I was on a legitimate news website the other day in early 2018 on my Android phone (this also affects iPhone and desktop computer users) and up popped up a message for “Amazon Membership Rewards”.

This is NOT a legitimate message; the website is impersonating Amazon.

The message reads:

Congratulations Amazon.com User, you have a chance to get a gift!

Every Monday we select 10 lucky Amazon.com users randomly to receive a gift from our sponsors. This gift is ONLY for users in United States! This is our way of thanking you for your constantly support for our products and services.

The message then offers a fake time limit to respond.

Here’s a screenshot of what the message looks like:

Amazonaws.com and buckets

The message is very poorly written but some people think the iPhone X, Gift Card or Galaxy S8 giveaway is the real deal because they see “amazonaws.com” in the URL. This is because the scammers have taken advantage of Amazon “buckets”. Without going into too much detail, you can host a file in a bucket and you get a URL which looks like one of Amazon’s.

Here’s the offending URL to see the scam in action:

  • http://amazon.com-gift.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/?_subid=2mmd0mfdpcnsh9fk&_token=uuid_2mmd0mfdpcnsh9fk_2mmd0mfdpcnsh9fk5a65fc207d8245.89857292

Why is my local news website hitting me with spam?

I wrote about this in January 2017. Unfortunately, most publishers are desperate to make money and will let questionable advertising networks post ads on their site. Sometimes these advertisements are pushing out malicious software which can steal bank account information, plaster your laptop with ads, trick you into taking surveys or infect your cell phone. For more information please read: News Websites Accidentally Showing Fake News.

How the scam works

A lot of people who see these messages pop up think that their browser is hijacked or that they have an infected phone. The popup occurs through ads on publisher websites with sneaky javascript. The good news is that your device is not infected. This scam exists to tricking people in to taking surveys.

Some people call these survey scams or survey spam.

For the sake of this article, I decided to play around with the scam and pretend that I was taking the bait for a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8.

So I clicked the link.

First, I was given a quick quiz, which asked me 3 simple questions, such as “Who is the President of Amazon?” (Jeff Bezos, of course).

Upon completing the quiz, I was presented with 3 treasure chests. Yay! lol

I picked treasure chest B and was told to claim my $1,000 reward:

But once I clicked to claim my reward, I was then asked to answer more questions with this screen:

If you haven’t heard of them, this is the infamous “National Consumer Center” survey.

This takes you down a rabbit hole of answering 100 questions. If you use your legit phone number and email address, you will later receive dozens or possibly hundreds or maybe even thousands of “offers” in the mail, by phone, by email and by text.

Here’s a screen which pops up a bit later:

This has been going on for years

If you haven’t guessed by now, you’re probably never going to meet the requirements needed to get a free $1,000 gift card or an iPhone X or a Samsung Galaxy S8. This survey has been around the net tricking users for at least half a decade now, if not much longer.

Did you get tricked by this?

Please let us know in the comments below.


  1. Pick prize B, and I can’t claim my card.

    • Right. You could pick A, B, or C, but you will probably only be signing up for lots of spam. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that $1,000 gift card.

      • Oh, by the way, I took the test three times and each time I clicked on the different prizes but it always came back that I won the $1000. gift card so I guess they ran out of iPads and iphones.

    • you are so right. I clicked and there was no where for me to enter my info get this so called $1000. gift card. So I decided to go on computer and check out only to find this is a scam. If people used their time to be more productive to help poor people who are desperately in need they would be better rewarded. But they then have all these people who claim to have received their gifts. Thank you for putting this info about this scam out there.

    • Prize b

    • i had done a scam just today and like it asked for information such as credit card and stuff like that how do you remove that stuff from it

  2. Wow. I saw this too just a couple days ago. I wasn’t sure where it came from. I just cleared my phone’s browser cache.

    I’m almost surprised it came from news advertising, except that I’ve been seeing some pretty hefty garbage advertising in general on news sites these days.

