1. LadyWho's Avatar
    I have a cheap ANS UL40 android phone from assurance wireless. I recently got a replacement phone. This new phone has something wrong with Chrome. Whenever I open Chrome instead of going to Chrome home page it redirects to some sort of scammy looking game site. They have an address in the address bar. A few of them are "51.jake game" and "11.mosegame" and "gamebox.zbkon"
    I can close these if I tap on the number in a box at the top of the page that says how many tabs I have open. Sometimes it shows all of these are open. There will now be an X at the top right on each one to close it. I can close it and go where I want but the next time I open Chrome it usually does it again.

    I have no strange apps installed that I know of. Just to be sure, I have uninstalled every app I can see except the system ones that I can't uninstall and still the issue persists. I have factory reset the phone and the issue persists. Force stopped chrome and restarted.
    Cleared cache and data on Chrome settings, cleared history.
    Sometimes Chrome will open up to it's own home page after one of these tries but then the next time I open it, the problem is back. Not sure what else to try but it's driving me crazy.
    01-15-2019 02:08 PM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    Set Chrome to open a new page to either about:blank or to its menu.

    If that doesn't fix it, you may have malware on the phone. If that's the case, contact Asurion (I believe that's the proper name for the insurance you have), tell them that they sent you a replacement filled with malware and ask for another replacement, this time without the "free malware".
    01-15-2019 02:49 PM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I moved this from the Android Apps forum to the General Help forum, since the former is intended for developers to promote their apps.

    Make sure you clear the browsing history "from the beginning of time," both on your phone and on your computer's Chrome browser.
    01-15-2019 04:23 PM
  4. LadyWho's Avatar
    Set Chrome to open a new page to either about:blank or to its menu.
    I don't know how to change that setting. Is it in the chrome settings (3 dot menu) when Chrome is open? I could not find anything in there.

    As to getting the phone provider to send a replacement, that is a last resort, as they may not agree and even if they do they are going to send another "refurbished" one which I suspect they don't refurbish at all.
    01-15-2019 05:31 PM
  5. LadyWho's Avatar
    Make sure you clear the browsing history "from the beginning of time," both on your phone and on your computer's Chrome browser.
    Thanks I will try that, and thanks for moving the thread.
    01-15-2019 05:41 PM
  6. LadyWho's Avatar
    Well things went from bad to worse, the phone decided to go into an endless loop of asking me to login to my google account, and various google apps started crashing (like "unfortunately Google play music has stopped") I did try turning the phone off and then on again, and made sure no apps needed update, but no help there. So I went ahead with a factory reset.

