How to avoid falling for scams like "Bittrex" phishing campaign

Also Known As: Bittrex phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "Bittrex" email scam?

Having scrutinized the email associated with this scam, we have concluded that the scammers orchestrating it intend to entice unsuspecting individuals into revealing sensitive information. Their primary objective is to pilfer cryptocurrency wallets. Therefore, it is imperative to disregard both the email promoting this scam and the deceptive page featured within it.

Bittrex email spam campaign

More about the "Bittrex" scam email

The scam email opens with a polite greeting, claiming to address the recipient about an urgent matter. It asserts that Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange, is shutting down its services after filing for bankruptcy. The scammers allege that the recipient's account, linked to the provided email address, has a remaining balance exceeding $5,750.

They express a purported interest in facilitating a smooth withdrawal process to ensure the funds are not forfeited after the platform shutdown. The email provides detailed steps for the withdrawal process, including a specified withdrawal window.

The recipient is urged to click a button to initiate the withdrawal. A sense of urgency is emphasized, warning that failure to withdraw within the specified period will result in the loss of all remaining assets. The email concludes with an email address for purported support.

The provided link ("Initiate Withdrawal" button), supposedly directing users to the Bittrex withdrawal portal, is, in reality, a tool used to redirect victims to a fraudulent website. Once on the deceptive page, users are prompted to input their account details, including private keys or recovery phrases, under the guise of verifying ownership for the withdrawal process.

Unbeknownst to the victims, this information is harvested by the scammers, enabling them to gain unauthorized access to the users' cryptocurrency wallets. Once scammers gain access to cryptocurrency wallets, they can execute transfers of digital assets to their own wallets.

Threat Summary:
Name Bittrex Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Bittrex is shutting down its services
Related Domain priority-bittrex[.]com
Detection Names (priority-bittrex[.]com) Trustwave (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from Bittrex
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scam emails in general

In conclusion, scams exploiting the imminent closure of cryptocurrency platforms, such as the deceptive Bittrex shutdown email, underscore the persistent threat of phishing schemes in the digital landscape. These scams aim to manipulate users through urgency and misinformation, leading them to unknowingly surrender access to their cryptocurrency wallets.

Examples of other crypto-related scams are "Shibarium Scam", "Brad Garlinghouse Crypto Giveaway", and "The Bored Ape Pixel Club". It is important to know that cybecriminals use emails not only steal information but also to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users can infect their computers via email through malicious attachments or links. Cybercriminals send emails containing seemingly innocuous files, such as PDFs or Word documents, which harbor hidden malware. When users open these attachments and perform additional actions if necessary for malware to execute, the malware is planted on computers.

In other cases, users can compromise their computers via links that lead them to websites hosting malware. Those pages host malicious files, programs, or trigger malicious drive-by downloads.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Regularly update all software, including the operating system, web browsers, and security applications. Exercise caution when receiving links or files via email. Do not open them if the email is suspicious (e.g., irrelevant or sent from unfamiliar email address). Avoid suspicious websites, advertisements, and pop-ups.

Do not download pirated software, cracking tools, key generators, etc. Always obtain software from official pages or reputable app stores.

If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

The appearance of the "Bittrex" scam email (GIF):

Bittrex email scam appearance

Text presented in the "Bittrex" email letter:


Dear Bittrex User,

We hope this message finds you well. We are writing to inform you about an URGENT concern. As you may already know, Bittrex has made the difficult decision to shut down our exchange services after filing for bankruptcy. However, it's come to our attention that before platform shutdown, the account registered with your email address **** had a remaining balance greater than $5,750 USD, and we want to ensure a smooth process for you to withdraw these funds. Failure to withdraw will result in a complete forfeiture of all remaining assets held by Bittrex.

Withdrawal Process:
To withdraw remaining assets, please follow these steps:
1. Head over to the Bittrex withdraw portal found in this email.
2. Initiate the account owner verification steps.
3. Enter the withdrawal amount and the destination address (if applicable).
4. Review the withdrawal details and confirm the transaction.

Withdrawal Period: The withdrawal window will be open for a limited time, and it is crucial that you initiate your withdrawal as soon as possible. The withdrawal period begins on 11/23/2023 and ends on 11/26/2023.

To get started, simply click the button below to visit the withdrawal page and begin the withdrawal process:

Initiate Withdrawal

Please be aware that after the withdrawal period expires, your remaining funds will become inaccessible, so it is crucial to complete your withdrawals within the specified time frame.

If you have any questions or require support you can send an email to global@bittrex.com

© Bittrex 2023

Screenshot of the website utilized to steal crypto wallets:

Bittrex email scam deceptive website

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Criminals send identical letters to thousands of recipients, anticipating that they will trick someone. These spam emails lack any personalization.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

If you have provided your crypto wallet access information on a fraudulent website, update those login credentials and notify your crypto wallet service provider about the scam.

I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?

If the file was executable (like .exe), malware may likely have been introduced to your computer. However, in the case of a document file (.pdf, .doc, or similar), you might have avoided infection, as merely opening the document is sometimes insufficient for malware to penetrate the system.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Simply accessing an email poses no threat. The risk of system infections emerges when links within the email are opened or when attached files are accessed.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner can detect and get rid of nearly all known malware infections. It is essential to mention that advanced malware often conceals itself deeply within the system. Therefore, conducting a full system scan is highly recommended.

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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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