How to spot fake airdrops like "Hedgies Giveaway"

Also Known As: Fake Hedgies Giveaway
Damage level: Medium

What is the fake "Hedgies Giveaway"?

During our examination of nft-hedgies[.]com, we discovered that it is a scam website pretending to be a cryptocurrency airdrop (giveaway) launched by Hedgies (hedgies[.]wtf). Scammers behind nft-hedgies[.]com aim to lure potential participants into performing actions allowing scammers to steal cryptocurrency from victims. Overall, nft-hedgies[.]com is not a trustworthy page.

Hedgies Giveaway 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 "Hedgies Giveaway" in detail

Hedgies is a collection of 4,200 unique and collectible avatars represented as NFTs on Ethereum. They will be distributed to voters, traders, and the wider crypto community. Hedgies serve as avatars for dYdX enthusiasts and the trading community, with utility on the dYdX platform. The real Hedgies website is hedgies[.]wtf.

Nft-hedgies[.]com is a scam website mimicking the real one (the fake one has a similar design). On the fake page, individuals are encouraged to participate in a cryptocurrency giveaway and do so quickly to receive the first 100 Hedgies for free. Nft-hedgies[.]com instructs users to click the "Mint" button and connect their wallets to receive a Hedgie.

However, connecting a wallet through nft-hedgies[.]com results in signing a malicious contract. Upon signing that contract, a cryptocurrency drainer is activated. The purpose of this drainer is to transfer the victim's cryptocurrency to the scammer's wallet. Simply put, the draining tool steals cryptocurrency from victims.

Individuals who fall for such schemes lose their crypto funds permanently, as cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Thus, it is strongly recommended not to participate in suspicious giveaways or investment offers. Cryptocurrency airdrops and similar platforms should be examined before taking any action.

Threat Summary:
Name Fake Hedgies Giveaway
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Participants can receive Hedgies cryptocurrency for free
Disguise Legitimate Hedgies airdrop
Related Domain nft-hedgies[.]com
Detection Names CRDF (Malicious), CyRadar (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Unofficial 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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The number of scams like the fake "Hedgies Giveaway" (nft-hedgies[.]com) is swiftly increasing. These scams exploit the names of existing platforms and use similar domains to entice users into connecting their wallets (signing malicious contracts). Usually, these scam websites closely resemble the original platforms.

Examples of similar scams are the "NAVI Claim", "$SCOTTY Claim", and "MODE Airdrop" fake giveaways.

How did I open a scam website?

Fake pages intended to deceive users into activating cryptocurrency drainers are primarily distributed through hijacked social media accounts, including those of celebrities and reputable companies. Compromised WordPress websites, misleading advertisements, and deceptive emails (links within such emails) are also used to lure individuals.

Additionally, users might encounter scam websites through pages utilizing rogue advertising networks, such as torrent sites and illegal movie streaming websites, and ads delivered by adware-type apps or notifications from dubious sites.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Download programs and files exclusively from official websites and app stores, steering clear of P2P networks, third-party downloaders, and unofficial sources. Exercise caution with emails containing files or links, particularly if they are unexpected and sent from unknown addresses. Avoid opening any included files or links under such circumstances.

Avoid allowing dubious sites to send notifications, and refrain from interacting with ads like pop-ups, banners, or coupons on such web pages. Ensure your apps and the operating system are regularly updated, and use reputable security software for added protection. 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 the fake "Hedgies Giveaway" site (GIF):

Appearance of Hedgies Giveaway scam

Real website (hedgies[.]wtf):

Hedgies giveaway scam real website (hedgies.wtf)

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 a fake giveaway?

A fake cryptocurrency giveaway is a scam created to trick individuals into believing they can receive cryptocurrency for free. People who fall for such scams never receive cryptocurrency or other promised rewards.

What is the purpose of a fake giveaway?

Usually, the purpose of a bogus cryptocurrency airdrop is to steal personal information (and) or cryptocurrency. The fake Hedgies giveaway uses a cryptocurrency drainer to steal digital assets.

Why do I encounter fake giveaways?

In most cases, users get tricked into visiting scam pages via deceptive advertisements, links disseminated through compromised social media accounts, compromised WordPress sites, phishing emails, adware, notifications from unreliable websites, and pages affiliated with shady advertising networks.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from scam websites?

Combo Cleaner conducts website scans to identify malicious sites, including scam websites. It promptly alerts users and blocks access to these deceptive and malicious pages.

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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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