    Thanks for this explanation.

    • No problem! 🙂

      • YEs thank you so much I almost did it too until i decided to see if it was legit. I thought it was a little weird that i got all three questions right. Turns out I actually got em all wrong😂thx for saving me from a scam

      • I just gone through this scam today
        Text messages keeps on popping up on my pH
        And I am getting feedback of receiving calls and voicemail
        What can be done

        Please advise me or sort out the scenic situation by some experts working
        under such subjects.


    • It just happened to me yesterday. I was just looking at stuff on google, until this Amazon thing popped up. I got the $1000 gift card too. I dont have a Email, so I exited it. Then outta nowhere’s a Apple “you have a virus” page came up. And today, I found this website to help me. Thanks!!!!! 😉

    • I got an e-mail stating that FedEx had been to my house to deliver a I phone but I was not home. They wanted me to set date and time for delivery orcome pick it up myself. I chose to pick it up because they wanted $1.50 for shipping and I was not about to use my card. I went to FedEx and they had no idea what I was talking about as I suspected. But the emails just keep coming every day.

      • I received one just this am about a parcel and FedEx also. All they are trying to do is get people’s credit card info and whose stupid enough to do that for $1. Some people will be deceived and do it. Dad.

  3. This happens to me all the time while I’m trying to read an article online and it is super annoying. Is there any way to get rid of it so I can continue reading the article?

  4. I received the scam when I cleared my phone’s browsing history for the first time. I think the comment above mine is on to something.

  5. Hi, I did the survey and thought I would get the amazon gift card but I been reading later all of the e-mails from everyone and now realized it was a scam, I just gave them my email address, my adress and another phone number I don’t use. I see that they call at least 20 times a day. Do I need to be worried about them hacking into my phone? Because that’s where I did their survey. Thank you

  6. Twice I have cleared the cache, browser history and cookies on my Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge. I still have it.

    I need some suggestions.

  7. Well, I got suckered in and completed the survey and actually received a card from netspend although it was an amazon pop up. It’s a cash card but with a zero balance. They want you to add money to the card or set up direct deposit. I did activate the card but I don’t plan on adding any money to it . Should I be concerned about this ? Is this the same scam as the amazon gift card?

  8. I did it because I was curious on where this would lead to. I left them my number, email, and address and now I feel dumb for doing it. Should I be worried, especially with leaving my address..

  9. Should I be worried know I just gave away my real information? Please help

  10. This happened to me just now. I answered the questions then picked treasure box B which was the $1000 Amazon card, i moved along to the point where it wanted my e-mail. then my better judgement told me that nothing is this easy and the old adage that “nothing is for free”, so i ended the farce. Im happy i found this page to reinforce my gut instincts.

  11. I left my email before I closed the tab, then cleared my history. Will my phone/email be safe???

  12. I have found, that clearing the cache isn’t enough. I have a habit of closing my browser by continually tapping the “back” key on my phone. Doing so, reloads the page in my cache. So the better way is to 1.close the popup, 2.go to your home page, 3.at that point, clear your cache, 4.and finally, close your browser by using the “apps” button on the bottom left side of your Android phone. Hope this helps.

  13. I did the same and when it got to the offers, most free for a trial, there was 1 for 4 Dr Seuss books for 1.00 and I purchased with card info then after it was running on screen all flashed back to my home screen. Any thoughts on the card purchase. Thanks

    • Not certian about the book offer, but you’ll know if the offer was legit when (or if) you get the books. You could call your card company and see if you could get a “monitor” put on your account, if you’re worried.

    • Me too! Did you ever get gift card or books?

    • I did the same thing…I’m wondering about my card purchase…I know there will be a monthly automatic bill, but I will cancel it

  14. Thank you for this site! A relative said to check on the net to see if this is a scam. I had chosen prize 3 as depicted in your images. I “won” a $1000 gift card and was just about to enter my e-mail as part of the scam, before checking the web and finding your site. Thank you!

