“Google Customer Reward Program” is one of many giveaway scams that claim you can win a prize if you answer a couple of general questions about how you use Google. In reality, it’s actually just a phishing campaign that aims to trick users into revealing their personal, sometimes financial information. These types of scams are very common and oftentimes encountered when visiting high-risk websites. But as long as you do not interact with them, they’re more annoying than actually harmful. While the pop-up may claim that Google is doing the giveaway, the tech giant is in no way involved with this scam, its name is just misused.
This scam claims that “Every day we select a small group of Google users and give them the chance to receive valuable gifts from our partners and sponsors”. The prizes are allegedly Google’s way of thanking users for using its services. The prizes offered typically vary because there are various versions of the Google Customer Reward Program scam. This specific giveaway scam offers smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro, as well as $500 gift cards from Amazon, Apple, and TESCO, as well as a 3-year Netflix subscription.
You are requested to answer 9 questions in order to supposedly win these prizes. The pop-up claims that doing so will enable Google to better understand its users and enhance its services. No matter how you respond to the questions, you will “win”. You will then be asked to type in your full name, phone number, home address, and email address. The main goal of the malicious actors operating this scam is to obtain this information. Once they have it, they can use it to scam you further or sell your data to other cybercriminals. In rarer cases, these scams also require a supposed “delivery fee”, usually a couple of dollars at least.
It goes without saying that companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, etc., have nothing to do with these scams. They also do not host giveaways. In the very unlikely scenario that they did, they would announce it via official channels, certainly not via random pop-ups. There’s not much you can do if you have given your information to these scammers, but you do need to be very careful with unsolicited phone calls and emails.
You probably clicked on something when browsing a high-risk website that caused the redirect, in case you’re wondering why you were redirected to this giveaway scam. This typically happens while accessing risky websites without an adblocker. In very rare cases, an adware infection may be the cause of the redirects.
What triggers redirects to giveaway scam sites
When visiting certain high-risk websites, users can sometimes be redirected to websites showing “Google Customer Reward Program” and similar scams. When browsing sites that are classified as high-risk, clicking on anything frequently results in some sort of redirect. For instance, pornographic websites or ones that have pirated content frequently redirect to dubious websites. Fortunately, using an adblocker application can help block these redirects.
Random redirects can also be a symptom of an adware infection. Your computer is probably infected with adware if you were redirected more than once and notice an increase in ads when browsing. Adware and similar infections often don’t cause direct damage to computers, therefore they aren’t seen as very dangerous. However, dealing with them is really annoying. These infections are typically installed through the freeware bundling method. In your case, the adware was probably included as an extra offer with a free program that you installed. Because of the way these extra offers are attached, they can be installed automatically alongside the programs. But the offers are optional, so you can easily stop them from installing.
You must be careful when installing free programs if you wish to avoid unauthorized installations. When given the choice, select Advanced (Custom) settings. Although the installation window advises using Default settings, following his advice will cause all added offers to install automatically. On the other hand, if you pick Advanced (Custom) settings, you will have the option to deselect all offers. You only need to uncheck the boxes of those offers. We normally advise deselecting all offers, even if they appear to be useful at first because they will just clutter your computer and create problems. Keep in mind that it is much easier to prevent these additional offers from installing in the first place.
How to remove the Google Customer Reward Program scam
If you suspect that the problems are being caused by an adware infection, we advise running an anti-malware scan on your computer. If it is adware, the simplest way to get rid of it is by using anti-malware software. If you haven’t already, you should start using an adblocker program as well. It will prevent annoying ads and block redirects to dubious websites.