Avoid getting scammed by SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS" pop-up scam removal instructions

What is "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS"?

"SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS" is a scam spread by deceptive websites. It operates by tricking visitors into making a financial transaction and revealing their personal details to the cyber criminals behind the scam, by claiming that they have won a large monetary prize. Few users access such sites intentionally, most get redirected by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already present within the system. Users should note that unwanted apps do not need express user permission to infiltrate devices.

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS scam

The first thing visitors see when they enter a deceptive website running this scam is a pop-up window. The message therein claims that they have won a "big money prize". After "continue" is clicked, the page displayed congratulates users and states that they have been selected to receive a special award. This supposed prize is from unspecified sponsors and can be as large as fifty thousand (presumably, US dollars). Users are told to click one of the three identical images of a treasure chest, in order to find out what they have won. Doing so, leads users to a page informing them of their winnings. It also states that they only have five minutes to receive said prize. Once the "OK" button is pressed, the webpage pretends to connect users to an available operator. Then a fake one-way chat is displayed, wherein a nonexistent operator congratulates them and writes that consent needs to be given, prior to the sum being transferred. Following this, the "operator" prepares all the necessary information and asks users to click "go to fill out details for withdrawal". This button shows users yet another page, this one requests them to select whether they want their winnings to be transferred to a bank card or an electronic wallet (beside each there are legitimate banking services listed). The card/wallet number has to be provided as well, then users can click the "withdraw win" button. However, the scam proclaims that there has been an error and the bank could not identify the recipient. It alleges that according to current legislation, money transfers exceeding a certain sum can only be done after complete identification. Therefore, users are informed that they must make an identification payment (which supposedly will be returned to them) and only then their prize will be transferred to their account of choice. This fee consists of twenty-nine dollars and consenting to it, redirects users to a different site. Through it users can make the "payment". However after complying with these instructions, they do not receive any monetary winnings and instead suffer a financial loss - the identification fee is not returned. "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS" and other webpages claiming that visitors have won ludicrous prizes are schemes that must not be trusted. Such scams are designed to generate revenue at users' expense and can lead to severe privacy issues as well.

As mentioned, PUAs can generate redirects to various deceptive/scam pages and other untrustworthy/malicious websites. Unwanted applications also have other abilities, geared towards generating profit for their developers. Some of these apps can run intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e. deliver undesirable and harmful ads. Others can modify browsers in order to promote fake search engines. It is not uncommon for PUAs of all types to also have data tracking abilities, which they employ to monitors users' browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and personal details). This private data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and end up being used for nefarious purposes. To summarize, PUAs can not only cause browser and system infiltrations/infections, but lead to financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identify theft. To ensure device and user safety - all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name possible malware infections
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The scam claims that visitors have won a huge monetary prize.
Detection Names Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.28.20.122
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Removal

To eliminate possible malware infections our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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"International promotion of postal services", "Like Of The Year", "Congratulations User!" are a few other scams similar to "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS". Typically, these schemes use social engineering to push users into performing specific actions (e.g. making monetary transfers). However, some scams employ scare-tactics to achieve the desired effect. Sites, which claim that visitors have won something, present them with ridiculously good offers, warn them of "detected" threats/issues on their device and similar - must not be trusted. It is expressly advised against following their instructions and/or downloading/installing/purchasing any content they endorse.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs spread via download/install setups of other programs. This false marketing technique of pre-packing ordinary software with unwanted content is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled applications onto systems. Some PUAs have "official" download webpages. When clicked on, intrusive ads can execute scripts to stealthily download/install such apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research content before downloading/installing it. Only official and verified download channels should be used. It is ill-advised to use untrustworthy sources like Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, free file-hosting sites and other third party downloaders. When downloading/installing, users should read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements usually appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to questionable pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and so on). Should users encounter ads/redirects of this kind, they are strongly advised to inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the initial "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS" pop-up:

CONGRATULATIONS!
CONGRATULATIONS!
YOU CAN WIN A BIG MONEY PRIZE
Click Continue
Continue 

Screenshot of the second page displayed:

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS page 2

Text presented in this page:

Congratulations!  YOU ARE A LUCKY USER…
YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO RECEIVE
A SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS!
27 11 2019
GET PRIZES! YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO GET UP TO $ 50,000!
DISCOVER ONE OF 3 TREASURES CHEST
AND RECOGNIZE YOUR PRIZE!

Screenshot of the third page displayed:

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS page 3

The appearance of "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS" scam (GIF):

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS scam gif

Text presented in this page:

YOUR PRIZE
$11000
BIG WINNING!
CONGRATULATIONS!
$11000 is reserved for you!
You have only 5 minutes to pick them up!
Check the data on the next page to continue ...

Screenshots of the chat:

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS chat 1 SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS chat 2

Text presented in this chat:

Hello, I congratulate you on such a significant win!

 

In order to continue withdrawing funds to a card or electronic wallet, you need to give your consent ..

 

I will call you a special button, click on it

 

Well, consent is obtained ...

 

Now I will prepare all the necessary information, and I will write to you, one minute, please

 

Ready

 

I prepared the output, now I will again call you a special button, click on it, then specify the details for the output and follow the further instructions of the system

 

Now I say goodbye to you, and once again congratulate you on your victory! Also, do not forget to leave a comment after the withdrawal of funds :) Goodbye!

Screenshot of the page displayed after "GO TO FILL OUT DETAILS FOR WITHDRAWAL" is clicked:

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS page displayed after the chat

Text presented in this page:

RECEIVING REWARDS!

PAY

AMOUNT TO BE PAID - 11000 USD.

SPECIFY PAYMENT DETAILS:

ANY BANK CARD (VISA/MASTERCARD/MAESTRO)
ELECTRONIC WALLET (PAYPAL/SCRILL)

Enter card / wallet number
WITHDRAW WIN »

Screenshot of the page displayed after the "WITHDRAW WIN" button is clicked:

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS page displayed after withdraw win is clicked

Text presented in this page:

TRANSFER!

BANK DECLINED TRANSFER OPERATION error #607-11

Transfer Sender LCC "IPMA" р/с 4836900056782114
Date of operatin 27 11 2019
Amount $11000
Status RECIPIENT IS NOT IDENTIFIED

The operation could not be completed because the bank could not identify the recipient.

According to the current legislation:

"Conducting by legal entities of money transfers in excess of $2500 in favor of an individual is possible only after the complete identification of the recipient."
To receive funds in the amount of $11,000, it is necessary to make an identification payment from the card or electronic wallet to which you wish to receive a transfer..

After identification payment, this payment will be processed and sent back to your card or e-wallet with a transfer of $ 11,000

System identification payment $29

MAKE AN IDENTIFICATION PAYMENT AND RECEIVE A TRANSFER

Screenshot of the website for making the "identification payment":

SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS web for making payment

Text presented in this page:

Payment

Secure Checkout
Order number: 25938120 $28.73
Billing Information
Only Visa/Mastercard/Maestro cards accepted!
Card Number
хххх - хххх - хххх - хххх
Expiration Date  CVV
3 DIGITS OF ACCOUNT NUMBER PANEL
Cardholder Name
Email
Pay Now
When the online transaction is made, you will receive a verification code through an SMS to your registered mobile phone number.

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: 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 possible malware infections. 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 applications:

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.

PUAs 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 application, 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 rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, 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 rogue extensions 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 and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with possible malware infections 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 possible malware infections from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on possible malware infections or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
possible malware infections QR code
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