Remove apps that open "Dear user, congratulations!" and other scam sites

Also Known As: Dear user, congratulations! pop-up
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Dear user, congratulations!" removal instructions

What is "Dear user, congratulations!"?

"Dear user, congratulations!" is one of many scam websites used to trick visitors into believing that they have won a prize, can receive a gift, and so on. In this particular case, visitors are informed that they have won a mobile telephone and can claim it by completing a survey. As with many other scams, however, this one attempts to deceive visitors into providing personal information. People are also asked to transfer a small sum of money. We strongly recommend that you ignore these websites and, more importantly, do not provide any information.

Dear user, congratulations! scam

The main page of this scam states that ten visitors have the chance to receive a gift, a mobile telephone. At the time of research, this was the Samsung Galaxy S10+. To receive a gift, visitors must supposedly complete a survey - they must do this immediately, since the number of gifts is apparently limited. After completing the survey, visitors are offered a gift for just one dollar - i.e., they simply pay for the shipping. This scam website also asks people to provide various information such as first and last name, email address, and other details. These web pages often ask for confidential information such as credit card details, and other sensitive information. We strongly advise against providing any information on scam websites, or other untrusted sites. The scammers behind them misuse the details to generate revenue by making fraudulent purchases and transactions, stealing identities, and so on. This might cause unsuspecting visitors monetary loss, problems with privacy, browsing safety, and other serious issues. Therefore, do not trust "Dear user, congratulations!" or any other scam websites.

Typically, people do not visit scam websites or other untrusted pages intentionally - they are opened through clicked deceptive ads, other dubious web pages or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on the system. Apps of this type usually feed users with ads and/or gather information. They serve intrusive ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc. These redirect people who click them to various untrusted web pages. In some cases, they run scripts that download or install unwanted software. Furthermore, PUAs often track information. They collect details relating to users' browsing habits such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, and so on. They sometimes record personal, sensitive information as well. Developers misuse the data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it in other ways.

Threat Summary:
Name Dear user, congratulations! pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim According to this scam page, visitors can receive gifts by completing a survey.
Related Domains loyaltyrewards[.]zone
Detection Names (loyaltyrewards[.]zone) CRDF (Malicious), ESET (Suspicious), Fortinet (Spam), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Appearing fake lotteries, 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.
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Some examples of other similar scam pages include "Dear YouTube user, Congratulations!", "Congratulations Walmart shopper!" and "Dear Chrome User, Congratulations!". Most of these websites attempt to deceive visitors into providing information so that they can supposedly receive a prize, gift, and so on. People who trust these pages become victims of identity theft, lose money, and experience other problems. Browsers commonly open these web pages due to installed PUAs.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are usually downloaded/installed through the set-ups of other programs. I.e., when they are included into software set-ups and presented as additional offers. This PUA distribution method is called "bundling" and is used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted software with other, regular software. In most cases, offers to download/install additionally-included apps are mentioned in "Custom", "Advanced", and other settings of the set-ups. People who download or install programs without checking and changing these settings often allow PUAs to infiltrate. In some cases, PUAs are downloaded/installed when people click deceptive ads that execute certain scripts. Many people download and install PUAs inadvertently.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download all programs and files from official websites and via direct links. Other sources and tools such as third party downloaders/installers, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), unofficial websites should not be trusted - they are often used to promote various unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings of the download and installation setups. Dismiss any offers to download or install additionally-included (unwanted) apps before completing the process. Intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages often open untrusted websites or cause download/installation of unwanted applications. Therefore, do not click them. Remove any unknown, unwanted/suspicious extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented on the "Dear user, congratulations!" main web page:

Dear user, congratulations!
We want to thank you for being a loyal Google United States user! Your IP address 45.56.174.169 has been randomly selected to receive a chance to get a FREE Samsung Galaxy S10+.

From time to time we select a handful of Google users to give them the opportunity to receive valuable gifts from our partners and sponsors. This is our way of thanking you for choosing Google as your preferred search engine.

Today is your lucky day! You are one of the 10 randomly selected users who can receive this gift.

To receive your gift, you simply have to complete our short and anonymous survey. But hurry! There are only a few gifts available today!


Questions:

How satisfied are you with Google?

Very Satisfied Satisfied Unsatisfied

Would you recommend Google?

Yes No Maybe

What do you like the most about Google?

Speed Service Privacy

Screenshot of the second page of the "Dear user, congratulations!" scam:

dear user congratulations scam second page

Text on this page:

Congratulations!
Due to limited availability your gift will be reserved for the next 2:57 minutes.

If you do not claim the gift during this time it will be given to the next happy Google user.

Your gift:


Samsung Galaxy S10+

Regular price: $1,599.00

Your price: $1 (shipping costs)

Available: 2

* Prices are stated in New Zealand Dollars

Claim Now

The appearance of the "Dear user, congratulations!" pop-up (GIF):

Dear user, congratulations! scam gif

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 dear user, congratulations! pop-up, 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 dear user, congratulations! pop-up, 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 dear user, congratulations! pop-up 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 dear user, congratulations! pop-up, 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 dear user, congratulations! pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on dear user, congratulations! pop-up 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Dear user, congratulations! pop-up QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Dear user, congratulations! pop-up on your mobile device.
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