Avoid getting scammed by fake "PYTH Retrospective" airdrops

Also Known As: "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop"?

After inspecting this "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop", we determined that it is fake. The scam imitates the Pyth Network and uses an airdrop as a lure. It operates as a cryptocurrency drainer that empties victims' digital wallets of funds.

PYTH Retrospective Airdrop scam

"PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" scam overview

This scam mimics Pyth Network – a platform that collects price data from exchanges, market makers, and trading firms. It must be stressed that this scheme is not associated with the real Pyth Network or any other legitimate platforms or entities.

The fake webpage entices users into exposing their cryptowallets through a bogus airdrop (e.g., one giving away Pyth NFTs or other rewards). Community members who have contributed to the network are eligible to take part in the giveaway.

When an attempt to participate is made – the scheme asks the user to "connect" their digital wallet. Doing so executes scripts that run a cryptocurrency-draining mechanism. This facilitates the exfiltration of funds from compromised wallets in automated and potentially vague-looking transactions. Some drainers approximate the value of digital assets and target those worth the most first.

Victims of scams like "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" can lose all or most of the funds stored in their wallets. The stolen assets cannot be retrieved because of the nearly untraceable nature of these transactions.

Threat Summary:
Name "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Disguise Airdrop on Pyth Network
Related Domains pythnetwork.foundation5-claim[.]cloud
Detection Names N/A (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

"Claim $GBTC", "$PANDORA Airdrop", "$gETH Token", and "Join BlockDAG Network" are just a few examples of crypto drainer scams we have written about recently.

Online schemes operate in various ways and likewise utilize a broad range of bait. Victims may be lured by false claims regarding airdrops/giveaways, promotions, lotteries, account/wallet issues, warnings about suspicious activity, security updates, etc.

The purpose of scams is to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust. While how this is achieved differs, the end goal does not – it remains the same – to generate revenue for scammers.

How did I open a scam website?

In general, online scams are promoted through spam (e.g., social media/ forum posts, DMs/PMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), malvertising (intrusive adverts), sites employing rogue advertising networks, typosquatting (mistyped URLs), and adware.

Malvertising, specifically pop-up ads, is common in cryptocurrency drainer scam promotion. These advertisements can include functional drainer mechanisms. It is worth noting that these pop-ups have been encountered on legitimate websites that had been compromised.

Social media spam has also been prevalent in cryptocurrency-centered scam endorsement. The posts and PMs/DMs can be made using hacked accounts. Pushing scams through accounts belonging to reputable projects, companies, organizations, celebrities, influences, etc. – creates a sense of legitimacy.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious content; it can appear legitimate and innocuous. For example, while intrusive advertisements and spam browser notifications look harmless – they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, etc.).

Therefore, we strongly advise vigilance while browsing. Pay attention to URLs and enter them carefully. Do not allow suspect pages to deliver browser notifications; instead, ignore or deny these requests (i.e., by pressing "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

Do not use websites that offer pirated programs/media or other dubious services (e.g., illegal streaming/downloading, Torrenting, etc.), as these webpages usually utilize rogue advertising networks. Exercise caution with incoming emails and other messages. Do not open attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail.

Download from official/trustworthy channels and treat installations with care (e.g., read terms, explore options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of supplementary apps, extensions, etc.) – to prevent bundled/harmful software from infiltrating the system.

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 "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" scam (GIF):

Appearance of PYTH Retrospective Airdrop scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the official Pyth Network website (pyth.network):

Appearance of the real Pyth Network site (pyth.network)

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 messages intended to deceive users into performing certain actions. For example, victims may be enticed into connecting digital wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, disclosing private information, making monetary transactions, downloading/installing software, buying products, subscribing to services, and so forth.

What is the purpose of online scams?

The motivation behind online scams is profit. Cyber criminals can generate revenue by obtaining funds through deception, endorsing content (e.g., websites, software, products, services, etc.), selling/abusing sensitive data, proliferating malware, and so on.

I have lost digital assets to the "PYTH Retrospective Airdrop" scam, can I get my money back?

No, these transactions cannot be reversed due to their nearly untraceable nature.

Why do I encounter online scams?

Cryptocurrency-specific scams are most commonly promoted via intrusive pop-up ads and social media spam. Generally, the most prevalent scam endorsement techniques include malvertising, spam (e.g., social media posts, PMs/DMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), websites that use rogue advertising networks, typosquatting (misspelled URLs), and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can eliminate all manner of threats. It can scan visited sites for deceptive/malicious content. If such a webpage is visited – Combo Cleaner will issue immediate warnings and block further access to the page.

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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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