Amazon Gift Card Scam

Also Known As: "Amazon Gift Card" virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Amazon Gift Card removal instructions

What is Amazon Gift Card?

"Amazon Gift Card" is a generic name for scam messages displayed by malicious websites. In most cases, users visit these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by intrusive advertisements (displayed by other dubious sites) or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Research shows that PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission and, as well as causing redirects, deliver intrusive advertisements, gather private information, and run unwanted processes in the background.

Amazon Gift Card adware

There is a huge variety of "Amazon Gift Card" type scams (e.g., You Are Today's Lucky Visitor). All essentially state that the user is a lucky visitor and has the chance to win a gift card (typically equivalent to $1000) from the Amazon e-shop. To receive the card, however, users must perform various tasks. In most cases, they are asked to complete a survey or provide registration details (personal information including email addresses, which are used to send the gift card). Some sites attempt to trick users into staying on the malicious site as long as possible (e.g., the user must wait for a countdown timer to reach zero before starting the survey). This is done to misuse system resources and perform various tasks, such as mining cryptocurrency (typically, Monero). Malware security researcher, Lawrence Abrams, has recently discovered an "Amazon Gift Card" scam site that contains a countdown timer. To receive the gift, users must (once again) wait for the timer to reach zero. In fact, the timer continues to reset to 59 sec - it never reaches 0. While the user is waiting, the website runs background scripts that use system resources to "watch" YouTube videos without displaying them on the screen. It is safe to assume that cyber criminals generate revenue by stealthily generating traffic/views for certain YouTube channels. In summary, any websites that supposedly "enable" users to win Amazon gift cards are false and malicious. The associated messages are false and should be ignored. If you have visited such a site, leave it immediately. Some malicious sites employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In this case, close the browser via Task Manager or simply restart the computer. After rerunning the browser, never restore the previous session, otherwise you will return to the malicious site.

As mentioned above, PUPs often generate coupon, banner, pop-up, and other intrusive ads. To achieve this, developers employ various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, these ads can lead to malicious sites and execute scripts designed to download/install malware. Therefore, even a single click might result in high-risk computer infections. Information tracking is also an issue. Research shows that PUPs often gather IP addresses, URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other information that includes personal details. Once recorded, this information is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private data. This can cause serious privacy issues. Furthermore, some PUPs (such as malicious sites) misuse system resources to mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted processes. The presence of these programs results in a significant reduction in overall system performance. You are strongly advised to uninstall all PUPs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name"Amazon Gift Card" virus
Threat TypeAdware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
SymptomsSeeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageDecreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Removal

To eliminate Amazon Gift Card virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

There are hundreds of rogue programs, all of which are virtually identical. By offering a range of "useful functions" (e.g., file conversion, download performance increase, system optimization, anti-virus, etc.), PUPs often trick unsuspecting users to install. Rather than delivering any real value for regular users, however, PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety. The only purpose of all PUPs is to generate revenue for the developers.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some PUPs have official download websites, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, they often infiltrate systems without permission. Potentially unwanted programs are often distributed using the "bundling" method, together with intrusive ads. "Bundling" is stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps. Developers hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Many users rush these procedures and skip steps. In addition, they click suspicious ads/links without understanding the possible consequences. This behavior can lead to inadvertent installation of PUPs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very careful when browsing the Internet and, especially when downloading/installing software. Criminals invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them appear legitimate, however, they often redirect to dubious sites (e.g., gambling, survey, pornography, and so on). If you encounter these redirects, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. The key to computer safety is caution.

Typical text presented in "Amazon Gift Card" scams:

Congratulations! Amazon.com User! You've been selected for a chance to get the $1000 Amazon Gift Card, Apple iPhone X 256G or Samsung Galaxy S8! Please click OK to claim your reward before it expires!

The appearance of "Amazon Gift Card" scam-displaying website that "watches" YouTube videos without displaying them on the screen (GIF):

Amazon Gift Card scam gif

Mobile variants of "Amazon Gift Card" scams:

Amazon Gift Card scam mobile variant (sample 1) Amazon Gift Card scam mobile variant (sample 2)

Instant automatic removal of Amazon Gift Card 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 Amazon Gift Card 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.

Amazon Gift Card 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 Amazon Gift Card 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 Amazon Gift Card ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "amazon gift card" 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 Amazon Gift Card  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 Amazon Gift Card ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "amazon gift card" 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 Amazon Gift Card 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Amazon Gift Card ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "amazon gift card" 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 "amazon gift card" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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