What is Google Membership Rewards scam? And how does it work?
Google Membership Rewards scam is yet another fraudulent scam online that uses Amazon’s name in tricking users to believe that they have won an “Amazon Gift reserved”. However, when you encounter this too good to be true alert, do not fall for it as it is mainly a ploy to deceive gullible users. Though it uses Amazon’s logo, this alert is not, in any way, related to or from Amazon.
This scam is displayed on suspicious domains and you’ll get redirected to them when you click on ads or if there is an adware installed in your system. When you get redirected to such domains, you will see the following message on your screen:
“Google Membership Rewards
Congratulations Google User, you have won a Google gift!
Every Monday we select 10 lucky Google users randomly to receive a gift from our sponsors. The free gift is ONLY for users in United States! This is our way of thanking you for your constantly support for our products and services. You can choose a free $1000 Walmart Giftcard, iPhone X 256 G or Samsung Galaxy S8. To win all you need to do is to answer the following 3 questions. Note: ACT NOW!9 users have received this invitation and there are only 5 prizes to be won. You have 0 minutes and 26 seconds to answer the following questions before we give the prizes to another lucky user! Good luck!”
The Google Membership Rewards scam’s goal is not to give you a $1000 Walmart Gift card or an iPhone X 256 G or Samsung Galaxy S8. In fact, once you answer the survey, the malicious domain displaying this alert will generate another set of questions that will ask you to provide personal information like your full name, address, contact information, and other sensitive information. The information you input will be collected by the cyber criminals behind this fake alert for nefarious reasons that might lead to identity theft.
How does Google Membership Rewards scam circulate the web?
If you keep seeing the Google Membership Rewards scam on a regular basis, this only means that some ad-supported program is causing such redirects. Adware programs are known to trigger all kinds of alerts, tech support scams, included. So you have to double check all the programs installed in your system and look for the ones that looks suspicious or the ones that you don’t remember ever installing. This is the only way to completely get rid of the tech support scam.
You need to follow the removal steps laid out below to get rid of Google Membership Rewards scam and the adware program installed in your computer.
Step 1: Close the tab or the browser displaying the Google Membership Rewards scam. However, if your browser is forced to go into full screen mode because of the fake alert, tap F11 in your keyboard to exit full screen mode.
Step 2: After that, try to close the browser manually. If you find it hard to do so, close the browser through the Task Manager.
Step 3: Tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Task Manager.
Step 4: After opening the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the affected browser’s process and end it by clicking End task or End Process.
Step 5: Close the Task Manager and reset all the affected browsers to default.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Open Mozilla Firefox and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
- Restart your computer.
Step 6: Tap the Win + R keys to open Run and then type in “appwiz.cpl” to open Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 7: From there, look for the adware program or any unfamiliar program that could be related to the Google Membership Rewards scam under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 8: Close the Control Panel and tap the Win + E keys to open File Explorer.
Step 9: Navigate to the following directories and look for the adware installer like the software bundle it came with as well as other suspicious files and delete them.
Step 10: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain suspicious web URL.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 11: Now you have to flush the DNS cache of your computer. To do so, right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 12: Close the File Explorer and empty your Recycle Bin.
To make sure that you’ve completely gotten rid of Google Membership Rewards scam as well as the adware program behind it, you need to use an efficient program like [product-name]. To use it, follow the advanced steps below:
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.