Do not trust BTC giveaway scam

Also Known As: Bitcoin giveaway scam
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Removal guide for apps that promote BTC giveaway scam

What is BTC giveaway scam?

There are scams on the Internet where people are offered to send certain amount of Bitcoin to the provided wallet or via QR code and promised to get back twice as much cryptocurrency they sent. Although, people who trust such scams receive nothing in return and simply lose the amount of cryptocurrency they sent. This giveaway scam is no different. It is promoted via YouTube and on a certain website. It is very likely that it is promoted via adware too.

BTC Giveaway Scam scam

The video on YoutuBe (and the video associated with it) advertises that the more Bitcoin people will send to the provided BTC wallet or via QR code, the more Bitcoin they will get back. Simply said, it says that participants can double their Bitcoins, for example, if they will send 0.2 of Bitcoin, then they will receive 0.4 of Bitcoin, and so on. Participants are offered to double from 0.1 BTC to 20 BTC. As mentioned in the introduction, people who trust such scams do not receive any cryptocurrency back, they simply lose the amount they have sent. Therefore, such scams must be ignored. Such scams can be promoted not only on YouTube and various websites but also via adware. As a rule, adware is a type of software that generates revenue for its developers by serving advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups). However, quite often it is designed to collect various data and/or promote untrustworthy pages (including giveaway scams) as well. In most cases adware that functions as data collector targets IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocation. However, in some cases apps of this are capable of recording personal (sensitive) details like credit card details, passwords as well. Therefore, if there is some adware-type app installed on a browser and/or computer, then it should be removed. It is worthwhile to mention that users download and install adware-type apps unknowingly, for this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

Threat Summary:
Name Bitcoin giveaway scam
Threat Type Scam, Fraud
Fake Claim Website and YouTube video claims to double the amount of sent BTC
Related Domain applebit[.]org
BTC Wallet Address 1AppLiefAqgBbdKDUDqGns3KYxDL4hnppT
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of cryptocurrency
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Another example of a similar scam is "Double Your Bitcoins Scam". Although, there could be way more scams of this kind out there. It is worthwhile to mention that Bitcoin giveaway (and similar) scams may look realistic for some people because scammers use celebrities who had already publicly spoken out in favor of Bitcoin cryptocurrency. In this particular case scammers used Steve Wozniak's name.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is common that various potentially unwanted applications (including adware-type apps) are integrated in downloaders and/or installers for other programs as extra offers. As a rule, offers to download and/or install those apps can be found and declined in "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings of download and/or installation setups. When users complete downloads and/or installations without checking and changing the aforementioned settings, they allow for included apps to be downloaded and/or installed as well. Sometimes PUAs are distributed through deceptive advertisements that, if clicked, are designed to download and/or install PUAs by running certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Programs and files should never be downloaded from unofficial sites, via third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and other sources, tools of this kind. They should not be installed via third party installers as well. The only really safe way to do that is to use official pages and direct download links. Download and/or installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" should be always checked for offers to download and/or install PUAs. Those offers can and should be declined before completing downloads and/or installations. Since ads that appear on shady, unofficial websites can be designed to open other websites or cause downloads, installations of some unwanted, potentially malicious apps - they should not be clicked too. If there are any suspicious, unwanted extensions, add-ons or plug-ins installed on a web browser, then they should be removed from it as soon as possible. The same should be done with programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system/computer. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "BTC Giveaway Scam" pop-up scam (GIF):

btc giveaway scam appearance

Text in this website:

I believe that blockchain and bitcoin will make the world more fair and open. The current financial system is outdated. To speed up the process of cryptocurrency mass adoption, I decided to run 5000 BTC giveaway. To participate you just need to send from 0.1 BTC to 20 BTC to the contribution address and we will immediately send you back 0.2 BTC to 40 BTC (x2 back) to the address you sent it from.

Contribution Address

You can send BTC to the following address:

1AppLiefAqgBbdKDUDqGns3KYxDL4hnppT


Step-by-step Guide:
1. You can use any EXCHANGE or WALLET in this event.
2. The minimum contribution is 0.1 BTC and the maximum contribution is 20 BTC.
3. All persons are able to participate, including those in the United States.

Waiting for payment
Still waiting for transaction? Click Here
Once we receive your contribution, the outgoing transaction is processed to your address.
If you are late, your BTC will be instantly refunded!
Sometimes transactions are not sent properly.

If you have some issues with your verification payment, please write to event support on mail:
If you are late, your BTC will be instantly refunded!
Left BTC
3070/5000
Transactions for Address: 1AppLiefAqgBbdKDUDqGns3KYxDL4hnppT

Screenshot of the YouTube video used to promote this scam:

btc giveaway scam promoting youtube video

Screenshots of other YouTube videos promoting the same Bitcoin scam:

Video with Elon Musk:

Elon Musk-themed video promoting BTC Giveaway scam

Video with Chamath Palihapitiya:

Chamath Palihapitiya-themed video promoting BTC Giveaway scam

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bitcoin giveaway scam, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with bitcoin giveaway scam removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bitcoin giveaway scam, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bitcoin giveaway scam, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove bitcoin giveaway scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on bitcoin giveaway scam or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Bitcoin giveaway scam QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Bitcoin giveaway scam on your mobile device.
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