Avoid the Congratulations Walmart shopper! lottery scam
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Congratulations Walmart shopper!"?
This lottery scam website claims that visitors have the chance to win one of a number of prizes. Typically, scammers behind websites of this type have one main goal: to deceive people into providing various information. For example, names, surnames, email addresses, credit card details, and so on.
Do not trust this or other, similar websites. In most cases, they are opened through deceptive advertisements, other untrusted websites or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on the browser and/or operating system.
"Congratulations Walmart shopper!" overview
When visited, this scam website displays a pop-up window stating that visitors have the chance to win an exclusive reward for being loyal customers of Walmart. Note that this company has nothing to do with this fake lottery.
To participate in this lottery scam, visitors are urged to spin the wheel and then claim one of the special prizes such as an Apple Watch, iPhone, AirPods or a $1000 Walmart gift card, however, before claiming any prize, they are asked to provide various information.
Typically, websites of this type ask to provide details such as name, surname, address, telephone number, email address, and other details. They might also ask to provide credit card details. At the time of research, however, the "Claim Your Prize" button led to a malfunctioning website.
We strongly advise against providing any information on this or other, similar websites. People who trust these sites risk becoming victims of identity theft, experiencing monetary loss, problems with privacy, and so on.
These websites are commonly opened by PUAs that are installed on the browser and/or operating system. PUAs open untrusted pages, gather browsing data and feed users with intrusive advertisements. They record details such as IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, etc.
Typically, the developers sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. PUAs often serve intrusive advertisements. Typically, they display ads in the form of pop-ups, coupons, banners, surveys, and so on.
People who click them are usually redirected to various dubious pages, or they allow them to execute scripts that cause download/installation of PUAs or even malicious programs. All PUAs should be uninstalled immediately, since they can cause problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, identity theft, and other issues.
|Name||"Congratilations Walmart shopper!" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||This website claims that visitors have the chance to win a special prize.|
|Related Domains||rewardsawesome[.]com, lucky-gifts-center[.]com|
|Detection Names (rewardsawesome[.]com)||Fortinet (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Appearance of lottery scams, 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 Combo Cleaner.
Similar scam examples
"Congratulations Dear Amazon Customer", "Dear Chrome User, Congratulations!" and "You've Made The 5-billionth Search" are examples of other scam websites of this kind. Most attempt to trick visitors into providing various information and none of the participants win any prizes.
The scammers behind these sites often try to make them seem more convincing by using names of well-known companies (such as Walmart). If these web pages are opened regularly, this probably due to PUAs installed on the browser and/or operating system.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Generally, people download and install PUAs inadvertently when software developers distribute them using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - they include PUAs into the download/installation set-ups of other programs and hide related information in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings.
People who download and/or install software without changing these settings often inadvertently give various PUAs permission to be downloaded and installed. In some cases, PUAs are downloaded and installed when people click deceptive advertisements that execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Do not download or install software through untrusted websites, third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and so on. This should be performed using only official websites and direct download links. Decline offers to download or install additionally-included, unwanted apps before completing the download/installation process.
Typically, those offers are mentioned in settings of set-ups such as "Advanced, "Custom". Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they appear on dubious websites. These can lead to potentially malicious pages or cause download/installation of unwanted software. Remove any unknown, unwanted extensions, add-ons and plug-ins installed on the browser immediately.
The same should be applied to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in the initial "Congratulations Walmart shopper!" pop-up:
Congratulations Walmart shopper!
We would like to thank you for your loyalty - so we are offering you a chance to receive an exclusive reward
Spin the wheel to claim your special prize
Screenshot of the background page:
Text in this page:
EXCLUSIVE REWARDS ★
Only today - January 27, 2020 img
Spin & Win
Every Monday we select 7 lucky Walmart shoppers to receive a special reward. Spin the wheel to claim your special prize.
Screenshot of the second pop-up:
Text in this pop-up:
(1) $1000 Walmart Gift Card is reserved for you!
To claim your prize, click the button bellow and verify your information on the next page.
Claim Your Prize →
Your prize will expire in 5:09
Appearance of "Congratulations Walmart shopper!" scam (GIF):
Appearance of another "Congratulations Walmart shopper!" lottery scam variant (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "Congratilations Walmart shopper!" virus?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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 Windows.
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 Windows) - 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are essentially deceptive messages promoted online. Their goal is to trick users into performing specific actions, e.g., disclosing private information, making monetary transactions, purchasing products, downloading/installing software, and so on.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are used to generate revenue. Cyber criminals primarily profit by obtaining funds through deception, abusing or selling private data, promoting products/software, and distributing malware.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by a scam, what should I do?
If the personal data were log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if it were personally identifiable details (e.g., ID card data, passport scans/pictures, etc.) or finance-related information (e.g., bank account credentials, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are run on deceptive webpages, which are usually accessed unintentionally. Most enter them via redirects caused by websites that use rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious ones. Therefore, should you access such a page – you will be immediately warned, and further access to it will be restricted.
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