Avoid losing your cryptocurrency wallet via "Access via Seed" scam sites

Also Known As: Access via Seed scam website
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Access via Seed Phrase" scam?

"Access via Seed Phrase" is a phishing scam that targets cryptocurrency wallet credentials (i.e., passphrases). Through this scheme, users can supposedly access their digital wallets (e.g., MetaMask, Trezor, Ledger, Fortmatic, etc.); however, by attempting to do so - they will inadvertently expose their cryptowallets and the currency stored therein.

Access via Seed Phrase scam

"Access via Seed Phrase" scam overview

Cryptowallet passphrases entered into a site promoting the "Access via Seed Phrase" scam - will be exposed. Therefore, cyber criminals can gain access to the compromised wallets and control the cryptocurrency stored within them. To summarize, by trusting this scam - users can lose their cryptowallets and experience financial loss.

Threat Summary:
Name Access via Seed scam website
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Related Domains convexfinanc[.]org
Detection Names (convexfinanc[.]org) N/A (VirusTotal)
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Online scams in general

With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency - scams centering it have become quite prevalent. Some target digital wallet credentials ("Solflare scam", "Trust Wallet scam", etc.), others like fake giveaways - attempt to trick users into transferring cryptocurrency to them ("PROT Giveaway", "Ripple Giveaway", "SAFEMOON Giveaway", etc.).

In general, the Web is full of deceptive and malicious content. There are thousands of phishing scams that aim to obtain log-in credentials and personally identifiable details. Fake virus warnings and outdated software alerts that push victims into calling fake helplines, allowing remote access to their devices, or downloading/installing dubious software or malware - are no less common. Therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Deceptive sites are typically accessed inadvertently; most users enter them via redirects caused by untrustworthy webpages, intrusive ads, or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). Aside from force-opening various websites, PUAs can run intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, and collect private information.

This software can infiltrate systems without explicit user permission. It is spread using the "bundling" marketing technique - packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed downloads/installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Additionally, when clicked on, intrusive adverts can execute scripts to download/install unwanted apps without user permission. Some PUAs also have "official" promotional/download pages.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to research software and download from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. - often offer bundled content.

When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out from all additions. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, yet they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be inspected and all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "Access via Seed Phrase scam" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Access via Seed Phrase scam (GIF)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner 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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How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams are deceptive messages/websites designed to trick users into performing various actions, e.g., disclosing sensitive information, making monetary/cryptocurrency transactions, downloading files, and so on.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Pop-ups scams typically have the single goal of generating revenue for the designers. Cyber criminals can profit by selling private data, promoting untrustworthy/harmful software (e.g., fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, etc.), proliferating malware, and so on.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by a pop-up scam, what should I do?

If you've disclosed account credentials - immediately change the passwords/passphrases of all potentially exposed accounts/platforms and contact their official support. And if you have provided other personal data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the corresponding authorities without delay.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are promoted on various rogue websites, which are rarely accessed inadvertently. These sites can be entered through mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, or by being force-opened by untrustworthy software installed onto the system.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect deceptive/malicious ones (including those promoting pop-up scams). If a site is found to be harmful, Combo Cleaner will immediately issue warnings and restrict access to the website.

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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.

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