Avoid getting scammed by "PRIZE EMAIL"

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

"PRIZE EMAIL" pop-up scam removal instructions

What is "PRIZE EMAIL"?

"PRIZE EMAIL" is a scam run by deceptive websites. It claims that users' emails have been selected as participants in a prize promotion, therefore they have won certain prizes. However, it operates by tricking users into making monetary transactions, which are supposedly necessary to receive these fake prizes. Most visitors to deceptive/scam sites enter them inadvertently, they are redirected by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already infiltrated into the system. Users should note that said apps do not need express permission to be installed onto devices.

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Firstly visitors to a website, running the "PRIZE EMAIL" scam, are congratulated for being chosen to participate in a prize promotion. It alleges that users can win - laptops, mobile phones, tablets, automobiles and cash prizes (ranging from three to five digit sums). This promotion has been held since 2011 and works by selecting random email addresses, owners of which are eligible to win. The scheme states that not every selected user will win, however companies sponsoring this prize-driven promotion gain new clients and fans from it. When consent is given to take part, users are shown a different page. It claims that users need to answer three questions, prior to receiving their reward. These multi-choice questions center browsing and email topics. After this is done, users are shown another page, which requests them to click a button to begin drawing their prize. The drawing consists of clicking on one out of three identical images of presents (users are also warned that reloading this page and/or closing the browser will not change the initially drawn prize). Afterwards, yet another button has to be clicked. Following more prize drawings, users are finally led to a one-way chat to a support operator. Users are informed that the company office nearest to them does not have the necessary amount to pay out their winnings. However, they are assured that are other ways to receive the prize. Below the image of a payment invoice, there is a button to a page listing other options. These consist of either transfer to credit card / electronic wallet or 24-hours delivery by courier. Both of these options carry certain fees. Choosing whichever redirects to websites, which enable users to make these payments. However, once the transfer is complete - users do not receive the promised prizes. "PRIZE EMAIL" is a scam and must not be trusted. Schemes of this type are designed to generate revenue, trusting them leads to financial losses and potential privacy issues as well.

Deceptive/Scam webpages are usually accessed via redirects caused by intrusive adverts or by PUAs. The latter can generate redirects to a variety of untrustworthy and malicious websites. Aside from this ability, they have other ones, which are no less harmful. Unwanted applications can run intrusive advertisement campaigns. The delivered ads diminish browsing quality and carry specific risks themselves. Other PUA types can hijack browsers and promote fake search engines. However, most of these apps can track data. They record users' browsing activity (URLs visited, search queries, etc.) and gather their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and real-life personal details). This private data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), seeking to misuse it for financial gain. In summary, PUAs can lead to browser/system infiltrations and infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins.

Threat Summary:
Name possible malware infections
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims that users can win various prizes, due to their email having been randomly selected.
Detection Names Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.28.28.132
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

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"SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS", "Like Of The Year", "Congratulations User!" are a few examples of scams similar to "PRIZE EMAIL". Commonly, such scams use social engineering tactic to trick users into performing certain actions. To elaborate, it can be making monetary transactions, downloading/installing/purchasing content and so on. It is expressly advised against trusting pages, claiming visitors have won ludicrous prizes or making them similarly unbelievably good offers.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate via download/install setups of other software. This false marketing tactic is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, used pre-set options) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto devices. When clicked on, intrusive ads can execute scripts, designed to stealthily download/install unwanted applications. Some PUAs have "official" promotional websites, where they are endorsed as "free" and "useful" products.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Users are encouraged to research content, prior to downloading/installing it. Only official and verified download channels should be used. It is not advised to use untrustworthy download sources like: P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive advertisements often appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to highly dubious and unreliable webpages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and so on). Should users experience such ads/redirects, they are to inspect the system and remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text initially presented by "PRIZE EMAIL" scam:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
CONGRATULATIONS!
YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIZE PROMOTION!

It is paid:

€574 147
Get Prizes Today
10 MacBook Air   10 iphone 11   10 Ipad pro
BMW X6
1 new automobiles worth over €100,000

Over 1000 cash prizes in the amount ranging from €100 to €10,000

HOW TO TAKE PART?

YOUR ELECTRONIC MAILBOX HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIZE DRAW
TAKE PART

Learn more about the prize draw

Why would the largest companies and sponsors pay you that money? First, not all participants receive monetary remuneration. Second, such an action attracts the attention of millions of users on the network. In this way the sponsors of the promotion receive new clients and fans. As you understand, such an action is beneficial for everyone.

This prize promotion has been held annually since 2011.

Billions of e-mail addresses are registered in the world and hundreds of thousands of new emails are registered every day.

The automatic system randomly selects e-mail addresses, and notifies their owners that they can take part in a prize promotion where there is an opportunity to receive valuable gifts and cash prizes.

The appearance of "PRIZE EMAIL" scam (GIF):

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Screenshot of the second page displayed by "PRIZE EMAIL" scam:

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
SEARCH RESULT
ANSWER 3 QUESTIONS TO CONTINUE
TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
THE REWARD IS MADE ONCE WITH INSTANT PAYMENT!

