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Avoid the 'Randomly selected to test the new iPhone' website

Also Known As: "Randomly selected to test the new iPhone" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Randomly selected to test the new iPhone"?

"Randomly selected to test the new iPhone" is a phrase from a scam website that invites visitors to claim a prize. Note, this is a deceptive website and should not be trusted.

Typically, these sites are opened by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on the browser or computer. Few people download or install apps of this type intentionally. When installed, PUAs open dubious web pages, feed users with unwanted ads, and/or gather various information.

Randomly selected to test the new iPhone scam

This scam website (effectively, a fake lottery) states that whoever visits the web page was selected to test an updated version of the iPhone XS. I.e., they have won the latest iPhone XS model. To receive the phone, visitors are asked to answer various questions (to participate in a survey).

It is likely that visitors might be asked to provide details such as email address, name, surname, address, and other information. We strongly advise that you do not trust these websites or participate in their surveys, provide any information, etc. Scammers misuse the information to generate revenue in any way possible.

People who trust websites of this type risk problems with privacy, browsing safety, or they might even have their identities stolen. Furthermore, this site might contain deceptive ads that, if clicked, can lead to other untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites.

PUAs that open these scam sites usually gather various details and/or display unwanted ads. They collect information such as IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of opened pages, entered search queries, etc. In some cases, they record personal details. Developers share the data with other parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

Installed PUAs might also be designed to display intrusive, deceptive ads. People who click them are usually redirected to scam websites such as this example, or other web pages of this kind. They might also allow these ads to run scripts that download or even install additional unwanted software. Therefore, remove all PUAs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Randomly selected to test the new iPhone" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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This fake lottery page is similar to "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor", "Comcast Cable Communications Congratulations", and other scam sites used to trick people into believing that they were selected as winners of prizes.

In fact, none of these websites are legitimate or official - they cannot be trusted. The best option is to ignore them and never return to them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

People download and install unwanted apps unintentionally when they click deceptive ads - these can often run scripts designed to download or install PUAs. In other cases, people download or install unwanted apps through the set-ups of other software and when developers use the "bundling" method.

PUAs often are included in various download or installation set-ups. These unwanted downloads/installations happen when users download or install programs without checking settings ("Custom", "Advanced") available in the set-ups. These settings usually include offers to download or install additional, unwanted software.

Leaving them unchanged and failing to dismiss additional software offers allows PUAs to be installed through the setups of regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Avoid downloads from various unofficial websites, using third party downloaders, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), and so on. Software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Additionally, check "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" and other similar settings if available in any download or installation setup.

Typically, offers to download or install additional apps can be found in this section and should be dismissed. Do not click intrusive advertisements, especially if they are displayed on dubious web pages. These can cause redirects to other untrustworthy websites or trigger unwanted downloads and installations.

To prevent your browser from opening these pages or displaying unwanted ads, uninstall any unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins. Also remove programs of this type installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "Randomly selected to test the new iPhone" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Randomly selected to test the new iPhone scam (GIF)

Text presented in this scam:

iPhone Watch iPad Mac
iPhone Xs
Wednesday 11, September 2019

CONGRATULATIONS!
You've been randomly selected to test the new iPhone XS Updated version!

Additional testers wanted still: 01:44


It's not a joke! You are invited to try our brand new iPhone XS updated version, before it is distributed to the public. We're looking for another (30) firefoxChrome Mobile users for feedback to make this phone the best iPhone yet.

If you want to join our private test group, you have to answer the four questions below.

As a "Thank You" gift, we will send an iPhone XS 64GB with Only 1$! Stocks are limited so answer quickly, act NOW!

Question 1 of 4: Do you currently own any Apple products?

Yes
No

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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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