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.
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.
|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.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 126.96.36.199 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!
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:
Text on this page:
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.
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Regular price: $1,599.00
Your price: $1 (shipping costs)
* Prices are stated in New Zealand Dollars
The appearance of the "Dear user, congratulations!" pop-up (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 "Dear user, congratulations!"?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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.
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 (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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.
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, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
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 (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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.
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.
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