Original Poster

"Giveaway" Survey: Real or Scam?

Today when I typed "Google.com" into my address bar, a screen popped up titled Giveaway (in standard Google logo colors) and a female voice spoke saying something to the effect that I was invited to participate in an annual survey for rewards. My first inclination is that it's a clever phishing scam. However the technology used to create the page looks very legit and even functions in the fashion I'd expect to see from Google.
The first question was my gender, and the next asked me where I was taking the survey from (ie home, office, library, etc). I didn't go beyond that because I was too afraid I'd click myself into a virus.I couldn't find any information online if this was real. So far it's come up one other time today. I'm going to clear my cookies, temp files, and such just to be safe.
So is the survey really from Google or is it a fake?
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Thomas P. - Top Contributor
Thomas P. - Top Contributor
>> annual survey for rewards.
That implies that it is not Google.

Please read below.

Thanks for the link, Thomas. I just tried to get to google maps and instead went to the same page Sidekicker describes, with the welcome recording. It made reference to the city I live near. I answered their first question about gender. But the second question had a typo -- it said "out" instead of "our." So I closed the tab and googled for google giveaway survey.

I'll be running my malware and virus software now.

Symantec found and deleted one tracking cookie. It did not say what date was associated with the cookie so I can't know for sure that it was placed by the "giveaway survey."
Thomas P. - Top Contributor
Thomas P. - Top Contributor
No cookie can cause the behaviour described.
Some very good references to malware removal sites & fora, which will help you - are found in the "Best Answer" posting (by Kaleh) in the thread: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web%20Search/thread?tid=6df7e15519290612&hl=en
I got to the same survey by misspelling the URL for gmail.  Rather than typing 'www.gmail.com', I typed 'www.gmial.com'.
It lookes like gmial.com redirected me to www.secredir.com which redirected me to mail-rewardcenter.com, where the contest was displayed.
I am betting that these scam artists have URLs that are misspellings of google.com as well.
I hope that Google can shut these websites down, and the virus folks block them.
I am warning my friends on facebook about this scam. Super scary. I just encountered it a moment ago. Google (or we) should populate a list of these sites to help protect people.
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