How to recognize fake giveaways like iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway

Also Known As: iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway pop-up scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway" pop-up scam?

Our team has discovered this iPhone 12 Mini giveaway scam website while visiting other shady websites (websites that use questionable advertising networks) and inspecting notifications from untrustworthy pages. Scammers behind this page attempt to trick unsuspecting visitors into providing personal information and transferring money.

iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway pop-up scam scam

"iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway" pop-up scam in detail

The purpose of this scam is to trick visitors into believing that they have a chance to participate in the iPhone 12 Mini giveaway for only $3. The page asks to provide first and last name, address, postal code, city, email address, phone number.

Since the page mentions that participation in the giveaway requires paying $3, it means that scammers behind it seek to trick visitors into making paying a "participation" (or another) fee and (or) providing credit card details too.

Threat Summary:
Name iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway pop-up scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Visitors can participate in the iPhone 12 Mini giveaway for $3
Disguise Legitimate iPhone 12 Mini giveaway page
Related Domain wide.coolingcola.com
Detection Names N/A (VirusTotal)
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, questionable 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.
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Similar scams in general

More examples of similar scams are "Win The New iPhone 12", "Get the new iPhone 11 Pro", "Randomly Selected To Test The New iPhone". People who fall for these scams never receive any prizes. On the contrary, they lose money, become victims of identity theft, and (or) encounter other problems.

How did I open a scam website

Most users end up on scam websites after visiting shady websites that use rogue advertising networks (for example, torrent, illegal streaming pages) or clicking links in emails received from scammers. Also, users open scam websites by clicking on deceptive advertisements. Sometimes, these sites get opened by installed adware. Either way, users do not visit scam websites on purpose.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Avoid visiting questionable websites and clicking on advertisements that appear on them. Do not open links in irrelevant emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Make sure not to have any questionable applications installed on a browser and the operating system.

If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of iPhone 12 Mini Giveaway pop-up scam

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:
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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

A pop-up scam is a fake message displayed by a deceptive website designed to trick users (page visitors) into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Usually, scammers use pop-up scams to trick unsuspecting visitors into providing sensitive information, transferring money, providing remote access to computers, infecting computers with malware.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

As a rule, pop-up scams are delivered by untrustworthy websites promoted through dubious applications and (or) websites that use questionable advertising networks. Either way, users do not visit websites that display pop-up scams intentionally.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner will scan all visited websites and detect malicious ones (including scam websites). Also, it will warn you immediately and restrict access to untrustworthy pages.

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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.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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