer remote access to your computer. If your browser has been redirected to the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam, we recommend closing the page and do not call the listed phone number.

Why am I seeing the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” pop-up ads?

You are seeing the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam because your device is infected with malware, spam notification ads, or a site you have visited has redirected your browser.

Less than reputable sites can display malicious ads that redirect your browser to the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam to generate advertising revenue. If this happens, you can close the page and install an ad blocker like AdGuard to block the malicious ads. However, if you are continuously seeing pop-ups like the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam, then your computer might be infected with a malicious program and you need to scan your device for adware and remove it.

Here are a few typical signs that you have a malicious program installed on your computer:

  • Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
  • Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
  • Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
  • Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.

For the most part, if you see a browser-based tech support scam, then you can simply close the browser and start it again. On the other hand, if you are continuously seeing scams like the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” scam, then you should scan your computer for adware and remove anything that is found.

How to Remove “Security Center Error #0x268d3” Fake Alerts

The below instructions are for Windows users, however, we also have an Android Guide and a Mac Guide which should help clean up your device.

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy-to-understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubts at any point, stop and ask for our assistance.

To remove “Security Center Error #0x268d3” fake alerts from Windows, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Use Malwarebytes to remove “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam

In this first step, we will install Malwarebytes to scan and remove the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” malicious files and registry keys from your computer.

Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Windows.

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on MBSetup installer to install Malwarebytes
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the Malwarebytes installation.
    Windows asking for permission to run the Malwarebytes installer

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you on what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
    Malwarebytes setup: Click on Personal Computer step 1

    On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
    Malwarebytes Setup: Click on Install

    When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.

  4. Select “Use Malwarebytes Free”.

    After installing Malwarebytes, you’ll be prompted to select between the Free and the Premium version. The Malwarebytes Premium edition includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and ransomware protection; however, we will use the Free version to clean up the computer.
    Click on “Use Malwarebytes Free“.
    Click on Use Malwarebytes Free to continue with the install

  5. Click on “Scan”.

    To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
    Click on Scan button for Security Center Error #0x268d3

  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will scan your computer for malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning for Security Center Error #0x268d3 virus

  7. Click on “Quarantine”.

    When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
    Review the malicious programs and click on Quarantine to remove Security Center Error #0x268d3

  8. Restart computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes requesting to restart computer to complete the Security Center Error #0x268d3 removal process
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.


STEP 2: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for “Security Center Error #0x268d3” and other malware

In this next step, we will scan the computer with HitmanPro to ensure that no other malicious programs are installed on your device.

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to its clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.

Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30-days trial to enable the cleanup.

  1. Download HitmanPro.

    You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.

    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Install HitmanPro.

    When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Double-click on the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Windows asking for permissions to run the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

    When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.

    Click Next to install HitmanPro

    HitmanPro final installer screen

  4. Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.

    HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro while scanning for Security Center Error #0x268d3 malware

  5. Click on “Next”.

    When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove adware and browser hijackers.
    HitmanPro scan summary. Click Next to remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 browser redirect

  6. Click on “Activate free license”.

    Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
    Activate the free HitmanPro license keyEnter your email to complete the HitmanPro activation - Help Guide


STEP 3: Use AdwCleaner to remove malicious browser policies

In this third step, we will use AdwCleaner to remove the malicious browser policies that were set by browser hijackers on your computer and delete malicious browser extensions.

AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner that can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find. This on-demand scanner includes a lot of tools that can be used to fix the side effects of browser hijackers.

  1. Download AdwCleaner.

    You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.

    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
  2. Double-click on the setup file.

    Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_x.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    AdwCleaner Setup File
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    AdwCleaner and Windows User Account Control Pop-up

  3. Enable “Reset Chrome policies” to remove malicious browser policies.

    When AdwCleaner starts, on the left side of the window, click on “Settings” and then enable “Reset Chrome policies“.
    Enable Reset Chrome policies to remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 malware

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    On the left side of the window, click on “Dashboard” and then click “Scan Now” to perform a system scan.
    AdwCleaner Scan Now button

  5. Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to complete.

    AdwCleaner will now scan your computer for the malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes.
    AdwCleaner Scanning for Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam and other malicious programs

  6. Click on “Clean & Repair”.

    When AdwCleaner has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button to remove the malicious programs from your computer.
    Click Clean to remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam

  7. Click on “Clean & Restart Now”

    When the malware removal process is complete, AdwCleaner may need to restart your device. Click on the “Clean & Restart Now” button to finish the removal process.
    Click Clean & Restart Now to remove viruses

    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close AdwCleaner and continue with the rest of the next step from this guide.


