Avoid getting scammed by emails promising a "$1,000 Gift Card"

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"$1,000 Gift Card email scam" removal guide

What is the "$1,000 Gift Card" scam email?

"$1,000 Gift Card email scam" refers to a spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. As this campaign's name suggests, the letters distributed through it - urge recipients to collect a gift card worth 1,000 USD. It must be emphasized that these emails are scams, and as such - all of the information provided by them is false. The link presented in the scam letters redirects to various untrustworthy and even malicious websites. Visiting and/or using the pages promoted via this spam mail - can lead to a variety of severe issues.

$1,000 Gift Card email spam campaign

The emails with the subject/title "Claim your $1,000 Gift Card" (may vary) - instruct recipients to claim their prize by clicking the link presented below. Allegedly, the link will lead to an approved distributors' website. In the page, recipients will have to complete a short survey in order to get the 1,000 USD worth gift card. As mentioned in the introduction, the claims made by the scam emails are untrue. Hence, by trusting these letters, users will not receive any gift cards or other prizes. The link in the "$1,000 Gift Card" emails redirects to various unreliable, misleading, and dangerous webpages.

The link may redirect users to rogue pages (e.g., topcaptchasolver.com, eouldeco.onlinemekiroki.com, etc.). Depending on users' geolocations, these webpages display dubious material and/or redirect visitors to other, potentially more hazardous sites. Rogue websites can also host intrusive advertisements, some of which can be triggered to (when clicked on) to stealthily download/install software. The scam letters can also push promotional/sale-oriented sites that can offer legitimate and fraudulent content. The latter can include adware, browser hijackers, fake anti-viruses, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). Since the "$1,000 Gift Card" emails promise prizes, the link in them may promote similarly themed scam webpages (e.g., "Gift card giveaway", "Congratulations device user!", "Win The New iPhone 12", "You've made the 9.68-billionth search", etc.). Compromised and malicious websites can infiltrate malware (e.g., trojansransomware, cryptominers, etc.) into systems and/or offer it for download under the guise of genuine products. In summary, by trusting the "$1,000 Gift Card" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name $1,000 Gift Card Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients can win a 1,000 USD gift card by completing a survey.
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

"Kaspersky Email Scam", "DENTIN METAL ENGINEERING", "Inode Quota Exceeded", "Facebook Lottery", "LUCKY WINNER OF 1.5 MILLION DOLLARS" - are some examples of spam campaigns. The letters sent through these large-scale operations - are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from legitimate organizations, authorities, companies, service providers, and other entities. Spam campaigns are used for malware proliferation, phishing and various different scams. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of infectious content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands) and warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the device via spam mail, it is advised against opening dubious/irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also spread via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to perform downloads from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected/potential threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "$1,000 Gift Card" scam email letter:

Subject: Claim your $1,000 Gift Card




1. Claim your prize by pressing the link below!




2. You will be taken to the website of one of our approved distributors.


3. Complete a small survey to claim your $1,000 Gift Card.

Appearance of the link in "$1,000 Gift Card" scam emails redirecting to a dubious website (GIF):

$1,000 Gift Card email scam promoting an untrustworthy website 1 (GIF)

Appearance of the link redirecting to another dubious website (GIF):

$1,000 Gift Card email scam promoting an untrustworthy website 2 (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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Malwarebytes for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Malwarebytes for Windows.

Click to post a comment

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
possible malware infections 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 possible malware infections on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Malwarebytes

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Malwarebytes:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.