    After factory reset, so far no problems. Hopefully this time it will stay good.
    If not I will take it up with the provider.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    01-16-2019 03:03 PM
  7. recDNA's Avatar
    Be sure to stick to apps in the Playstore and read the reviews before you install them.
    01-16-2019 08:11 PM
  8. Howard Bass's Avatar
    Be sure to stick to apps in the Playstore and read the reviews before you install them.
    I have the exact same phone and the exact same problem. I deleted Chrome and started using other browsers but they all end up showing me this gamebox site. In chrome there is no setting to open a new page, there is on my PC but not on my Android tablet. I have only apps that were downloaded from the Google play store, and this does not happen on anything other than my phone. I have the same apps and browser on two different tablets with no problem. I am wondering if this is built into the Assurance wireless phone, similarly to what a Kindle has if you buy one that shows ads.
    03-28-2019 12:28 PM
  9. recDNA's Avatar
    You mention other browsers. I suggest checking how to set the homepage and how to open a new tab. In the app store try Firefox Focus (not regular Firefox) or one of the add blocking browsers.
    03-28-2019 12:39 PM
  10. Howard Bass's Avatar
    I tried Firefox and have the same problem. I have tried Brave and Chrome as well. There is only one app that I could possibly have that might cause this and that is a call blocker call Blacklist, I think. I've taken that off and we'll see if it improves. I know how to set home pages, but Chrome does not list that in its Android app. Nor does Firefox that I can see. Hopefully the call blocker is the probem, because all of my other apps are from places that have never given me trouble at all. I am not someone who adds apps to his phone, basically because I hardly ever use my phone. Thank you all for your help and continuing attention to this issue.
    03-29-2019 07:13 PM
  11. recDNA's Avatar
    NOT FIREFOX. Firefox FOCUS is a different browser and it blocks most attempts at adware invasion so please try it . It may work for you and it is free.
    03-29-2019 07:43 PM
  12. recDNA's Avatar
    firefox focusWhy does Google Chrome open up to a scammy game page-screenshot_20190329-204512_google-play-store.jpeg
    03-29-2019 07:50 PM
  13. Howard Bass's Avatar
    Will try it as I'm still getting spam. In Firefox it's from migame.top/650. It starts as an all-number URL and then tries to load this and fails. I'll try your suggestion immediately.
    03-29-2019 11:11 PM
  14. Howard Bass's Avatar
    No good. Get the mipost page and now it's gamebox.zbkon.com page. All browsers seem to be compromised.
    03-30-2019 10:35 PM
  15. treetopsranch's Avatar
    It's malware. Google that link for instructions on how to remove.
    03-31-2019 10:04 AM
  16. Howard Bass's Avatar
    Can't find anything helpful other than this forum. Most are for Windows, Android help just says delete app, which doesn't appear anywhere in any list.
    03-31-2019 01:26 PM
  17. Howard Bass's Avatar
    I reset the phone and loaded one app at a time. Nothing bad for three days, then gamebox crap again. I don't know which app is causing this, all are from major companies such as Amazon, United Airlines, Expedia, etc... JUst don't know what else to do other than never use the phone for anything other than basic functions and carry my Kindle with me. It has all of the same apps plus more and doesn't have this problem.
    04-04-2019 05:07 PM
  18. treetopsranch's Avatar
    OK then just don't use Chrome. Try another browser like Firefox and see if the problem occurs.
    04-06-2019 06:03 PM
  19. Howard Bass's Avatar
    I have used Firefox, Firefox Focus, Chrome, and Brave. I have done three resets. I've added apps one at a time per day but don't know if app causing problem is one from today or previous days and just woke up. I have been in contact with Assurance Wireless and they just told me how to do a factory reset after I told them I've done three. I thought perhaps a bad website might cause this, but it shouldn't happen on four browsers. All the apps I download are from legitimate companies; I have no games at all. Very confused. If I could find the folder holding the problem I could delete it but Android folders are incredibly confusing compared to Windows, which isn't simple in itself.
    04-08-2019 03:00 PM
  20. LadyWho's Avatar
    I have been in contact with Assurance Wireless and they just told me how to do a factory reset after I told them I've done three.
    Hi Howard, I'm sorry I did not come back to this thread to update what I have found out since the issue began.

    I would encourage you to call Assurance again, tell them you have done all troubleshooting steps and you wish to talk to the next level of tech support. Be polite but insist.
    The next level up tech guy may agree to send a different model phone.

    Here is what happened to me since my original post about this issue:

    After asking 3 times for a replacement phone, they sent a different model of ANS phone, the L50. They told me when you have an issue with a phone over and over, they will change the model for you.

    The new ANS L50 phone Assurance Wireless sent me DID still redirect to the scammy pages, not as often at first but eventually it does it every time the browser is opened. Yes, I can close that page and go on about my browsing, but next time it's back.

    Then it started doing other odd behaviors, like sometimes the red light that shows it charging would stay on after fully charged, even after removing the charger. Before, the light would change to green when fully charged, and would go out when the charger was removed. Sometimes it shows only a small percent of charge, even after hours of charging, but when I remove the charger it does indeed show 100% charge.

    Ads started showing up on my home screen. No adguard type program I tried has any effect on the browser redirect or on the home screen ads.

    Sometimes when picking up the phone first thing in the morning it will be off, even though I had not turned it off.
    Sometimes when turning it on it freezes on the Assurance wireless splash screen, trying again and again it usually comes back on. Once I had to do a factory reset from the startup recovery menu to get it to come on.

