Avoid getting scammed by fake "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" websites

Also Known As: "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" crypto drainer scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "STEPN ALPHA EVENT"?

"STEPN ALPHA EVENT" is a scam that impersonates the STEPN platform (stepn.com). When users attempt to register on the fraudulent website, they are deceived into exposing their digital wallets to a cryptocurrency drainer.


"STEPN ALPHA EVENT" scam overview

This scheme imitates the STEPN NFT-based platform that incorporates game elements. To elaborate, users of the real STEPN can earn rewards for physical activities (e.g., walking, jogging, running, etc.) that are monitored through phone syncing.

The scam incorporates graphics associated with the official STEPN platform, and the webpage running it that we inspected – signup.1-stepn[.]com – incorporated the legitimate website's domain (stepn.com).

It must be stressed that this "ALPHA EVENT" is fake, and it is not linked to the genuine STEPN platform or any other legitimate services or entities.

When the "Register Now" button is clicked, a prompt requests to connect a cryptocurrency wallet. After it is "connected", a crypto drainer is activated. Automatic transactions are triggered that transfer funds from victims' digital wallets to scammed-owned ones. The transactions may look vague, thus the chances of immediate detection are lowered.

Some drainers can approximate the value of digital assets and target them first. All or most of the funds stored in a wallet can be stolen through such scams. It must be mentioned that these transactions cannot be reversed because of their nearly untraceable nature. Therefore, victims of scams like "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" cannot retrieve their assets.

Threat Summary:
Name "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" crypto drainer scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Disguise STEPN
Related Domains signup.1-stepn[.]com
Detection Names Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Sophos (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Distribution methods Compromised websites, social media spam, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Cryptocurrency drainer scam examples

"MeMe Token Airdrop", "Connect Collab Land", and "Zora Mint" are just a couple examples of crypto drainers that we have inspected recently.

There are countless scams on the Web. This deceptive content can vary drastically in appearance and use different methods to trick users into performing specific actions (e.g., connecting wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, disclosing information, making monetary transactions, etc.).

Due to how widespread online scams are and how well-crafted they can be – we strongly advise exercising caution while browsing.

How did I open a scam website?

Generally, online scams are endorsed through spam (e.g., social media posts, PMs/DMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), malvertising (intrusive advertisements), typosquatting (misspelled URLs), webpages utilizing rogue advertising networks, and adware.

Social media spam is prevalent in cryptocurrency-centered scam promotion. The spam posts and PMs/DMs can be made using hacked accounts (i.e., originally belonging to genuine projects, companies, organizations, celebrities, influencers, etc.).

Additionally, these scams are pushed via intrusive ads (pop-ups). Some of these adverts operate as crypto drainers themselves; they entice users into "connecting" digital wallets by promising various boons. Such pop-ups have even been encountered on legitimate websites that had been compromised.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements and spam browser notifications may look ordinary – yet redirect users to unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, pornography, adult dating, gambling, etc.).

Therefore, we recommend vigilance while browsing. Do not allow suspicious pages to deliver browsing notifications, and instead ignore or deny these requests (i.e., "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.). Pay attention to URLs and enter them carefully.

Do not visit/use sites offering pirated content or other dubious services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as these webpages are typically monetized via rogue advertising networks. Approach incoming emails and other messages with caution. Do not open attachments or links present in suspect/irrelevant mail.

To prevent bundled/harmful software from infiltrating the system – download only from official/verified channels and treat installations with care (e.g., study terms and 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 "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" scam (GIF):

Appearance of STEPN ALPHA EVENT scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the official STEPN website (stepn.com):

Appearance of the real STEPN platform (stepn.com)

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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?

An online scam is a type of deceptive content endorsed on the Web; its purpose is to deceive users into performing certain actions. To elaborate, victims may be enticed into connecting digital wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, sending money to scammers, disclosing vulnerable information, purchasing products, downloading/installing software, subscribing to services, and so on.

What is the purpose of online scams?

The purpose of online scams is to generate revenue for scammers. Profit can be made by acquiring funds through deception, promoting content (e.g., sites, software, products, services, etc.), selling/abusing sensitive data, and proliferating malware.

I have lost digital assets to the "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" scam, can I get my money back?

These transactions cannot be reversed because of their virtually untraceable nature. Therefore, digital assets lost to scams like "STEPN ALPHA EVENT" cannot be retrieved.

Why do I encounter online scams?

The most widespread promotional techniques include: spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, social media/ forum posts, browser notifications, etc.), websites using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs (typosquatting), intrusive ads (malvertising), and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan every website you visit and detect rogue, deceptive, and malicious ones. Hence, if you happen upon such a webpage – 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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