  15. I totally fell for it 😐

  16. It showed up this morning, so exited until I saw this website

  17. Omg me to

  18. Thank you Len for clarifying this scam. I used the google website check and it seems clean. But the offer just seemed too good to be true and smelled “phishy” to me. Re-googled it and found your post. Keep up the great work buddy!

  19. I knew this to be a scam. Good to have found your article to confirm it. Thanks much. And you’re a cute German Shepherd lover.

  20. can i play the game

  21. I fell for this.
    Picked my prize which only one left was the gift carx.
    I filled in my info, and as I was beginning the survey, it was alot of political and personal questions.
    I clicked out of the website. I got suspicious.
    Now…will get.calls and messages and mail from these crooks?

  22. I fell for it, too, and claimed the prize after reading the comments about how it was “at first looked like a joke but it is the real deal!” I got as far as inputting my email into the website. What will happen?

  23. According to some part of security experts, these “surveys” are displayed by adware viruses hiding inside the system. Once they infiltrate computer, they modify web browsers and start causing these ads. However, information which is collected with the help of such scammers usually does not include personally identifiable details, such as financial data and so on. The only danger is receiving more spam emails that might be used for the distribution of malware or stealing personal data.

  24. I fell for the survey on my iPhone. Every time I went on one website on Safari browser for research the survey kept popping up. No matter how many times O closed out the page and brought it back up. Should I change my information or need to get legal help for identity theft? Or is it just going to be a bunch of spam calls and emails?

  25. Hate to say I fell for this and yes I’m still waiting for my $1000 Amazon card! Also, the

    IQ games are a fake too. I personally answered some of the questions wrong and still scored 100!B

  26. Please give me iPhone X

  27. I am freaking out because I did give information, but as long as I ignore spam mail I will be ok?

  28. I just did it….lesson learn next time to Google first before falling for it. I thought it was Amazon because I shop from them. Lucky I entered my junk email and a house phone line (that at least illimate the text alarts).

  29. I am so thankful to found your site/blog. I was worried to death that my iphone would be compromised after taking the “Amazon” quiz and “winning” the 1k gift card. The popup took me by surprise; we happened to be searching around on Amazon for Prime deals (although I’m not sure what site I was on when when this popped up on my phone. Since Amazon was on our minds, I hastily thought it was legit and I even had my attorney husband look at it and he said oh it looks like it came from Amazon – looks okay. After “correctly” answering the 3 questions and winning the gift card and a celebratory few musical notes sounded, I looked for instructions to redeem the winning gift card. When it wasn’t obvious and the note still said there had been 49 winners, I started getting nervous that I might have been scammed so I did not click on the “Choose and open your favorite prize, Claim ($0) button).
    I am so thankful to have read your step by step of this fake “Amazon” prize otherwise I would have been up all night worrying that everything on my phone had been hacked by a stupid impulsive act. I am usually very cautious and warn my husband well.
    Did I stop in time to avoid any further spams, etc from this fishing site, since I didn’t enter any personal info – only clicked on the 3 quiz answers and the gift choice? and the site acknowledged that I won?

  30. Just been on Amazon sorting out an order then what looked very much like an Amazon page popped up saying I had been selected out of 10 people for a prize, (through Amazon Partners). Thought it was genuine so answered the questions which I got right, I chose a box to open and won an iphone X. You’re then taken to another website (://junebox.club/iphonex/en5…..)asking you to create a login and pay £1… that’s when alarm bells started ringing and I googled the scam. Thanks.

  31. So how do I remove this virus? I cleared the cache as described in one of the forums, but it still keeps popping up. I am using an Android phone.

