Avoid being scammed by "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!"

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

"Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" removal instructions

What is "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!"?

"Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" is a scam run on deceptive websites. This scheme is designed to trick users into believing that they have won a prize. To receive it, however, they need to provide personal information and pay certain fees. This scam is furthered through the use of visitors' Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which aids the appearance of legitimacy. Furthermore, "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" is typically displayed in the language associated with visitors' geolocations. This scam has been observed targeting French (Bouygues Telecom ISP), Chilean (VTR ISP), Hong Kong (Netvigator ISP), Italian (Fastweb ISP), South African (Telkom ISP) and a number of other regions/ISPs. Most users enter deceptive/scam sites unintentionally, since they are redirected by intrusive advertisements or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into their devices.

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! scam (initial pop-up)

Visitors to the website promoting the "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam first see a pop-up window. The phrasing can differ in some variants of this scheme, but in essence it congratulates users of a specific Internet Service Provider to have been chosen as potential prize winners. In most versions of the scam, the possible prizes are Samsung Galaxy S10 or Apple iPhone X smartphones. The background page thanks visitors for using the ISP and invites them to take a quick survey. If users answer the multi-choice survey, they can win the aforementioned prizes. There is also a countdown presented, which shows how much time remains to win the fake gifts. After the survey is completed, another web page is displayed that congratulates users for winning the prize. It mentions that the Apple iPhone X is already out of stock, however, they have won the Samsung device. "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" then displays another pop-up stating that the prize has been reserved by the ISP and lists the terms and conditions of this giveaway. The "terms and conditions" are instructions. Firstly, users are to provide their shipping and contact details in the following web page. Secondly, they must pay the shipping fee, which in most versions is 1 USD or equivalent. The text presented in this window ends with a statement that after the first steps are made - the prize will be shipped within two business days. Pressing any of the consent options (e.g. "OK" button) redirects users to another site. In this page, users are to enter their personal details and pay the shipping cost. Note that trusting "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" or similar scams will not lead to any prizes. You will experience financial loss and, possibly, privacy issues.

Redirects to deceptive/scam web pages are usually generated by intrusive ads or PUAs. Unwanted applications can force-open a wide variety of scam, rogue, compromised and even malicious sites, however, they can also possess other capabilities. PUAs can deliver intrusive advertisements (pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, etc.), which significantly diminish the browsing experience, cause redirects to harmful pages and stealthily download/install unwanted content. Other PUA types can modify browsers, restrict/deny access to settings and promote fake search engines. Most unwanted apps, regardless of other specifications, can track data. They record browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This private data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to profit through misusing it. In summary, while typically legitimate in appearance, PUAs can cause various system infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device/user safety, remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name possible malware infections
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scam claims visitors have won a prize.
Related Domains establishteam.club, meaningfullead.club, easilyeveryday.com, guesstimateds.com, goodfortuneall.com, thegreatermeaning.com, getexpectations.com, luckyconfident.com, surveysettlement.com
Serving IP Address 13.249.134.127 (both establishteam.club and meaningfullead.club)
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

"PRIZE EMAIL", "SPECIAL AWARD FROM OUR SPONSORS", and "International promotion of postal services" are some examples of other scams. Social engineering and scare tactics are commonly used to further these schemes. Deceptive websites often claim that visitors have won "unbelievable prizes", offer "amazing" deals, claim that the device is infected and/or a piece of essential software is outdated/missing, etc. The purpose is to encourage users into performing variopus actions, with the underlying goal to generate revenue at their expense. Scams can be designed to trick users into making monetary transactions (e.g. payment for "services rendered", various fees, etc.), revealing personal information, downloading/installing/purchasing untrustworthy or malicious content, and so on.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other programs. "Bundling" is the term used to describe this deceptive marketing technique of packing regular content with unwanted or malicious software. Rushing download/install processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.) endangers devices with potential infiltration and infections. Select applications of this type have "official" download web pages. When clicked, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research all products (apps, browser extensions/plug-ins, tools, etc.) prior to downloading/installing them. Use only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources such as Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and/or bundled software for download. When downloading/installing, you are advised to read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional content. Intrusive ads tend to seem normal and innocuous, however, they can redirect to rogue pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system 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 Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" initial pop-up window:

Tuesday January 7, 2020

Dear Netvigator user,

Congratulations! You are one of the 100 users that we selected to receive the chance to win an Samsung Galaxy S10 or Apple iPhone X.

Screenshot of the background page:

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! background page

Text presented in this page:

Netvigator customer reward program
Congratulations!
7 January 2020
We wish to thank you for the long use of a services from Netvigator!

Every Tuesday we randomly select several users to take a short survey. In return, we offer them the chance to receive a valuable gift from our sponsors. This survey allows us to better understand users and make our products better. It will not take more than 30 seconds of your time.

You can win the new Samsung Galaxy S10 or Apple iPhone X. All you need to do to receive a gift is to answer the following 8 questions.

Remember: 100 randomly selected users have received this invitation. The number of gifts is limited.
You have 3 minutes and 49 seconds to answer the following questions before we give your gift to another happy user! Good luck!

Screenshot of page displayed after answering all questions:

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! second page

Text presented in this page:

Congratulations!100%
You answered all (8/8) questions
No repeat queries were submitted from your IP address.
Today you can claim 1 gift.
Receive your gift now:

Samsung Galaxy S10
Your price: $1 (DHL shipping cost)
Remaining quantity: 3 units
Take it

iPhone X
Your price: $1 (DHL shipping cost)
Remaining quantity: 0 units

Screenshot of the pop-up window displayed after choosing the reward:

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! second page pop-up

Text presented in this pop-up:

Netvigator customer reward program
Your Samsung Galaxy S10 has been reserved by Netvigator!

Terms and conditions:
1. On the next page fill in the shipping and the contact details;
2. Pay only $1 for the delivery of your gift;
3. Your Samsung Galaxy S10 will be shipped within two business days with DHL.

Screenshot of website for providing shipping details and paying for "shipping fees":

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! redirect to site for paying the fake shipping fees

Appearance of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam targeting users of Chilean Internet Service Provider VTR (GIF):

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! Chile VTR

Appearance of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam targeting users of French Internet Service Provider Bouygues Telecom (GIF):

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! France Bouygues Telecom

Appearance of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam targeting users of Hong Kong Internet Service Provider Netvigator (GIF):

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! Hong Kong Netvigator

Appearance of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam targeting users of Italian Internet Service Provider Fastweb (GIF):

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! Italy Fastweb

Appearance of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" scam targeting users of South African Internet Service Provider Telkom (GIF):

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! South Africa Telkom

Other examples of "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" pop-up scam:

Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 1) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 2) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 3) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 4) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 5) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 6) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 7) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 8) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 9) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 10) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 11) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 12) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 13) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 14) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 15) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 16) Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations! pop-up scam 2020-05-28 (sample 17)

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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 plug-ins 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
possible malware infections QR code
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