Avoid getting scammed by fake "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" websites

Also Known As: "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Damage level: Medium

What is the fake "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop"?

After investigating the "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop", as promoted on event-grayscale[.]com, we determined that it is fake. This scam is an almost perfect copy of the Grayscale platform (grayscale.com).

This bogus giveaway operates as a crypto drainer that siphons cryptocurrency from compromised digital wallets. It must be stressed that this scheme is not associated with any existing platforms or entities.

Grayscale ($GRAY) 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 "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" overview

This scam imitates the Grayscale cryptocurrency asset management and investing platform. Even the URL that we found the scheme promoted on – event-grayscale[.]com – is incredibly close to Grayscale's official domain, which is grayscale.com (keep in mind that "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" could be hosted elsewhere). Despite the extreme resemblance to this platform, the fake airdrop is not associated with it or any others.

This scam uses the promise of an airdrop as a lure to trick users into "connecting" their cryptowallets. After that is done, the scheme executes scripts from a cryptocurrency drainer. Essentially, funds are transferred out of wallets, and these transactions may look vague – thus not raising immediate suspicion.

Victims of scams like "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" can lose all or most of their digital assets stored in exposed cryptowallets. It is pertinent to mention that due to the nearly untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed, and victims cannot get their money back.

Threat Summary:
Name "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" crypto drainer scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Cryptocurrency Drainer
Disguise Airdrop on the Grayscale platform
Related Domains event-grayscale[.]com
Detection Names Combo Cleaner (Malware), Cluster25 (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), G-Data (Malware), Kaspersky (Phishing), 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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Cryptocurrency drainer scam examples

"Renzo ($REZ) Token Allocation", "Meson ($MSN) Airdrop Claim", "$SWOT Token Airdrop", and "SatoshiVM Airdrop" are merely some examples of crypto drainers.

Scams use bait to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust, such as false claims relating to airdrops/giveaways, new coin/token promotions, suspicious activity on wallets/accounts, security upgrades, package shipping mishaps, lotteries, system infections/errors, software updates, etc.

Online schemes can be full of mistakes or be competently crafted and even perfectly copy existing websites. Hence, be cautious when browsing and investing money.

How did I open a scam website?

Cryptocurrency-draining scams are promoted via malvertising, particularly intrusive pop-up ads. Some even operate as drainers themselves and deceive users into "linking" digital wallets by promising various boons. It is noteworthy that these pop-ups may even be encountered on sites that have been hacked.

Another endorsement technique for cryptocurrency-specific schemes is social media spam. Promotional posts and DMs/PMs can be made using accounts stolen from reputable sources (e.g., celebrities, influencers, entrepreneurs, companies, projects, organizations, etc.).

However, other techniques could be used to push this content, e.g., different types of spam (emails, forum posts, browser notifications, SMSes, etc.), websites using rogue advertising networks, typosquatting (misspelled URLs), and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

We highly recommend being vigilant while browsing due to the prevalence of deceptive and malicious online content. It is important to take note of URLs and type them carefully.

Be cautious when clicking ads and allowing sites to deliver browser notifications. Do not permit suspicious pages to display said adverts; instead, ignore or deny these requests (i.e., click "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

Another recommendation is not to use websites offering pirated programs/media or other questionable services (e.g., illegal streaming/downloading, Torrenting, etc.), as these webpages are usually monetized via rogue advertising networks. Incoming emails and other messages must be treated with caution; do not open attachments/links in dubious mail.

Download only from official/verified sources and treat installations with care (e.g., study terms and options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.) – to prevent bundled/harmful software (like adware) from infiltrating the device.

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 "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the official Grayscale website (grayscale.com):

Appearance of the real Grayscale website (grayscale.com)

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 deceptive messages intended to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, victims can be enticed into connecting digital wallets to crypto drainers, transferring funds to scammers, disclosing vulnerable information, downloading/installing programs, purchasing products, subscribing to services, etc.

What is the purpose of online scams?

Online scams are designed to generate revenue for scammers. Cyber criminals primarily profit by obtaining funds through deception, abusing/selling private data, endorsing content, and spreading malware.

I have lost digital assets to the "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" scam, can I get my money back?

Cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed because of their practically untraceable nature. Hence, victims of scams like this fake "Grayscale ($GRAY) Airdrop" cannot recover their assets.

Why do I encounter online scams?

Online scams are mainly endorsed via intrusive ads, spam (e.g., PMs/DMs, emails, SMSes, social media posts, browser notifications, etc.), webpages using rogue advertising networks, typosquatting (mistyped URLs), and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious ones. Therefore, should you find yourself visiting such a webpage – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be blocked.

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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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