    Then, every few days there would be a new app on my phone that I did not install.
    Also, default apps like facebook will not stay disabled after I disable them.

    To be clear, I am not installing any apps that could cause this, the latest phone I got I only used the default apps for a while before installing an app of my own, and still the problems came up. (I only installed one app this time, a solitaire game from the google app store that I have used on other phones without issue.)

    I do not browse to scammy websites that could cause the problem (other than the scammy sites that pop up when I first open chrome, and I close them right away without clicking on them.)

    For the record, I did try all the helpful suggestions given in this thread, and elsewhere on the internet, and though they might work for other phones they did not work on this phone. Some methods did work for a few days, but the problems always return. A different browser DOES NOT HELP no matter what browser it is. Whatever is causing this is built into these phones, rooted way down deep, and after a few days it simply pops back up again.

    The latest problem was when I found my phone was off when I picked it up this morning, and when I turned it on it would not progress past the Assurance wireless splash screen no matter what I did.
    After all the proper troubleshooting steps (turn phone off and on again, do hard reset, take out battery to turn phone off, then replace and turn back on, go into recovery menu and try to update phone, try clearing cache and data, try factory reset); when I called tech support at assurance they agreed to send a new phone.

    (Bizarrely, after talking to tech support, I left the phone turned on, and several hours after that it suddenly went from the assurance wireless splash screen into factory reset on it's own. I followed along with it and it did get back to where I can at least use the phone while waiting for the new one.)

    What the tech told me this time is they are aware the ANS phones can have scammy malware built in, and that the ANS phones often "go haywire" so this time they are going to send me a Unimax phone. He did not say what model, just that it is the latest one they have.

    As soon as I get the new phone I will report here what it's like.

    I encourage anyone still having problems with the ANS phones, whether the UL40 or the L50, to call the customer support and ask for a replacement. You may need to ask to be transferred to a higher level tech support agent. With me today, when I told the first agent all the troubleshooting steps I had already tried, they did transfer me up the line to the one who suggested they will send me a phone. If they are hesitant, don't get angry, just politely tell them you have tried much troubleshooting, that you are not causing the problem with anything you are doing, and you just want a phone that will will work and be safe to use. You might also ask if you can have a different brand, rather than the ANS. The newer model did work for me for a short tome, but then reverted to problems.

    When I first started using Assurance wireless, they were hesitant to replace phones except once a calendar year, but now they are acknowledging that some phones have a problem and you are entitled to a phone that works.

    Good luck!
    06-01-2019 12:06 PM
  21. LadyWho's Avatar
    Well I got a new Unimax UMX 683CL back in June and it worked without a problem until just recently and now it is installing apps by itself, popping up scam lock screens, and opening chrome to the scam sites again.

    This is discouraging. As before, I have not been browsing unsafe sites or clicking links, and have not installed any apps. This has to be deep in the phone where we have no way to stop it once it starts. I could insist on a new phone, but I can be fairly sure it won't be a new one, it will be something somebody else already had a problem with.
    Resetting the phone to factory defaults may work but usually the problem returns.

    I have recently found and uninstalled some apps that I did not install myself. You go to settings, applications, and scroll through the whole list of apps. Uninstall anything you don't recognize and be sure to scroll to the end, as there could be an app at the bottom of the list that doesn't even have a name. If uninstall is not an option see if disable is an option. (Default apps that the phone actually needs to run properly will not have these options. Default apps that the phone doesn't need but they preinstall on the phone like facebook can be disabled but not removed.) Turn the phone off and on again after making the changes. I also went into settings/applications/chrome/storage and cleared cache. (not clear data)
    This helps for a time.

    Check in the security settings, under device administrators, and disable anything it lets you disable. In my case, "find my device" and "google pay" both had administrator privileges it didn't have before, and I didn't give it. Turning these off removed the bogus lockscreen that had turned up.

    I am hoping I can keep on top of it by uninstalling things and checking security settings periodically. We should not have to do this, we should be able to have a phone that is safe.
    11-17-2019 10:11 AM

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