Screenshots of the multi-choice question survey:

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Text presented in this survey:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
TO WIN A PRIZE, ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS!
SELECT 1 OF 3 SUBMITTED ANSWERS AND CLICK IT
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN USING AN EMAIL ACCOUNT?
LESS THAN 1 YEAR
MORE THAN 1 YEAR
LESS THAN 5 YEAR
ATTENTION!
AFTER PRIZE DETERMINATION, IT'S FIXATED BY THE SYSTEM.
PAGE RELOADING OR TURNING OFF YOUR BROWSER WILL NOT AFFECT THE CHANGE OF BONUS


--------

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
WHICH BROWSER DO YOU USE MOST OFTEN?
SELECT 1 OF 3 SUBMITTED ANSWERS AND CLICK IT
GOOGLE CHROME
SAFARI
MOZILLA FIREFOX
ATTENTION!
AFTER PRIZE DETERMINATION, IT’S FIXATED BY THE SYSTEM.
PAGE RELOADING OR TURNING OFF YOUR BROWSER WILL NOT AFFECT THE CHANGE OF BONUS.


--------

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
HOW OFTEN DO YOU STEEL WITH PROBLEMS WHEN SENDING MAIL?
SELECT 1 OF 3 SUBMITTED ANSWERS AND CLICK IT
OFTEN
SELDOM
NEVER
ATTENTION!
AFTER PRIZE DETERMINATION, IT’S FIXATED BY THE SYSTEM.
PAGE RELOADING OR TURNING OFF YOUR BROWSER WILL NOT AFFECT THE CHANGE OF BONUS.

Screenshot of the page displayed after the survey is complete:

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
SEARCH RESULT
YOU HAVE 3 TRIES TO GET VALUABLE PRIZE OR CASH
CLICK THIS BUTTON TO START PRIZE DRAWING
THE REWARD IS MADE ONCE THIS INSTANT PAYMENT!

Screenshot of the "prize drawing":

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
 

INTERNAL ACCOUNT NUMBER: #2590948
BALANCE: 0 EUR

CLICK ON ONE OF THE 3 GIFTS OFFERED SO THAT THE SYSTEM WILL DETERMINE YOUR PRIZE.
ATTENTION!
AFTER PRIZE DETERMINATION, IT’S FIXATED BY THE SYSTEM.
PAGE RELOADING OR TURNING OFF YOUR BROWSER WILL NOT AFFECT THE CHANGE OF BONUS.

Screenshot of page displayed after "prize drawing":

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
BALANCE: 5 EUR
INTERNAL ACCOUNT NUMBER: #2590948
YOUR PRIZE IS DEFINED


310 EUR 9645 EUR MACBOOK PRO

SEND CASH WINNINGS TO BALANCE AND CONTINUE
ATTENTION!
AFTER PRIZE DETERMINATION, IT’S FIXATED BY THE SYSTEM.
PAGE RELOADING OR TURNING OFF YOUR BROWSER WILL NOT AFFECT THE CHANGE OF BONUS.

Screenshot of page announcing the "cash prize":

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9
INTERNAL ACCOUNT NUMBER: #2590948
BALANCE: 9650 EUR
YOU WON A CASH PRIZE OF!
9650 EUR
CLICK THIS BUTTON TO START PRIZE DRAWING

Screenshot of the chat:

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Text presented in this page:

Hello! My name is Alice, congratulations! You won €9650, that 's a great result! There is a payment order for you to receive your cash prize! Unfortunately, the company office next to you does not have the necessary amount. Explore other ways to earn a cash prize! Have a good day! Prize Email team!

Screenshot of the page displaying the "invoice for payment":

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Text presented in this page:

Invoice for payment

Account number 00195738
Invoice date November 29, 2019
Payment terms Is subject to payment

Prize email support Alice
London
21 Edgware Rd
Hyde Park Estate

Phone number: **&#*&#***&#***
Ogranization email: p*****il@gmail.com

Transaction for
#2590948


  1. Service    Unit price   Sum

Prize email   Receiving monetary prize   9650,00 EUR   9650,00 EUR

The note for the recipient   Total   9650,00 EUR

Thanks for participation in an action!

  1. 9650,00 EUR

Receiving monetary prize

Screenshot of page displaying choices for the "prize" payout:

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Text presented in this page:

PRIZE EMAIL 20!9

BALANCE: 9650 EUR

INTERNAL ACCOUNT NUMBER: #2590948

HOW YOU WANT TO PICK UP YOUR CASH WINNINGS

MONEY TRANSFER GENERATION DATE NOVEMBER 29, 2019 1:29:41 PM


AT OFFICE
THERE IS NO OFFICE NEAR YOU WITH THIS AMOUNT AT THE CASH REGISTER. PLEASE SELECT ANOTHER OPTION
REJECTED


TO CARD OR PAYPAL
COST €19.9 WITHDRAWAL TO ANY CREDIT CARD OR ELECTRONIC WALLET
TO PASS FOR PAYMENT


DELIVERY BY THE COURIER
COST €51.74 YOUR WINNINGS WILL BE DELIVERED WITHIN 24 HOURS
TO PASS FOR PAYMENT

Screenshot of website for paying the "necessary fees" (step 1):

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Text presented in this page:

CRONOPAY
Payment destination:
Payment
Your information
Your name

Your e-mail

To pay: 19.90 EUR

Payment method:

We only accept payments with 3D Secure!
We are processing only Mastercard.

* Your personal data will not be passed on to third parties.

SUPPORT

Screenshot of website for paying the "fees" (step 2):

alt

Text presented in this page:

Enter payment card information
Visa, MasterCard, Maestro
Payment 19.9 EUR
Holder Name:
Tester
Card Number:
1234567890123456
Expiry Date (Month And Year):

Card Verification Code
CVC
3 digits on the back of the card
Support for buyers
Pay
Payments protected by PCI DSS 3.2

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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