Avoid getting scammed by fake Pacmoon airdrop websites

Also Known As: "Pacmoon Airdrop" crypto drainer
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Pacmoon Airdrop"?

This "Pacmoon Airdrop" is fake. This scam claims to give a 10% Pacmoon (PAC) token bonus for those who join the project. However, once a user connects their digital wallet to it, the scam begins operating as a cryptocurrency drainer. This scheme has been observed being promoted via posts on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform.

Pacmoon Airdrop scam

"Pacmoon Airdrop" scam overview

This scam is presented as a Pacmoon (PAC) token airdrop. However, when a user connects their digital wallet to this scam, a cryptocurrency-draining mechanism is triggered. Some drainers can determine the approximate value of digital assets and prioritize them.

The funds are transferred to scammer-owned wallets in automated transactions, which may appear vague on the victims' end. Crypto drainers can steal most or all of the assets; the scope of the financial loss depends on their value.

It must be mentioned that victims of such scams cannot retrieve their funds due to the practically untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions.

Threat Summary:
Name "Pacmoon Airdrop" crypto drainer
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim 10% Pacmoon token bonus for joining.
Related Domains netsecom.com[.]ar
Detection Names (netsecom.com[.]ar) Emsisoft (Phishing), Gridinsoft (Phishing), Seclookup (Malicious), Trustwave (Phishing), alphaMountain.ai (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Distribution methods Social media spam, compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Cryptocurrency drainer scam examples

We have written about countless online scams; "Illuminati Airdrop", "VENOM Airdrop", "BlackRockFund", and "Cosmos Million" are just a few examples of crypto drainers.

Other widespread cryptocurrency-centered schemes are those that trick victims into transferring funds to scammers for a promise of a doubled/tripled return and ones targeting cryptowallet log-in credentials.

The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious content in general. However, regardless of what scams promise or claim, their end goal is the same – to generate revenue at victims' expense.

How did I open a scam website?

X posts (more commonly known by their former name – tweets) have been noted in the promotion of the "Pacmoon Airdrop" scam. These posts on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform were made using hacked accounts.

Cryptocurrency-centered scams are often endorsed by utilizing accounts stolen from genuine projects, companies, organizations, celebrities, influencers, etc. However, other promotional methods are possible.

All types of spam are used to endorse online schemes, e.g., social media/ forum posts, PMs/DMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc. Deceptive websites can also be accessed via redirects generated by mistyped URLs (typosquatting), pages that utilize rogue advertising networks, intrusive advertisements, and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Fraudulent and dangerous online content typically appears genuine and innocuous. For example, intrusive ads and spam browser notifications may look harmless – yet they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, etc.).

Therefore, we strongly recommend caution when browsing. This includes paying attention to URLs and typing them carefully. Additionally, be selective about which pages you allow to display browser notifications; do not permit suspicious ones to do so, and instead ignore or deny these requests (i.e., click "Block", "Bock Notifications", etc.).

We advise against using websites offering pirated content or other dubious services (e.g., illegal streaming or downloading, Torrenting, etc.), as they are usually monetized through rogue advertising networks.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant with incoming emails and other messages. Do not open attachments or links found in suspect/irrelevant mail, as they can be harmful.

To prevent bundled/hazardous software from infiltrating the device – download from official/trustworthy sources and treat installations with care (e.g., read terms, explore available options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, 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 "Pacmoon Airdrop" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Pacmoon Airdrop scam (GIF)

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

Post endorsing Pacmoon Airdrop scam on X (Twitter)

Another example of Pacmoon-themed drainer website (airdrop.pacmoon[.]uk):

Pacmoon Airdrop scam website - airdrop.pacmoon[.]uk (2024-05-02)

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 an online scam?

Online scams are designed to deceive users into performing specific actions, e.g., connecting digital wallets to crypto drainers, making monetary transactions, disclosing sensitive information, calling fake support lines, downloading/installing software, purchasing products, subscribing to services, etc.

What is the purpose of online scams?

Cyber criminals profit through online scams, e.g., by obtaining funds through deception, endorsing content (websites, software, products, services, etc.), abusing/selling private data, and spreading malware.

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

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

Why do I encounter online scams?

The "Pacmoon Airdrop" scam was observed being promoted via posts on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. Note that other promotional methods are not unlikely. In general, online scams are endorsed through spam (e.g., social media/ forum posts, emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), websites using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs (typosquatting), intrusive adverts, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can eliminate all kinds of threats; this includes scanning visited websites and detecting rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious pages. Therefore, if you enter such a site – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be denied.

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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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