  32. Yeah Mine Was google not amazon related but the prize was the same. How do I get it to stop? from sending me junk mail

  33. They got me years ago with this while surfing late at night by nine the following morning my phone was blowin up pushy unskilled parasitic solicitor’s and man they had the right one when they had me. And how quickly they disbanded. If you are mild mannered listen up… They will hound you till hell freezes over… My advice if you are a partaker of this.. especially after business hrs. Get ready we are telling you whats coming… And let go with both barrels… figuratively of course then dont wait for a response hang up… It was even kind of exhilarating woke me rt. Up…

  34. 7/31/18
    Help!! I fell for it, right up to when it asked me how I pay for my online purchases. A bell went off when the they asked a Trump policy question; but I was doing something else as the same time, and on I went. I really woke up when they asked how I pay for my online purchases and I closed out. They have all the rest of my personal information. Is there anyway I can get it back from them? Probably not. How can I best protect myself form, or minimize, the onslaught of mail, email, texts, and calls??

    Thank you for your help!

  35. I do everything i put my number, e-mail and i answered the questions randomly. Im worried now. Am i safe?? Is my phone safe ?? I delete the historial is that enough ??

  36. this website was so useful i almost fell for it im so glad i checked to see if it was a scam before i went for it thanks

  37. Hello,

    I feel relieved to learn so much information about Amazon gift card scam, but still I am embarrassed for having starting the survey. After 20 questions my doubts about a scam were so big that I stopped it. And of course there was a scam. I should have looked up from the beginning. Before starting the survey I have provided my name, phone number, address,
    email address and my birthdate. Nothing more.
    What is the worst I should expect?

    • Spam. I wouldn’t worry about it. Don’t be embarrassed, hundreds of people read this article every day!

  38. In the comments area of the scam page, people say the thing is legit, and they actually got an iPhone. Seems so fake though…

  39. Omg I fell for it! I used my actual email and phone number! I can change my email but not my number. What should I do?! I’m only 13 years old! If my dad finds out he’ll kill me! Am I gonna die because I put in my address? Is someone going to kill me in my sleep?! I had a really hard time falling asleep because of this. Please help me find out what to do.

  40. I fell for it as well, but stopped after I already gave name, birthdate, home address and email. Since I didn’t complete the survey, will my info be kept?

  41. I also got it but seeing this site i cured it

  42. I love ѡһat you guys are ᥙsually սp too.
    Thiѕ sort of clever work and exposure! Keep up
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  43. This is Leslie. I was going to get $1000 for answering 4 questions. I answered 3 of them and there was no 4th question. You owe me $1000. When am I going to get my money? I am ready now.

  44. I played and answered all questions. today..After, I won twice but the problem is that I can not pay the required 25.00 pesos Phil money for a credit card is needed…Can I pay it in cash when the Iphone be delivered?

  45. when it will be delivered?

  46. I hope it will be given to me right? At least, when I won, my anxiety with regard to covid19 was lessen becaused I won Iphone from Amazon.

  47. I just got this scam.. i put my all information in there. please help me out here ….

  48. I just fill the credit card information for claim the iPhone 11 for rm4.30…

    What should i do….?

  49. I also just fill the credit card info.. What should I do?

  50. I also filled my details , what should I do ?

  51. I fell for this on October 6th, 2020. They asked for my cr card # and I gave it to them for shipping. I guess I need to cancel that cr card, eh? What is a good website to clean the scam bug off my computer?

  52. They tried to get me but my bank said it was fraud. 🤦🏼‍♀️
    We all should no better in this crazy world. Lol

  53. As of 6:30 p.m. EST October 18 2020 I now join the Suckered by Surcey Prize Target community having gotten first, a text fr FedEx with a link to shipment data. The link instead connected to a branded-correct Amazon page which asked 7 survey ?s about gender, age, shopping frequency online, and preference of retail or online shopping. Legitimately noninvasive enough to answer so after I answered I was notified that I’d won today’s prize of an iPhone 11. Shipping info boxes filled out & a charge of $19.95 required me to provide billing card digits. A banner then appeared reading “We are having problems processing your credit information. Please try again later.” The pages have now disappeared from accessibility. How do I block access now to the account or the data I entered?

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