How to spot fake giveaways like "SatoshiVM Airdrop"

Also Known As: Fake SatoshiVM Airdrop website
Damage level: Medium

What is the fake "SatoshiVM Airdrop"?

We have inspected the Satoshi VM Airdrop site (drop-satoshivm[.]app) and found it to be a scam website mimicking the real SatoshiVM web page (satoshivm[.]io). The fake site is designed to trick visitors into believing they can obtain free cryptocurrency. Scammers use this site to drain crypto wallets.

SatoshiVM 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 "SatoshiVM Airdrop" overview

SatoshiVM serves as a decentralized Bitcoin ZK Rollup Layer2 solution, compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) ecosystem and utilizing native BTC as gas. This integration links the EVM ecosystem with Bitcoin, facilitating asset issuance and application development on the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Scammers behind drop-satoshivm[.]app exploit the name of the SatoshiVM project to carry out their scam. Their aim is to lure users into participating in a fake airdrop (giveaway). Scammers use this fake site to deceive individuals into connecting their wallets by implying that doing so will enable participants to receive free $SAVM cryptocurrency.

However, connecting a wallet through drop-satoshivm[.]app signs a malicious contract that triggers the activation of a cryptocurrency drainer. The purpose of this drainer is to siphon cryptocurrency from the connected wallets. It transfers digital assets (cryptocurrency) from the victim's wallet to the scammer's wallet.

It is important to note that cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Thus, victims of scams like the fake Satoshi VM Airdrop cannot retrieve their cryptocurrency. It is important to examine crypto projects and platforms before connecting wallets or transferring cryptocurrency to avoid permanent monetary loss or other issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Fake SatoshiVM Airdrop website
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Participants can receive $SAVM cryptocurrency for free
Disguise Legitimate Satoshi VM website
Related Domain drop-satoshivm[.]app, getsatoshivm[.]com, partnership-satoshivm[.]com, community-satoshivm[.]io
Detection Names (drop-satoshivm[.]app) Antiy-AVL (Malicious), Combo Cleaner (Phishing), Emsisoft (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Seclookup (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Incorrect domain, lack of official verification, unrealistic claims, too good-to-be-true promises.
Distribution methods Compromised social media accounts, hijacked WordPress sites, rogue online pop-up ads, phishing emails, unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Overall, fraudulent websites such as drop-satoshivm[.]app use offers of free cryptocurrency as bait. They lure individuals with time-sensitive giveaways or similar incentives, leading them to connect their wallets, ultimately resulting in irreversible losses due to cryptocurrency draining. Typically, sites like drop-satoshivm[.]app closely mimic the appearance of real websites.

More examples of similar scams are the fake "DYDX NFT Airdrop", "Merlin Swap Airdrop", "PepeFork ($PORK) Registration" sites.

How did I open a scam website?

Scam websites, aiming to deceive users into triggering cryptocurrency drainers, are primarily promoted via compromised WordPress pages or social media accounts. These compromised accounts often belong to celebrities or reputable companies.

Also, scammers utilize deceptive ads, including notifications from dubious sites, as well as pop-ups, to entice users into accessing scam pages. Moreover, users may inadvertently stumble upon scam websites while browsing illegal movie streaming pages, torrent sites, and similar web pages that utilize rogue advertising networks.

Additionally, scams can be promoted through ads displayed by untrustworthy adware. In general, users often find themselves accessing scam sites unintentionally.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Obtain applications (and files) exclusively from reputable sources like official websites and app stores. Avoid opening links or attachments in unsolicited emails from unfamiliar sources. Do not click ads, pop-ups, and download buttons presented on questionable sites or agree to receive notifications from websites of this kind.

Keep the operating system, web browsers, and other programs up to date. Also, use a reputable security solution and scan your computer on a regular basis. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "SatoshiVM Airdrop" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of SatoshiVM Airdrop scam

The real SatoshiVM website (satoshivm[.]io):

SatoshiVM Airdrop scam real website (satoshivm.io)

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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 a fake crypto airdrop?

A fake crypto airdrop is a scam where scammers falsely claim to distribute free cryptocurrency to participants. They typically request personal information (e.g., to connect a wallet), wallet addresses, or small deposits. Usually, the ultimate goal is to steal cryptocurrency.

Is it possible to retrieve lost crypto funds?

Recovering cryptocurrency lost to scams is challenging, if not impossible, because cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible.

Why do I encounter crypto scams?

As a rule, fraudsters promote fake airdrops and other crypto-related scams through hijacked social media profiles, compromised WordPress sites, phishing emails, misleading advertisements, deceptive pop-ups, and websites (e.g., torrent sites) that employ rogue advertising networks.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from scams?

Combo Cleaner scans all websites you visit, effectively detecting malicious ones, including those hosting scams. Upon detecting such a site, the app issues a warning and blocks access to it.

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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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