Avoid getting scammed by fake "OPTIMISM" cryptocurrency airdrops

Also Known As: "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam website
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "OPTIMISM Airdrop"?

After investigating this "OPTIMISM Airdrop", we determined that it is fake. This scam claims to be an airdrop for the Optimism (OP) cryptocurrency. Instead, this bogus giveaway operates as a crypto drainer – wallets connected to it are emptied of stored funds.

OPTIMISM Airdrop scam

"OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam overview

The "OPTIMISM Airdrop" webpage we inspected imitated the appearance of the official Optimism website. The supposed airdrop promises to distribute the Optimism cryptocurrency. However, after a user connects their digital wallet – it starts operating as a cryptocurrency drainer. To expand a tad upon the mechanism, automatic outgoing transactions are triggered following the connection.

Therefore, victims of this scam experience financial loss that may be incredibly significant. It is pertinent to mention that retrieving the stolen funds is practically impossible due to the virtually untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions.

Threat Summary:
Name "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam website
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Optimism (OP) airdrop (giveaway)
Related Domains launch-opti[.]com
Detection Names (launch-opti[.]com) Emsisoft (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (launch-opti[.]com)
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scam examples

We have examined countless online scams; "Skyborne Genesis $SKY Distribution", "PonDX", "SEC Token Refund Airdrop", "MultiBit Airdrop", and "SingularityNET - AGIX" are merely some examples of crypto drainers we have investigated recently.

The Internet is full of deceptive and malicious online content. Due to its prevalence and potentially convincing appearance – we strongly advise caution while browsing.

How did I open a scam website?

It was noted that the "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam was promoted on posts made on the X (more widely known by its former name – Twitter) social media platform. It must be mentioned that cryptocurrency scams are typically endorsed through accounts stolen from legitimate companies, organizations, celebrities, influencers, etc.

Keep in mind that other promotional methods are possible. In general, scams are pushed via spam (e.g., social media/ forum posts, emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.) and redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, mistyped URLs, and installed adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

We highly recommend being careful while browsing, as fraudulent and dangerous online content typically appears legitimate and harmless. For example, spam browser notifications and intrusive adverts may look innocuous – however, they redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., gambling, scam-promoting, adult dating, etc.).

Additionally, pay attention to URLs and type them with care. We advise against visiting websites that offer pirated content or other dubious services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.) since these webpages are usually monetized via rogue advertising networks.

To avoid receiving undesirable browser notifications – do not permit suspect sites to display them (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.). Instead, deny notification delivery from such pages (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.) or ignore these requests altogether.

Another recommendation is to download only from official/verified sources and be vigilant when installing software (e.g., read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.).

If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate all threats.

The appearance of "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam (GIF):

Appearance of OPTIMISM Airdrop scam (GIF)

Screenshot of a post promoting the "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform:

Post on X (Twitter) promoting the OPTIMISM Airdrop scam

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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 an online scam?

Online scams are deceptive messages intended to bait users into performing specific actions. For example, victims can be deceived into connecting their wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, disclosing vulnerable information, making monetary transactions, calling fake helplines, downloading/installing software, and so forth.

What is the purpose of online scams?

Online scams aim to generate revenue. Cyber criminals profit predominantly by obtaining funds through deception, selling or abusing private data, endorsing content (e.g., websites, software, products, services, etc.), and spreading malware.

I have lost cryptocurrency to the "OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam, can I get my money back?

No, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible due to their practically untraceable nature.

Why do I encounter online scams?

"OPTIMISM Airdrop" scam has been noted being promoted by X (formerly Twitter) posts made by stolen accounts. Other methods are not unlikely. Generally, online scams are run on deceptive pages. Users mainly access them via spam (e.g., online posts, emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.) and redirects caused by webpages utilizing rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to scan visited websites and detect rogue, deceptive, and malicious ones. Hence, if you enter such a page – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be blocked.

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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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