What is the 5 Billionth Search scam – 2021
5 Billionth Search scam refers to a very common scam that falsely informs users that they have made the 5-billionth search on Google, and thus the company is giving away a prize for the supposed lucky winner. It’s a classic example of the “You have won a prize” scam that wants to trick users into revealing their personal information.
If you get redirected to the site displaying this scam, you will be shown a message that says “You were evaluated as the winner of today’s 5-billionth search query”. According to the alert, you aren’t the first winner they have chosen, and it will mention the previous one by name, as well as reveal what prize in particular the previous person won, and when it happened. If you were to believe the scam, you are given a choice between three hidden prizes, and you have to choose one within a 15-minute time frame. You would also supposedly be added to their “Hall of Fame”, as well as receive a winner’s certificate. If you were to actually choose a hidden prize, you would be taken to a website that will try to trick you into revealing your personal information. Getting that information is the whole point of such scams.
If you’ve been around the Internet long enough, you will know that every single one of these kinds of alerts that claim you have won something will be scams. The 5 Billionth Search is no different. And the reason you encountered this scam is either because your computer is infected with adware, or you were browsing high-risk websites that triggered the redirect. If you are dealing with adware, you’d need to get rid of it to remove 5 Billionth Search scam redirects for good. Otherwise, they will keep appearing over and over again.
Adware can redirect to sites that display these kinds of scams
Redirects to pages that display these kinds of scams can happen for one of two reasons. Either adware (or some kind of similar infection) is present on the computer, or you were browsing a certain, potentially dangerous website.
Some websites, particularly ones providing pirated or adult content, are considered to be high-risk due to the ads they show and redirects they can trigger. Visiting such sites without having an adblocker installed and anti-virus on is not a good idea.
However, if there is no logical explanation for these redirects and they happen out of the blue when visiting completely safe sites, it’s possible that adware is causing them. Adware, it should be noted, is not a serious infection, more annoying than actually dangerous. It can install via the software bundling method, which means users may not even be aware of its installation. It likely installed alongside some free program you installed recently. Freeware, especially the one you download from those free program download sites, come with offers attached to them, ones that are authorized to install alongside without requiring any kind of explicit permission from you. This is why it’s a rather deceptive installation method, and why anti-virus programs classify all programs that use it as potential threats.
The offers are optional, so you can prevent their installation as long as you pay attention to how you install freeware. When given the option, opt for Advanced (Custom) settings instead of Default. Advanced settings will make all offers visible, and you will have the option to deselect them. All you really need to do is uncheck the boxes. Once that is done, you can continue installing the program.
Unchecking a few boxes only takes a couple of seconds and is very easy to do, especially compared to having to get rid of adware. To save yourself some time and effort, pay attention when installing programs. You’ll avoid filling your computer with junk by doing that.
The 5 Billionth Search scam wants your personal information
Users have reported that one of the site’s displaying this 5 Billionth Search scam is topreward.site but it’s likely one of many. The site is made to resemble Google, with the logo at the top, and even a “Log In” button. There will be “You’ve made the 5-billionth search” written in big letters, and an explanation under that.
The message informs you that you were the person to make the 5-billionth search, which means you have won a prize. According to the alert, Google supposedly does this every 5 billion searches. It will even display the names of previous winners, what they won, and the dates they have won. There will be three hidden prizes for you to choose from, but within 15 minutes. Based on the previous winners list, the supposed prizes would be tech-gadgets like iPhones or TVs, or Google Play cards. If you choose one of the prizes, you would be taken to another website that would try to phish your personal information. To supposedly be able to deliver your prize, it will ask you to provide your full name, home address, email address, phone number, and other personal information. This is the whole point of these scams. If you provide this information, you can expect to start receiving weird phone calls and spam emails. Scammers would essentially use your information to further scam you, though future attempts may be more sophisticated. Or the data would be sold on hacker forums, part of a large database full of other people’s personal information.
5 Billionth Search scam – 2021 removal
If you were randomly redirected, there’s nothing that you need to do. Simply close the page. However, if it keeps reappearing, your computer is likely infected with adware, which will need to be deleted to fully remove 5 Billionth Search scam redirects. The easiest way to do that would be to use anti-spyware software, as the program would take care of everything without you needing to do anything. Once the adware is gone, the redirects should no longer happen.
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