How to spot fake surveys like the T-Mobile Customer Reward Program

Also Known As: T-Mobile Customer Reward Program survey scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "T-Mobile Customer Reward Program"?

After analyzing this scam, we learned that it is a survey scam designed to trick unsuspecting visitors into participating in a fake survey to win a prize. The page running this scam is disguised as the official T-Mobile page. Websites of this kind can never be trusted - no one ever receives any prizes after completing surveys.

T-Mobile Customer Reward Program survey scam

"T-Mobile Customer Reward Program" scam in detail

This scam page displays a deceptive message in a pop-up window saying that you are one of the hundred people who are selected to receive the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S22 or Apple iPad Pro. It encourages visitors to answer eight questions to get a chance to win one of the prizes. Also, this site asks for permission to show untrustworthy notifications.

After answering the provided questions and clicking on the "Take it" button next to the "received" gift, this scam page redirects visitors to another deceptive website. That website asks to provide first and last names, email address, and phone number to receive the prize.

Typically, survey scams are used to extract sensitive information and (or) money. Scammers use them to obtain credit card details, ID card information, or other details, and (or) to trick visitors into paying "administration", "shipping", or other fees.

Threat Summary:
Name T-Mobile Customer Reward Program survey scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Visitors can win a price by completing a survey
Disguise Legitimate survey made by T-Mobile
Related Domains mysmarterdeals[.]shop, megawinningzone[.]com, godealbuddy[.]shop
Detection Names (mysmarterdeals[.]shop) Fortinet (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (mysmarterdeals[.]shop)
Detection Names (megawinningzone[.]com) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (megawinningzone[.]com) 1104.18.7.85
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)

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Similar scams in general

Examples of similar scams are "AMAZON TRIAL", "Win SAMSUNG GALAXY S22", and "Win A New iPhone 13". Most of these scams ask to answer some questions and claim that visitors can or will win some prize after completing a fake survey. Scammers behind such scams aim to extract money and (or) personal information. People who fall for such scams never receive any prizes.

How did I open a scam website

Scam websites designed to show deceptive messages to trick visitors into performing certain actions are not visited intentionally. Users end up on them while visiting illegal movie streaming, adult, torrent, and other sites that use rogue advertising networks.

Also, these pages get opened by clicking on deceptive ads or notifications from shady pages. Sometimes, they are promoted via adware.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Do not allow untrustworthy websites to show notifications or click advertisements displayed on them. Download software from official websites and stores. Do not trust P2P networks, free file hosting pages, third-party downloaders, suspicious pages, and similar sources.

Check downloaders and installers for additionally included apps and deselect unwanted ones before completing downloads and installations. 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 "T-Mobile Customer Reward Program" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of T-Mobile Customer Reward Program scam

Text in the message displayed by this page:

T-Mobile customer reward program
19 August 2022
We wish to thank you for the long use of a services from T-Mobile!

Every Friday we randomly select several users to take a short survey. In return, we offer them the chance to receive a valuable gift from our sponsors. This survey allows us to better understand users and make our products better. It will not take more than 30 seconds of your time.

You can win the new Samsung Galaxy S22 or Apple iPad Pro. All you need to do to receive a gift is to answer the following 8 questions.

Remember: 100 randomly selected users have received this invitation. The number of gifts is limited.
You have 0 minutes and 00 seconds to answer the following questions before we give your gift to another happy user! Good luck!

Screenshot of the pop-up window that appears after clicking the "Take it" button:

t-mobile customer reward program pop-up scam pop-up appearing after clicking the take it button

Screenshot of the page that gets opened via this scam website:

t-mobile customer reward program pop-up scam website opened via fake t-mobile site

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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?

It is a fake/deceptive message (e.g., pop-up window) displayed by an untrustworthy website designed to trick visitors into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Typically, these scams are used to trick visitors into providing sensitive information, downloading and executing malware/infecting their computers, providing remote access to computers, or extracting money.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Users open websites running pop-up scams unintentionally. They cause it by clicking on dubious advertisements and notifications from untrustworthy websites. Also, these pages get opened via illegal movie streaming, torrent, adult, and similar pages that use rogue advertising networks or by installed adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner will scan every visited website and detect malicious ones. Web pages running pop-up scams also fall under this category. This app will warn you about untrustworthy pages and restrict access to them.

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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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