What is "PayApp Reward"?
The "PayApp Reward scam" is an online scheme, which claims that users will be rewarded if they complete a short questionnaire. This scam type aims to promote unreliable, deceptive, and even malicious sites by offering fake prizes.
These schemes are run on various untrustworthy webpages, and the pages may be endorsed using a variety of questionable tactics. The "PayApp Reward" scam has been observed being promoted through spam mail, e.g., emails titled "we..got..a..surpise...for...you......3784" (may vary).
Users rarely access deceptive websites intentionally; most enter them via mistyped URLs, redirects caused by intrusive advertisements, or have them force-opened by installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
The "PayApp Reward" scheme claims to have handed out prizes worth 4 million USD in total. The scam states that this is a limited-time offer, through which participants will gain rewards worth at least 90 USD.
To get the nonexistent prizes, users are requested to complete a 30-second multi-choice survey concerning shopping-related topics. Once the questionnaire is complete, users are presented with a list of fake rewards from which they can select one.
When a prize is selected, users are redirected to a different untrustworthy/dangerous webpage. Hence, by trusting the "PayApp Reward" scam, users will not receive any rewards and may experience a variety of serious issues.
This scam has notably redirected to phishing pages - designed to record entered information and use it for malicious purposes. These sites targeted users' names, surnames, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.
The collected data can be monetized by being sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and/or used to further personalized scams. Furthermore, the promoted webpages offered various products for free or for purchase.
In case of the former, users may still be asked to pay certain fees (e.g., shipping, subscription, registration, etc.) to receive the items. These deceptive websites may employ dubious payment gateways for this purpose.
The gateways can operate as phishing scams and record banking account details and/or credit card numbers. Scammers can then use this information to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.
Regardless of whether users pay for the offered products or not, they are unlikely to receive them. Should the purchased content arrive, it may be worth less than paid for, or it might even be hazardous to user health.
To summarize, victims of the "PayApp Reward" scheme - can experience financial losses, severe privacy issues, and identity theft. As mentioned in the introduction, scam sites can be force-opened by unwanted applications infiltrated into the device.
However, PUAs can have additional heinous functionalities. Adware-types deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. The delivered ads diminish browsing quality and endanger device/user safety.
Once clicked on, intrusive adverts redirect to harmful webpages, and some can stealthily download/install software. Browser hijackers are another type of PUAs.
They promote (cause redirects to) fake search engines by modifying browser settings. These web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate search engines.
What is more, most PUAs have data tracking abilities. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and personally identifiable details).
PUA developers then share/sell this data to third-parties. Therefore, it is strongly advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||PayApp Reward scam website|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims that users will receive a prize for completing a survey.|
|Serving IP Address (ggshooter[.]com)||22.214.171.124|
|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.
"Shopper Survey scam", "$1000 Bank of America Gift Card scam", "Amazon loyalty program scam", and "2020 Visitor Feedback Survey scam" are some examples of schemes similar to "PayApp Reward". There are thousands of deceptive websites on the Internet.
Several scam models are widely used by these pages: fake prize giveaways, bogus offers and deals, warnings that the device is infected or at risk, alerts that a software product is outdated or missing, and so forth.
The sole goal of online scams is to generate revenue at users' expense. Due to how common schemes are on the Web, 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 pushed through deceptive/scam sites. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other products.
This false marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". By rushing download/installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.) - users risk inadvertently allowing bundled content into their devices.
Intrusive advertisements are used to spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and verified download channels must be used.
Since untrustworthy sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer dangerous and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" setting, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and harmless; however, they redirect to various unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so forth).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all dubious 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 "PayApp Reward" scam:
Over $4,000,000 in Offers given out so far!
April 22, 2021
Limited Timed Offer
Get a $90 promo reward
Complete this short 30-second survey about your online payment experience to select one of our exclusive reward offers (minimum value $90).
This offer is available for today only: April 22, 2021.
Take Survey Now
The appearance of "PayApp Reward" scam (GIF):
Screenshots of websites endorsed by "PayApp Reward" scam:
Screenshot of the spam email promoting "PayApp Reward" scam:
Text presented in this email:
We have a surprise for Paypal Customers
Your confirmation number is BOA21
You have been selected to get an exclusive reward! To qualify for this special offer, simply complete our 30-second marketing survey about your experiences with Paypal.
[Enter your name]
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 "PayApp Reward scam"?
- 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 payapp reward scam website, 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 payapp reward scam website 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 payapp reward scam website, 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 payapp reward scam website, 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.
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