Avoid getting scammed by a fake "Apple Rewards Program"

Also Known As: Apple Rewards Program pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove redirects to websites promoting "Apple Rewards Program" scam from Mac?

What is "Apple Rewards Program"?

"Apple Rewards Program" is a scam run on deceptive websites. This scheme targets Apple device users. It thanks them for being a longtime supporters of Apple and claims that by completing a short survey and paying a small fee - they can win iPhone 11 pro. It must be emphasized that this scam is no way associated with Apple Inc. The purpose of this scheme is to extract users' personal information and trick them into making monetary transactions. Typically, deceptive/scam sites are accessed through redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

Apple Rewards Program scam

The "Apple Rewards Program" scam claims that one iPhone 11 pro is pending. Visitors to a website running this scheme are thanked for supporting Apple for a long time. Supposedly, once a week a couple users are randomly selected to take part in a short survey. This questionnaire consists of nine questions and it can be completed within thirty seconds. The goal of this survey is allegedly to gather information on how to improve services and to learn about the user base. After the questionnaire is finished, users will get a chance to win iPhone 11 pro, if they make a small payment. Additionally, users are warned that only two rewards are left, as eighteen candidates have already been selected today. Furthermore, users are urged to complete the survey without delay, as there is a time limit for this fake prize giveaway. Once the questions are answered, users are informed that the nonexistent prize has been reserved for them. To claim the mobile device, they must register with their names and emails, and pay the fee via credit card. Aside from the fraudulent payments, by trusting this scam users will unintentionally expose their credit card details to the scammers. Therefore, users can experience significant financial loss.

Aside from force-opening deceptive/scam, rogue, compromised and malicious websites, PUAs can have other/additional abilities. Adware-types can enable the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive adverts on any visited webpage. This seriously diminishes the browsing experience. Additionally, upon being clicked, these ads redirect to untrustworthy/malicious sites and some can stealthily download/install undesirable software. Another type called browser hijackers modify browser settings in order to promote fake search engines. Hence, users are constantly redirected to the addresses of illegitimate web searchers. Which are rarely capable of providing search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate search engines. Browser hijackers can also restrict/deny access to the affected browser's settings and/or reset any permitted changes made. What is more, most PUAs have data tracking abilities. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) and gather personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), seeking to misuse it for profit. In summary, presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Apple Rewards Program pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Scam claims users can win iPhone 11 pro by completing a survey
Related Domains topinstallswebsprivate[.]club
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

"Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged by 19 viruses!", "IOS VPN profile", "Your iPhone has been located" and "AdBlocker Update" are a few examples of other scams targeting Apple device users. Fake prize giveaway is but one popular scam model. Other common ones include: warnings about the system being infected or at risk, alerts that a crucial piece of software is outdated or missing, unbelievable deals/offer, and so on. The purpose of these schemes can be to trick users into: downloading/installing and/or purchasing nonoperational, untrustworthy or malicious software; calling fake and expensive technical support lines; revealing personal information; exposing account log-in credentials; paying bogus fees; etc. Regardless of what scams offer, claim, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue for the designers.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download pages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. These applications are also distributed through download/installation setups of other software. This false marketing tactic of pre-packing ordinary products with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing dubious and/or bundled content into the system. Intrusive ads proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts designed to make stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels should be used. Untrustworthy sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - can offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts usually look legitimate, however they redirect to various unreliable and questionable webpages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and others). In case of encounters with such advertisements/redirects, users must check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from it. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the "Apple Rewards Program" scam:

Apple Rewards Program
(1) iPhone 11 pro is pending
11 June 2020
Thank you for using Apple for a long time!

 

Every Thursday we randomly select few users by system to do a short online survey. It includes 9 simple questions that can be finished within 30s or less. In this way, we can know our users better and improve our services.

 

Thank you for your time, we will offer you an opportunity to get a brand new iPhone 11 pro by paying only RM5 after finishing the survey.

 

Attention: 18 randomly selected users who received this invitation today. Only 2 rewards left.

 

You have 2 minutes and 18 seconds to answer the 9 questions. Hurry up & good luck!

Pop-up displayed after the survey is completed:

Apple Rewards Program scam pop-up

Text presented in the pop-up:

Apple Rewards Program
(1) iPhone 11 pro has been reserved for you!

 

How to claim your iPhone 11 pro:
1. Register an account with your name and email on the next page;
2. Pay RM5 with credit card and fill in your address;
3. Your iPhone 11 pro will be delivered to the address within 5 working days via Fedex.

To enable pop-up blocking, fraudulent website warnings, and remove web browsing data in mobile Apple devices, follow these steps:

First, go to "Settings", and then scroll down to find and tap "Safari".

remove pop-ups and clear cache step 1

Check if the "Block Pop-ups" and "Fraudulent Website Warning" toggles are enabled. If not, enable them immediately. Then, scroll down and tap "Advanced".

disable pop-ups and clear cache step 2

Tap "Website Data" and then "Remove All Website Data".

disable pop-ups and clear cache step 3

Instant automatic Mac 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 Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac 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 Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX","NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove apple rewards program pop-up related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Apple Rewards Program pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple rewards program pop-up related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove apple rewards program pop-up related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove apple rewards program pop-up related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Apple Rewards Program 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 Apple Rewards Program pop-up on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.