"Congratulations device user!" removal instructions
What is "Congratulations device user!"?
"Congratulations device user!" is a scam run on various deceptive websites. It claims that users can win a prize (fake) supposedly provided by Google. This scam steals users' personal information and can also abuse their trust in other ways. Access to deceptive/scam sites is typically gained unintentionally via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into the system.
When a website, promoting the "Congratulations device user!" scam is accessed, it displays a pop-up window. The text presented claims that visitors have been selected by "Google" and they can win an iPhone 11 or other prizes. The background page states that this is a prize giveaway called "Google Membership Rewards". It is supposedly held each Thursday and ten users are randomly selected to be rewarded with various prizes. It then states that the gifts are exclusively for specific device/service users from a certain location (e.g. "Eonix Corporation users in Dallas"). This fake giveaway is in appreciation of users' continuous support of their products and services. The scam details that users can win a prize worth up to $799 USD if they "answer the following four questions correctly". It urges them to act quickly, since the available gifts are limited, as is the time to answer the questions. Below, a multi-choice quiz is provided with questions concerning Google. Users must then select their 'prize' and are redirected to a different web site on which they are to provide their delivery details (name, address, email, telephone number, etc.). This information is misused in various ways, which can lead to serious privacy issues and even identity theft. Furthermore, scams such as "Congratulations device user!" are often used to trick people into making monetary transactions, such as fake shipping fees and other payments. Therefore, you are strongly advised against trusting "Congratulations device user!" or other web pages making similar claims.
As mentioned, PUAs can cause redirects to deceptive/scam pages and also redirect to sale-based, untrusted, rogue, compromised and even malicious sites. These apps also have other capabilities. They can deliver ads that are harmful and diminish the browsing experience. Once intrusive advertisements are clicked, they redirect to similarly dangerous websites and often execute scripts to stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Other PUAs modify browsers, restrict/deny access to settings and promote fake search engines. Furthermore, most PUAs have data tracking capabilities. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) and collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for profit. In summary, the presence of PUAs on systems can cause various infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||"Congratulations device user!" pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims users can win a prize.|
|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.
"Dear user, congratulations!", "Congratulations You Are Todays Winner", and "Congratulations Samsung user!" are some examples of scams similar to "Congratulations device user!". These schemes often trick users into performing specific actions such as revealing their personal information (e.g. names, addresses, telephone numbers, email and social media account credentials, banking account and credit card details. etc.), making monetary transactions, downloading/installing and/or purchasing untrusted or malicious software, and so on. You are strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing and not to trust websites that make unrealistic and dubious promises.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs proliferate via the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using presets, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto systems. Some PUAs have "official" download pages. Once 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 content, prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and should be avoided. When downloading/installing, it is important to 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 various dubious web pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). If you encounter ads/redirects of this type, inspect the system and eliminate all suspicious applications and 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 the "Congratulations device user!" scam pop-up:
Congratulations device user!
You are selected by Google to be among the first few persons to win an iPhone 11 or other Google prizes! This gift is exclusively for loyal users in Dallas.
Text presented in the background page and the quiz questions:
Google Membership Rewards
Congratulations device User! Your IP has Won (1) Google Gift!
Every Thursday we randomly select 10 lucky device users, once a day to receive a gift (Prize Guaranteed!) from Google. This gift is exclusively and ONLY for Eonix Corporation users in Dallas! This is just our way to thank you for your continuous support of our product and services.
You have been selected to win a gift worth up to $799.00 if you answer the next 4 questions correctly.
ACT NOW! 9 other users have received this invitation with only 5 prizes available to win.
You have a limited time to answer the questions before someone else takes over your spot. Good luck!
1: Who is a founder of Google?
2: In which year was Google Founded?
3: Where is the headquarters of Google?
4: Which service is a part of Google?
Screenshot of the website to which the"Congratulations device user!" scam redirects after the quiz is complete:
The appearance of "Congratulations device user!" pop-up 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:
- What is "Congratulations device user!"?
- 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 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 "congratulations device user!" 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 "congratulations device user!" 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 "congratulations device user!" 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 "congratulations device user!" 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 "congratulations device user!" pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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