What is "Google Membership Rewards"?
"Google Membership Rewards" is a scam presented as a prize raffle. The scheme claims that users should select the correct answers to the following multi-choice questions - they will win a prize worth up to 1099 USD.
The fraudulent gift giveaway was supposedly created as a show of gratitude for users' support of Google products and services. It must be emphasized that "Google Membership Rewards" is in no way associated with Google LLC, and all of the information provided by it - is false.
Online scams are promoted on various untrustworthy websites, which users rarely access intentionally. Most enter such pages via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
The "Google Membership Rewards" scam congratulates users for allegedly being selected as winners of Google gifts. The scheme claims ten users are chosen once a day to win a prize. The gift is guaranteed and only available for the selected user.
The fake giveaway is stated to be a "thank you" for users' continued support of Google products/services. The scam then makes statements that contradict its previous claims. It informs users that they can win the prize (worth up to 1099 USD) if they correctly answer the four following questions.
The scheme also urges users to act immediately since the number of nonexistent prizes is limited. As mentioned in the introduction, "Google Membership Rewards" is fake, and it cannot be trusted. By trusting this scam, users can experience a wide variety of serious problems.
The sole purpose of scams is to generate profit for their designers, yet how they make revenue - differs. Fake prize giveaways often ask victims to make relatively small monetary transactions (compared to the supposed gift).
For example, the scheme may request users to pay shipping, storage, transaction, subscription, registration, and similar bogus fees. Hoax raffles can operate in tandem with phishing scams, which aim to extract sensitive and personal information.
Data of interest includes: various account log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords), names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails, banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.
The gathered data can then be sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals), used to further personalized scams, make fraudulent transactions, online purchases, and so on.
To summarize, trusting the "Google Membership Rewards" scheme can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, identity theft, and other problems.
Potentially unwanted applications can be responsible for rogue redirects to misleading, deceptive, and malicious sites (e.g., ones running the "Google Membership Rewards" scam). These apps usually appear legitimate and offer "handy" features, which are seldom operational.
Furthermore, unwanted software can have heinous functionalities, and the functions can be in different combinations. Adware-type PUAs deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. The delivered pop-ups, banners, coupons, and other ads - cripple the browsing experience and endanger device/user safety.
Once clicked on, intrusive adverts redirect to untrustworthy/dangerous websites, and some can download/install software stealthily. Another PUA type called browser hijacker operates by modifying browsers and limiting/denying access to their settings - in order to promote illegitimate search engines.
They monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and personally identifiable details). PUA developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.
|Name||Google Membership Rewards pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Users can win a fake prize by answering multi-choice questions correctly.|
|Disguise||Scam is disguised as a prize giveaway created by Google.|
|Detection Names (nature38standwould[.]live)||Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Kaspersky (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
The Internet is full of misleading and deceptive content designed to generate revenue at use expense. Popular scam models are: fake prize giveaways, unbelievable deals and offers, warnings that the system is infected or at risk, alerts that a piece of software is outdated or missing, and so forth.
Regardless of what these schemes claim, offer, promise, request, or demand - they cannot be trusted. Due to how widespread scams are online, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Select PUAs have "official" download webpages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling".
Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the device.
Intrusive adverts are also used to spread PUAs. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is important to research products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources.
Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (Torrent clients, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, and so forth.
Intrusive advertisements appear ordinary and innocuous; however, they redirect to various unreliable and dubious sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it.
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 in the "Google Membership Rewards" scam:
Google Membership Rewards
Congratulations undefined User! Your IP has Won (1) Google Gift!
March 31 2021
Every we randomly selected 10 lucky users, once a day to receive a gift (Prize Guaranteed!) from Google. This gift is exclusively and ONLY for undefined undefined! 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 $1,099.00 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!
The appearance of the "Google Membership Rewards" pop-up 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 "Google Membership Rewards"?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
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 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 google membership rewards 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 plugins 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 google membership rewards 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 google membership rewards 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.
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 google membership rewards 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.
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 google membership rewards pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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