What is "2020 Opinion Survey"?
"2020 Opinion Survey" is a scam run on deceptive websites. It operates by claiming that users have been selected to win a reward, which they can receive by completing a brief survey.
At the time of research, the fake prizes were cosmetic products, however, other rewards might also be offered by this scam (e.g. electronic devices of popular brands, gift cards and vouchers, cash, etc.).
Rather than receiving any rewards, however, users are redirected to other deceptive/scam sites, which promote dubious/fake products, trick users into paying bogus fees or revealing their personal information such as names, communication/social account credentials, banking and credit card details, and so on.
Typically, access to websites running "2020 Opinion Survey" (and others similar to it) are accessed via redirects caused by intrusive ads or potentially unwanted programs (PUAs) already infiltrated into the system.
When a web page promoting the "2020 Opinion Survey" is accessed, it displays a pop-up window claiming that visitors have been selected to receive a complimentary reward. To qualify, they must complete a survey, which will take no longer than thirty seconds.
This survey is supposedly anonymous and used for marketing purposes. In gratitude for completing it, users are promised a gift of over seventy dollars. After the pop-up is closed ("OK" is clicked), visitors are presented with a multi-choice questionnaire. The questions mainly concern "testwebsite.com" (e.g. visit frequency, rating, potential improvements and the user's gender).
Once this survey is complete, the scheme claims to check which prizes are available and lists the bogus rewards. When any reward is selected ("Claim Reward" is pressed), people are redirected to different deceptive/scam websites.
These can request bogus shipping fees (e.g. for the gift users have supposedly won), ask to pay for registration/subscription, sell dubious products (often nonexistent, and hence buyers will receive nothing), steal personal and financial information, etc.
Therefore, trusting "2020 Opinion Survey" or the web pages to which it redirects can lead to serious issues such as financial loss, serious privacy concerns and even identity theft.
As well as causing redirects to deceptive/scam and other untrusted, malicious sites, PUAs have additional dangerous capabilities. They can also deliver intrusive ads, which diminish the browsing experience, redirect to harmful web pages and stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs).
Other types can hijack browsers by modifying settings (and restricting/denying access to settings) to promote bogus search engines. PUAs often track data. They can monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and users' personal details).
This sensitive data is typically shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for profit. The presence of unwanted apps on devices is a serious privacy concern and can lead to system infiltration and infections.
Therefore, to ensure device integrity and user safety, you are strongly advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||2020 Opinion Survey pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims users will receive a reward for completing a survey.|
|Serving IP Address (03-secure[.]com)
|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 Combo Cleaner.
"Dear user, congratulations!", "Dear YouTube user, Congratulations!", "Congratulations Walmart shopper!" and "Dear [ISP name] user, Congratulations!" are some examples of other scams similar to "2020 Opinion Survey". These schemes use social engineering to encourage users into performing certain actions.
There are various scam models employed: prize giveaways, "incredible" offers, claims that an essential piece of software is outdated, warnings that the system is infected and/or at risk, etc. The only purpose of such scams is to generate revenue for the designers. Therefore, you are advised to exercise caution when browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs proliferate via the download/install set-ups of other programs. "Bundling" is the term used to describe this deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions.
By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content onto the system. Some PUAs have "official" download pages, which are commonly promoted by deceptive/scam sites. When clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software and download it only from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels (free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks [BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.] and other third party downloaders) can offer deceptive and bundled content and should not be used.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads usually seem normal and innocuous, however, they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browsers extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text initially presented by the "2020 Opinion Survey" scam:
2020 Opinion Survey
Dear Testwebsite.com Visitor!
Your connection has been selected to get a complimentary reward!
In order to qualify, just complete this 30-second, anonymous marketing survey, and to say thank you for providing valuable consumer feedback, you'll be able to claim one or more rewards worth over $70!
Thank you for your time!
Text presented in the survey provided by the "2020 Opinion Survey" scam:
1: How many times do you visit Testwebsite.com in a week?
2: How would you rate your overall experience with testwebsite.com?
3: How did you find out about Testwebsite.com ?
4: What's one thing that you would improve with testwebsite.com?
5: Lastly, do you identify as a Male or Female?
Screenshot of the web page displayed after the survey is complete:
Text presented in this page:
Submitting your answers and checking our stock levels for available rewards, thank you for your patience.
Screenshot of the page listing the fake reward options:
Text presented in this page:
Thank you for your feedback and completing the survey!
You may now choose (1) of the following exclusive rewards below from one of our partners. Please understand that these products are currently in extremely high demand, and if you leave this page without claiming your reward, we have no choice but to give another visitor a chance to participate in our consumer rewards program.
Screenshots of websites to which the "2020 Opinion Survey" scam redirects:
The appearance of "2020 Opinion Survey" scam (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 "2020 Opinion Survey"?
- 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 2020 opinion survey 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 2020 opinion survey 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 2020 opinion survey 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 2020 opinion survey 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 2020 opinion survey pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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