How to spot fake surveys like "TESCO Loyalty Program"

Also Known As: TESCO Loyalty Program survey scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "TESCO Loyalty Program" pop-up scam?

We have examined this scam and determined that it is a survey scam used to trick visitors into providing personal information and (or) transferring money. The page running this scam is disguised as a survey held by Tesco - a groceries and merchandise retailer. People who fall for such scams never receive any prizes.

TESCO Loyalty Program scam

"TESCO Loyalty Program" scam overview

This survey scam claims that you have been selected to participate in a Tesco survey and will receive a Tesco Gird Card worth £1000 after participation. It also claims that the questionnaire is intended to improve the quality of services that Tesco customers receive. Additionally, this site shows time left to participate in a survey.

After answering the provided questions, this survey scam page shows twelve boxes and a list of fake comments supposedly written by people who have been rewarded for participating in the survey. Once the "lucky" box is chosen, this site that you have won a Tesco Gift Card.

It says that you will be redirected to the official partner's website where you will have to provide your contact information to receive your gift. Typically, survey scams are used to extract names, surnames, addresses, credit card details, and (or) other information.

It is also common that websites of this type are designed to trick visitors into paying "administration", "shipping", or other fees. Either way, these pages should be ignored since they are scams, and no one ever receives prizes.

Threat Summary:
Name TESCO Loyalty Program survey scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Paritipients will receive a Tesco Gift Card
Disguise Legitimate surey held by Tesco
Related Domains hotwheat[.]xyz, get-your-holiday[.]com
Detection Names (hotwheat[.]xyz) Avira (Phishing), Combo Cleaner (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (get-your-holiday[.]com) Fortinet (Spam), 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)

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Online scams in general

Scammers use online scams mostly to extract money or sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, ID card information, social security numbers) from unsuspecting users. In other cases, these scams can be used to trick users into providing remote access to their computers.

Once scammers have access to computers, they can steal personal data, inject malware (e.g., ransomware, crypto-mining malware, Trojans), and more.

Examples of online scams are "1978 Act Of Protection Of Children", "Walmart Loyalty Program" and "FIFA Crypto Giveaway Scam".

How did I open a scam website

Typically, users open websites running survey scams and other scams via shady advertisements, notifications from untrustworthy websites, or pages that use rogue advertising networks (e.g., illegal movie streaming pages and torrent sites). Sometimes, online scams are promoted via email and advertising-supported apps.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Do not allow shady pages to show notifications or click ads on websites of this kind. Download apps from official pages and stores only. Avoid visiting illegal movie streaming pages, torrent sites, and similar websites. Check downloaders and installers for unwanted apps before finishing downloads and installations.

Use reputed antivirus software for computer protection and run system scans regularly. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of the "TESCO Loyalty Program" scam:

tesco loyalty program pop-up scam appearance

Text in the main page:

Loyalty program
23 December, 2022
Congratulations !!
You have been selected to participate in our survey. It only takes a minute and you will receive a reward for your participation: Tesco Gift Card Worth £1000!
Every Friday, we randomly select 10 users and give them a chance to win a prize. There will be a total of 10 lucky winners.

This special promotion is for users only!

This questionnaire is intended to improve the quality of services that our customers receive. Your contribution will be 100% rewarded.

You have 1 minutes and 20 seconds left to answer this questionnaire!

Hurry up, the prizes are limited!

Another variant of the "TESCO Loyalty Program" scam page:

tesco loyalty program pop-up scam another variant

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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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 scam where a fake message (e.g., a virus warning) is displayed by a deceptive page to trick visitors into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

These scams are used mainly to obtain remote access to computers or extract sensitive information and (or money).

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

These pop-ups appear on shady websites that users open via untrustworthy ads, notifications from shady pages, or websites that use rogue advertising networks.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to detect malicious websites (including sites that deliver fake pop-ups). This app will warn you immediately and restrict access to such 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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