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How to remove Google Membership Rewards? (Survey scam virus)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Google Membership Rewards – fake messages urging users to take part in a survey scam

Google Membership Rewards
Google Membership Rewards is a survey scam that seeks to gain access to users' personal data

Questions about Google Membership Reward

Google Membership Rewards is a survey scam[1] that has been offered to Google Chrome users for more than a year while trying to trick them out of their personal data. If you have been seeing this popup constantly, it means that your system is infected with an adware. While trying to reach their fraudulent goals, crooks claim that the user was “selected” to participate in the survey and has to answer a few simple questions in exchange for an expensive gift, usually an iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, PlayStation 4, or other valuable items. Bad actors have also been claiming that several users have already claimed the reward successfully, and the victim has a limited amount of time to participate. Nevertheless, Google Membership Rewards is a hoax and users should never take part in it.

Name Google Membership Rewards
Related viruses
Category Adware
Sub-category PUP
OS affected Windows OS, iOS, Mac OS X
Type Survey Scam
Distribution Software bundling, malicious websites, etc.
Prevention Keep a distance from odd pages, do not download unknown programs, always have an active anti-malware program
Symptoms Fake pop-ups, advertisements, redirects to questionable websites, etc.
Elimination Use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for a quick solution; alternatively, check our manual removal guide below

Internet users typically encounter Google Membership Rewards pop-up on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows computer and similar devices when they open a suspicious which redirects them to another website. While it does not happen often, those who face the fake alerts regularly, are probably infected with adware.[2] Potentially unwanted programs are not initially malicious, as they do not directly damage or otherwise change system files that would hinder the operation of the PC.

However, some adware viruses, responsible for showing Google Membership Rewards popup, are known to alter Windows Registry, DNS[3] settings and even create certain scheduled tasks. Combine these modifications with a frequent appearance of pop-ups, fake updates, and other dubious advertisements, and the term “Google Membership Reward virus” becomes acceptable.

The Google Membership Rewards scam itself does not differ from many other ones created before, such as:

Google Membership Rewards PUP

In the beginning, users are asked to answer seemingly obvious questions for an expensive prize. There are several versions available, the only difference is the variables, such as the prize pool, the alleged winner count and the main retailer allegedly offering the reward.

One of the Google Membership Rewards message examples reads the following:

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!

Users should not participate in this hoax and merely remove Google Membership Rewards survey scam from their iPad, phone or other devices immediately. To do that, get rid of adware which is initiating these fake alerts. For a quick solution, try using security software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. Alternatively, manual elimination can be achieved by using our detailed instructions below.

Google Membership Rewards virus
Google Membership Reward is a fake alert that is initiated by adware installed on the computer

However, those who proceed answering the questions presented by Google Membership Rewards will be asked to enter personal details at the end of the survey or prompted to enter credit card details for a silly $1 payment for the alleged price shipping costs. All of these techniques are used by crooks to extort valuable personal data or make users purchase useless products or subscribe to bogus services.

Thus, do not get fooled by this trick. If you encountered redirects to suspicious websites, pop-up ads, the slowdown of the browser and other symptoms, take care of Google Membership Rewards removal as soon as possible, as the presence of adware can compromise privacy and computer safety, security experts[4] report.

Moreover, if an adware program has been hiding under the appearance of Google Membership Rewards scam, you might start experiencing other suspicious activities such as display of advertising content for revenue collecting. Additionally, you might be redirected to other developer-sponsored websites and accidentally land somewhere malicious.

If you often receive Google Membership Rewards pop-up and ignore it, do not be surprised if an excessive number of ads will show up and interfere with your browsing sessions. Later on, this content might end up causing regular system slowdowns, forcing software and various products to crash and relate to slow computing work.

Avoid potentially unwanted programs and do not get involved with extortionists

Adware and other PUPs typically get injected into users' machines during the installation of shareware and freeware.[5] The free program developers usually contract adware authors. Thus, one party receives income for every install made (pay-per-install), while the other increased the means of distribution of the software. While both parties benefit, the end-user is merely abused in a giant money-making machine and has to suffer from the adverse PUP effects.

Software bundling is a legal practice. While users can do nothing to prevent such collaboration, there are several things that can be done in order to avoid the installation of potentially unwanted programs:

  • Avoid questionable websites and do not download software before reading some reviews or articles about it;
  • In the installation Wizard, pay attention to detail and read the instructions carefully;
  • Do not press Next several times until the process is complete;
  • When prompted, pick Advanced or Custom installation mode instead of Recommended/Quick one;
  • Remove all the tick marks that are present next to PDF converters, registry cleaners, codec packs, download managers and similar useless software and only then proceed with the installation

Additionally, several Av engines block the infiltration of potentially unwanted programs. Simply make sure that the real-time feature is enabled at all times. Besides, do not be afraid to invest in reputable anti-malware software as the tool might appear to be handy in many ways. Spending money on advanced protection is definitely a better option then paying a specialist for computer repair frequently.

Eliminate Google Membership Rewards from your device

Google Membership Rewards scam
Google Membership Rewards is considered to be a PUP due to its unknown appearance and shady activities

Users might think that closing down the browser is the only thing they need to do to remove Google Membership Rewards alerts permanently. It can be true in some cases. However, if the redirects to questionable websites occur during all browsing sessions, the elimination of adware is the only solution to the problem, because the symptoms of infection will not stop. 

Google Membership Rewards removal can be performed either manually or automatically. You can employ reputable security software, and it will take care of everything for you. All you have to do is run a full system scan. Alternatively, you can use our manual instruction below to get rid of Google Membership Reward virus. However, beware that this process might be too complicated to users who are not that experienced in handling computers.

To get rid of Google membership rewards on iPhone/iPad, rest the device to its factory settings.

  1. Restart the device: hold down the power button until you see “Slide to Power Off” button. Slide this option to turn off the device and turn it on.
  2. Restore iPad to a recent backup by navigating to “Apps & Data” settings and choose one of the available restore solutions.
  3. Perform the factory reset by navigating to “Settings” -> “General” -> “Reset” -> “Erase All Content and Settings”.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage Happiness
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Google Membership Reward, follow these steps:

Erase Google Membership Reward from Windows systems

To get rid of Google Membership Rewards from Windows, use these instructions:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Google Membership Reward and related programs
    Here, look for Google Membership Reward or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Eliminate Google Membership Reward from Mac OS X system

To delete Google Membership Rewards from iPad, iPhone or other iOS, follow these steps. Basically, you need to uninstall all suspicious programs from the system that could be related to adware.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Google Membership Reward or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Get rid of Google Membership Reward from Internet Explorer (IE)

If there is an adware program lurking on your Windows computer, it might have affected Internet Explorer too. To reverse all dubious changes, complete the following steps:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Google Membership Reward and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Google Membership Reward removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete Google Membership Reward from Microsoft Edge

Open Microsoft Edge web browser and eliminate all unwanted objects that might have been injected into the app by adware:

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Google Membership Reward should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall Google Membership Reward from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To make sure that all the traces of the PUP are gone from Mozilla Firefox, perform the following steps:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Google Membership Reward and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Google Membership Reward removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Google Membership Reward from Google Chrome

To get rid of fake alerts, reset your Google Chrome web browser:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Google Membership Reward and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Google Membership Reward removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Google Membership Reward from Safari

If your Safari web browser has been showing any signs of infection, you can reverse all suspicious changes by completing the following steps:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Google Membership Reward or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Google Membership Reward removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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