Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of experience to know whether you’re being scammed online or not. If you’re ever using Windows 10 and begin to hear a voice coming through your speakers about an apparent “Microsoft Spyware alert” there’s a good chance you’re going to know it’s fake because, well, Microsoft would never do such a thing.

Should Windows ever have a problem—and we know its an operating system that, over the years, has not been without its issues—Microsoft has never been one to send off the sirens and alarm warning bells to try to intimidate you as best it could, nor would it ever want to try to not keep you as calm as possible. Usually, you’d expect Microsoft to take the opposite approach: barely say a word about a potentially big issue you might be having.

Something that would like to try to scare you and get you jumping out of your seat, however, is adware: in large part because it’s deliberately targetting people who don’t know a whole lot about computers. If it can just get a small portion of that know-nothing-about-computers population panicked, they just might then go to do something about it, and that’s what you’re going to get the adware on your computer.

Sadly, there is adware out there today that first starts off as a “Microsoft Spyware Alert” voice over your speakers. And it’ll even do what it can to take over your computer’s display so you have no choice but to click around on it instead of continuing on with what you were doing.

Just to be crystal clear, if you ever see these alerts, don’t stop and call the phone numbers or worry about them at all—they aren’t coming from Microsoft like they claim to be. The only thing you need to worry about is getting them off your computer so you no longer have to see them popping up. They are coming from adware that is either on your computer already or advertisements that if you click on them may then give you the adware afterward.

These types of shady advertisements are often associated with low-quality advertising networks, which are found on sites that couldn’t get accepted to higher quality ad networks because there was something not-so-high-quality about the websites themselves. They might be websites that show illegal sports streams, for example, or play host to illegal torrents that you shouldn’t be watching.

This tutorial demonstrates how to remove the Microsoft spyware voice alert scam.

Method 1: How to Remove Microsoft Spyware Alert Voice Scam with AdwCleaner

1. Head to the official AdwCleaner webpage from Malwarebytes and click on the “Free Download” link toward the bottom of the page.

2. If your browser gives you a notification that says “This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the adwcleaner_x.exe anyway, click on the “Keep” button.

3. Click to open the AdwCleaner file once it has finished downloading.

4. If User Account Control prompts you, click on the “Yes” button.

5. Click on the “I Agree” button when you get to the welcoming and license agreement screen.

6. Click on the “Scan Now” button to scan your computer of adware and potentially unwanted programs.

7. The AdwCleaner tool will now quickly scan your computer and find the threats.

8. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button from the Scan results page to clean the computer.

9. You can choose to “Clean and Restart Later” or Clean and Restart Now” depending on what suits your needs. Any unsaved work will be lost if you proceed to shut down now, but you’ll want to shut it down before expecting your computer to be ridded from the adware.

10. After a few minutes, the AdwCleaner interface will automatically open itself up on your computer’s display once again and show you the results.

11. Any adware that was detected will now be held in the “Quarantine” section of the AdwCleaner program. You can if you prefer still uninstall the AdwCleaner from your computer after you’re finished your scans and still expect to browse the Web without seeing the adware that you were before.

Method 2: How to Remove Microsoft Spyware Alert Voice Scam with Malwarebytes

1. Visit the Malwarebytes official website and download the tool for your computer by clicking on the “Free Download” link.

(Unlike many other tools out there today that say it’s a free download and then list a bunch of things your PC doesn’t need to be fixed before asking you to pay a hefty fee with your credit card to fix them, Malwarebytes does allow you to download, install, and use the tool free for 14 days. All you need to do is run the tool once to fix the problem you have, and if you want to continue using the tool long term, so it’s scanning your computer periodically, then you can sign up to the premium version.)

2. If you get a web browser warning about files such as these potentially harming your device, click on the “Keep” button to proceed with the download.

(Malwarebytes is a tool trusted by millions of people around the world and will not harm your device. Windows just can’t distinguish all files yet and so you sometimes see a warning such as this one even though the file is trustworthy.)

3. Click on the Malwarebytes executable file once the downloads completes. (If you need to, you can also access it by heading to the Dtart menu > File Explorer > This PC and then opening up the “Downloads” folder.

4. If prompted by User Account Control (UAC) click on the “Yes” button.

5. From the Select Setup Language dialog, click on the drop-down menu to select your language such as “English” and then click on the “OK” button.

6. When it asks where are you installing Malwarebytes, click on either “Personal computer” or “Work computer, depending on which one makes sense for you, and then click on the “Continue” button.

7. Click on the “Agree and Install” button when you get to the license agreement and privacy policy.

8. Wait a few moments for Malwarebytes to install on the computer.

9. Click on the “Finish” button when you get to the screen where it lets you know that the Malwarebytes installation is complete.

10. A few moments later the Malwarebytes interface will automatically open on the computer for you. Make sure you’ve selected “Dashboard” from the left pane and then click on the “Scan Now” button.

11. Malwarebytes lets you know how the progress of the scan is going while it goes to work. Wait for the scan to complete.

12. From the scan results, make sure all the threats that you want to be removed are checked by clicking on each of the associated checkboxes and then click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.

13. The threats are now held in “quarantine” and are no longer on the computer.

You can now close the Malwarebytes program if you like.

If you ever want to delete Malwarebytes from the computer, you can do that by finding the list of applications and uninstalling it as you would any other app. Should you choose to uninstall Malwarebytes in the future, it will not mean that the computer is infected with the malware again. The malware remains off the computer (unless you were to install it again accidentally).

That’s all.