STEP 4: Remove malicious browser extension

In this final step, we will remove any malicious extensions from your browser and change to default any settings that might have been changed by malware.

ChromeFirefoxMicrosoft EdgeInternet Explorer

Remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam from Google Chrome

To remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 from Google Chrome, we will remove the browser extension and then check the settings.

  1. Remove malicious browser extension.

    In the top right corner, click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three vertical dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “More tools“, then click on “Extensions“.

    Go to Extensions and remove Security Center Error #0x268d3

    The “Extensions” screen will be displayed with a list of all the extensions installed on Chrome. Scroll through the list and search for unknown browser extensions, and then click on “Remove” to remove them.

    Remove malicious browser extensions from Chrome

  2. Change the search engine to Google.

    In the top right corner, click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three vertical dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.
    Open the Settings menu

    On the left side of the window, click on “Search engine“, then click “Manage search engines…“. In the opened list, find Google Search, click the three vertical dots and select “Make default“.”.

    Find browser hijacker and remove it as default search engine

  3. Check the homepage and new tab settings.

    In the top right corner, click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three vertical dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.
    Open the Settings menu

    In the “On startup” section, disable any unkwnon extension, then select “Open the New Tab page” as your preferred setting.
    Remove browser hijacker from startup page

If your browser is still being redirected to Security Center Error #0x268d3 or any other unwanted site after you’ve performed the above steps, we strongly recommend resetting Google Chrome to its default settings. To do this, type “chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings” in your browser URL bar, then click on “Reset settings“.

Remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam from Firefox

To remove the Security Center Error #0x268d3 redirect from Firefox we will reset the browser settings to its default. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history, and open tabs.

  1. Click the menu icon, then click on “Help”.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help button

  2. Click “Troubleshooting Information”.

    From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.
    Click on Troubleshooting Information button

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Click on the Refresh Firefox button

  4. Confirm.

    To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Click again on Refresh Firefox

  5. Click “Finish”.

    Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on “Finish“.

    Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam from Microsoft Edge

To remove the Security Center Error #0x268d3 redirect from Microsoft Edge we will reset the browser settings to their default. This will reset your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your favorites, history, and saved passwords will not be cleared.

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    In the top right corner, click on Microsoft Edge’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.”.
    Open the Settings menu

  2. Click on “Reset Settings”.

    On the left side of the window, click on “Reset Settings”.
    Click Reset Settings option

  3. Click on “Restore settings to their default values”.

    In the main window, click on “Restore settings to their default values”.
    Click on Restore settings to their default values option

  4. Click “Reset”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset” button.
    Click Reset to reset your browser

Remove Security Center Error #0x268d3 tech support scam from Internet Explorer

To remove the Security Center Error #0x268d3 redirect from Internet Explorer we will reset the browser settings to its default. You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your computer.

  1. Go to “Internet Options”.

    Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.

  2. Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”

    In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.

  3. Click on “Reset”.

    In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” checkbox, then click on the “Reset” button.

  4. Click on “Close”.

    When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
    Close your browser and then you can open Internet Explorer again.


Your computer should now be free of the “Security Center Error #0x268d3” tech support scam. If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing Malwarebytes Premium to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Protect your device from viruses

Here are some basic security tips that will help you avoid malware:

  1. Install updates.

    Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Whenever an update is released for your device, download and install it right away. These updates often include security fixes, vulnerability patches, and other necessary maintenance.

  2. Be careful when installing programs and apps.

    Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third-party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next."

  3. Don't use keygens and cracks.

    Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

  4. Install an ad blocker.

    Use a browser-based content blocker, like AdGuard. Content blockers help stop malicious ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

  5. Be careful what you download.

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.

  6. Be alert for people trying to trick you.

    Whether it's your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it's easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn't make messages more trustworthy.

  7. Back-up your data

    Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. You can do this manually on an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup software. This is also the best way to counter ransomware. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

  8. Secure your device.

    Keeping all the above tips in mind will keep you well on your guard, and installing a good antivirus will monitor your files for unusual changes and other warning signs. Whether you use a PC, a Mac, or a mobile device, Malwarebytes Premium is the strongest protection ever. Malwarebytes sits beside your traditional antivirus, filling in any gaps in its defenses, and providing extra protection against sneakier security threats.

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