What is Google Customer Reward Program scam
Google Customer Reward Program pop-up is a fake alert claiming that you have a chance of winning a smartphone or a gift card. It’s classified as a giveaway scam. These scams are very common and usually claim that by answering a few questions, users can win prizes. In reality, these scams are merely attempts by malicious actors to phish personal and occasionally financial information from users. This particular scam claims that Google is giving away prizes as a thank you to those using its services. It goes without saying that Google has nothing to do with this scam, the brand name is merely misused to make scams somewhat more convincing.
“Every day we select a small group of Google users and give them the chance to receive valuable gifts from our partners and sponsors,” is what this giveaway scam claims. Supposedly, the prizes are Google’s way of rewarding those using its services. There are different variations of the Google Customer Reward Program scam and the offered prizes usually differ. This particular scam offers smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro, as well as Amazon, Apple, and TESCO gift cards worth $500 and a 3-year subscription to Netflix.
To supposedly receive these prizes, you are asked to answer 9 questions that would, according to the pop-up, help Google understand customers better and improve services. The questions will be very generic, and no matter what you answer, you will be informed that you have won. You will then be asked to fill in your personal information, including full name, phone number, home address, and email address. Obtaining this information is the main goal of these scams. Once malicious actors have it, they can perform more sophisticated scams on you or sell the information to other cybercriminals. In some cases, these scams also ask for a small payment, supposedly for shipping the prize. While usually not a lot of money, the gathered sum may still be quite large if enough users fall for this scam.
In case you were not aware of this, companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, etc., do not host giveaways like this. If they were to do one (unlikely), they would announce it via official channels, not random pop-ups. If you have fallen for this scam and given scammers your personal information, there’s not much you can do besides be particularly cautious in the future. Familiarize yourself with the most common scams to make sure you can recognize them if you ever encounter one again.
In case you’re wondering why you were redirecting this giveaway scam, it most likely happened because you were browsing a high-risk website and clicked on something that triggered a redirect. This usually happens when browsing high-risk websites without an adblocker program. In rarer cases, the redirects may be triggered by an adware infection on the computer.
Why were you redirected to a giveaway scam?
In most cases, users are redirected to sites displaying “Google Customer Reward Program” and similar scams when browsing certain high-risk websites. Clicking on anything when visiting sites that are considered to be high-risk often triggers some kind of redirect. For example, sites with pornographic or pirated content commonly redirect to questionable websites. Fortunately, you can easily prevent these redirects with an adblocker program.
In rarer cases, redirects can be triggered by adware. If you got redirected more than once and notice an increase in ads when browsing, your computer is likely infected with adware. Adware and similar infections usually do not directly harm computers so they’re not considered to be particularly harmful. Nonetheless, they are very annoying to deal with. In case you’re not aware of this, these infections are usually installed via the freeware bundling method. What likely happened in your case is the adware was attached to a free program you installed as an extra offer. These extra offers are attached in a way that allows these infections to install alongside automatically. The offers are technically optional so you can easily prevent them from installing.
To prevent unwanted installations, you need to pay attention when installing free programs. This mostly means opting for Advanced (Custom) settings when given the option. The installation window recommends using Default settings, but if you do, all additional offers will install automatically. On the other hand, you will have the option to review and deselect all offers if you opt for Advanced (Custom) settings. All you need to do is uncheck the boxes of those offers. Even if an offer initially seems useful, we generally recommend deselecting all offers because they will only take up space on your computer and cause issues. Remember that it is far simpler to stop these extra offers from installing in the very beginning.
Google Customer Reward Program scam removal
We recommend scanning your computer with anti-malware software in case an adware infection is what’s causing the issues. If it is adware, using anti-malware software to get rid of it would be easiest. You should also start using an adblocker program if you don’t already have it. It will block attempts to redirect you to questionable websites, as well as stop intrusive ads.