Congratulations, You Have Won Scam

Also Known As: "Congratulations, you have won" virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Congratulations, You Have Won removal instructions

What is Congratulations, You Have Won?

"Congratulations, You Have Won" is a scam pop-up displayed by a rogue website. Research shows that users often visit this website inadvertently - they are redirected by various potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that typically infiltrate systems without users' consent. In addition to causing redirects, potentially unwanted unwanted programs generate intrusive ads (banners, coupons, pop-ups, and so on), collect sensitive data, and (in some cases) misuse system resources to run unnecessary processes.

Congratulations, You Have Won adware

The "Congratulations, You Have Won" pop-up states that the user has won a gift (iPhone X, Playstation 4, or Samsung Galaxy S6) from Microsoft, however, before receiving it, they must immediately answer three simple questions. They must do this within two minutes, otherwise the reward is given to someone else. Be aware, however, that "Congratulations, You Have Won" is a scam and has nothing to do with Microsoft. In fact, cyber criminals generate revenue by tricking users into completing various surveys. Therefore, ignore the "Congratulations, You Have Won" pop-up and leave the rogue site immediately.

As mentioned above, potentially unwanted programs are likely to deliver various advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ various tools (e.g., "virtual layers") that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing users' Internet browsing experience. Furthermore, the ads can lead to malicious websites and/or execute code designed to download/install malware. Therefore, even accidental clicks can result in high-risk computer infections. Potentially unwanted programs gather information that typically includes personal details. Developers sell this data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. This data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In addition, some PUPs mine cryptocurrencies and/or run other unnecessary processes in the background. Since resources are misused to perform unwanted processes, system performance is reduced significantly. For these reasons, we strongly advise you to uninstall all PUPs immediately.

Research shows that, in most cases, malicious websites display fake error pop-ups (e.g., Windiskutility, DO NOT PRESS ANY KEY, Microsoft Azure, and many others). Unlike "Congratulations, You Have Won", these errors state that the system is infected, missing files, or damaged in other similar ways. Such claims are merely attempts to scare and trick victims into calling fake technical support and paying for technical services that are not required. Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. By offering various "useful features", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. These programs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers and deliver no real value for regular users. PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

To proliferate PUPs, developers employ the aforementioned intrusive advertisements, together with a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Due to lack of knowledge and careless behavior by many users, PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission. Developers do not disclose installation of "bundled" apps properly - they hide PUPs within various sections (most likely "Advanced/Custom" settings) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users rush these procedures, skip steps, and click various ads without considering the possible consequences. This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted programs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Be very careful when browsing the Internet and, especially, when downloading/installing software. Most intrusive ads look legitimate, however, they lead to dubious sites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.) If you experience these redirects, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser extensions. It is also very important to carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs and cancel all additionally-included programs. We also strongly advise you to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since they are often used to proliferate malicious apps (the "bundling" method). Your software should be downloaded from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download link.

Text presented in the "Congratulations, You Have Won" pop-up:

Congratulations User!
You have been selected today to receive a FREE iPhone X, PlayStation 4 or Samsung Galaxy S6!
Please click ok to claim your prize before we giveaway to anyone else!

Text presented in the malicious website:

Congratulations user, You have won (1) Microsoft Gift today!

January 03
Every Wednesday we randomly select 10 lucky visitors to receive an promotional gift from our sponsors. This is our way of saying "Thank you" that you are a faithful user.

You will receive a FREE iPhone X, PlayStation 4 or Samsung Galaxy S6 after answering 3 simple questions correctly.

Note: 10 randomly selected lucky visitors have received this invitation and there are only a few prizes.
You only have 2 minutes and 1 seconds to answer 3 following questions before prizes are awarded to another lucky visitor! Good luck!

Congratulations!
You have (3/3) answered questions correctly
No previous records of your IP address found.
Today there are only (2) prize (s) available.

The appearance of "Congratulations, You Have Won" pop-up (GIF):

Congratulations, You Have Won scam gif

Instant automatic removal of Congratulations, you have won virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Congratulations, you have won virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Congratulations, You Have Won adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "congratulations, you have won" virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "congratulations, you have won" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Congratulations, You Have Won ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "congratulations, you have won" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "congratulations, you have won" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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