Avoid getting scammed by fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop" websites

Also Known As: "$SAFE Token Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Damage level: Medium

What is the fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop"?

After investigating this "$SAFE Token Airdrop", as promoted on the blackpanther-claim[.]network webpage, we determined that it is a scam. It imitates the Safe platform (safe.global) running an airdrop with the goal of luring victims into exposing their digital wallets to a cryptocurrency drainer.

It must be emphasized that this fake website is not associated with the actual Safe platform or other services/entities.

$SAFE Token Airdrop scam

IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not review crypto projects, please do your own research when investing money.

Federal Trade Comission (FTC) states that since the start of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in crypto to scams – that's about one out of every four dollars reported lost, more than any other payment method.

Fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop" overview

The fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop" mimics Safe (safe.global) – the Web3 infrastructure for secure digital asset management and a smart contract cryptowallet platform.

At the time of research, this scam was run on blackpanther-claim[.]network – however, it could be hosted on other domains as well. It must be reiterated that this giveaway is bogus, and it is not linked to Safe or any other existing platforms or entities.

When a user "connects" their digital wallet to this scam, scripts are executed that trigger a cryptocurrency drainer. Hence, funds start getting drained, i.e., transferred from victims' wallets to scammer-owned ones. This activity can look vague – thus not raising immediate suspicion. Drainers may be capable of approximating the value of digital assets and targeting them first.

All or most of the funds stored in exposed cryptowallets can get stolen. Due to the virtual intractability of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed. Therefore, victims of scams like "$SAFE Token Airdrop" cannot return their assets.

Threat Summary:
Name "$SAFE Token Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Cryptocurrency Drainer
Disguise Airdrop promoted on the Safe platform
Related Domains blackpanther-claim[.]network, distribute-merlin[.]network, layer-safe[.]net
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

"Check $PORTAL Eligibility", "$LOC PRE-SALE", "Ice Token Distribution", and "Polyhedra Network $ZK Airdrop" are merely some examples crypto drainers that we have written about recently.

Cryptocurrency-targeting schemes operate in one of three primary ways: utilizing draining mechanisms, seeking cryptowallet log-in credentials, or getting users to manually transfer funds to scammer-owned wallets.

The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious content. Scams can be plain and riddled with errors, or they can be competently crafted and even perfectly imitate genuine websites.

How did I open a scam website?

Cryptocurrency-draining scams are often promoted using malvertising, particularly intrusive pop-up adverts. They can entice users by promising various benefits; some can even execute drainer scripts. It is worth mentioning that these pop-ups have been encountered on legitimate sites that had been compromised.

Social media spam is another common promotional technique. The posts and DMs/PMs can be made using accounts stolen from reputable sources (e.g., real projects, companies, organizations, celebrities, influencers, etc.).

Other methods widely used to endorse online scams include: websites utilizing rogue advertising networks, different types of spam (e.g., emails, SMSes, forum posts, browser notifications, etc.), typosquatting (misspelled URLs), and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Fraudulent and malicious online content often appears legitimate and harmless – therefore, we highly recommend exercising caution while browsing.

It is important to take note of URLs and type them carefully. Suspicious webpages must not be permitted to deliver browser notifications; instead, these requests have to be ignored or denied (i.e., by clicking "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

We advise against using websites that offer pirated programs/media or other questionable services (e.g., illegal streaming or downloading, Torrenting, etc.), as these sites are typically monetized via rogue advertising networks.

Incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages must be treated with vigilance. Attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be harmful/infectious.

Another recommendation is to download from official/verified sources and treat installations with care (e.g., by studying terms and options, using "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of additional apps, extensions, etc.) – to prevent bundled/hazardous 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 "$SAFE Token Airdrop" scam (GIF):

Appearance of $SAFE Token Airdrop scam (GIF)

Another example of $SAFE Token Airdrop-themed drainer website:

$SAFE Token Airdrop-themed drainer website

Screenshot of the official Safe website (safe.global):

Appearance of the real Safe website (safe.global)

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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Quick menu:

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?

Basically, online scams are deceptive messages designed to deceive users into performing certain actions. For example, victims may be enticed/scared into connecting digital wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, disclosing vulnerable information, sending money to scammers, purchasing products, subscribing to services, calling fake support lines, allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely, etc.

What is the purpose of online scams?

The aim of online scams is profit. Cyber criminals generate revenue primarily by acquiring funds through deception, promoting content (e.g., websites, software, products, etc.), abusing/selling private data, and proliferating malware.

I have lost cryptocurrency to a fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop", can I get my money back?

These transactions are irreversible due to their nearly untraceable nature. Hence, victims of scams like this fake "$SAFE Token Airdrop" cannot recover their funds.

Why do I encounter online scams?

The most commonly used promotional techniques include: spam (e.g., social media posts, PMs/DMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), sites employing rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, typosquatting (mistyped URLs), and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can eliminate all manner of threats. It is capable of scanning the websites you visit for rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious content. Therefore, should 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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