Avoid getting scammed by fake "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" websites

Also Known As: "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" crypto drainer
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" scam?

After inspecting the "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds", we determined that it is a scam. It promises to refund users' gas fees, yet once an attempt is made to calculate the amount that can be retrieved – their cryptowallets are exposed to a cryptocurrency drainer. Hence, victims of the "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" scam can lose all or most of the funds stored in their digital wallets.

Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds 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.

"Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" scam overview

The scam offers to refund the gas fees (i.e., payments for transactions, contract executions, etc.) incurred on the Ethereum blockchain. Before the fake refund can be received, users must have their gas fees calculated. Pressing the appropriate button on the scam page displays a prompt for connecting a digital wallet.

It must be stressed that this refund program is fake, and it is not associated with any legitimate platforms or entities.

"Linking" a cryptowallet exposes it to a cryptocurrency-draining mechanism. It facilitates transfers from victims' wallets to those in the scammers' possession. Some drainers are capable of approximating the value of digital assets and prioritizing their theft. These transactions may look vague and remain unnoticed for a significant amount of time.

Furthermore, due to the nearly untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed. Hence, victims of scams like "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" cannot retrieve their funds.

Threat Summary:
Name "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" crypto drainer
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Cryptocurrency Drainer
Fake Claim Refund program for Ethereum gas fees.
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

We have examined countless online scams; "Mint Blockchain Wallet Connect", "HALO Portfolio Tracker", "Aerodrome $veAERO Voting Rewards", "Manta Galaxies Registration", and "Bitget Wallet (BWB) Airdrop" are merely some examples of drainers.

Cryptocurrency-specific schemes typically operate in one of three ways – draining funds from compromised digital wallets, targeting cryptowallet log-in credentials, and tricking users into manually transferring funds to scammer-owned wallets.

The Internet is rife with scams, and they can be plain and full of mistakes, or they can be competently crafted and even believably disguised as content associated with existing entities (e.g., companies, organizations, institutions, service providers, etc.). Therefore, we highly recommend exercising caution when browsing and investing.

How did I open a scam website?

Crypto drainers are often promoted via malvertising, specifically, intrusive pop-up ads. These advertisements may be fully operational drainers themselves; they entice users into "connecting" their wallets by promising various benefits. It is noteworthy that these pop-ups have been observed on legitimate websites that had been hacked.

Additionally, cryptocurrency-centered schemes are commonly endorsed through social media spam, especially on X (formerly Twitter). Promotional posts and DMs/PMs can be made using accounts stolen from real projects, organizations, companies, celebrities, influencers, etc.

However, these scams can be pushed by relying on other techniques, such as different types of spam (e.g., emails, SMSes, browser notifications, forum posts, etc.), sites that use rogue advertising networks, typosquatting (misspelled URLs), and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Caution is key to online safety. Therefore, take note of URLs and enter them carefully. Be selective when clicking advertisements and allowing websites to deliver browser notifications. Do not enable suspect pages to display notifications, and instead ignore or deny these requests (i.e., click "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

Do not use sites offering pirated content or other questionable services (e.g., illegal streaming/downloading, Torrenting, etc.), as these webpages are typically monetized through rogue advertising networks. Be vigilant with incoming emails/messages, and do not open attachments or links found in suspicious mail.

Download only from official/trustworthy sources and treat installations with care (e.g., study terms and options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, etc.) – to prevent bundled/dangerous software 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 "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds scam (GIF)

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 designed to lure users into performing specific actions. For example, victims may be enticed/scared into connecting digital wallets to cryptocurrency drainers, sending money to scammers, disclosing sensitive information, purchasing products, downloading/installing programs, calling fake helplines, allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely, and so on.

What is the purpose of online scams?

The purpose of online scams is profit. Cyber criminals generate revenue primarily by obtaining funds through deception, promoting content, selling/abusing private data, and proliferating malware.

I have lost digital assets to the "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" scam, can I get my money back?

These transactions are irreversible due to their practically untraceable nature. In other words, victims of scams like "Ethereum Gas Fee Refunds" cannot recover the stolen assets.

Why do I encounter online scams?

Online scams are mainly promoted via spam (e.g., social media posts, DMs/PMs, emails, SMSes, browser notifications, etc.), sites employing rogue advertising networks, malvertising, typosquatting, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from online scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan the websites that you visit for deceptive/malicious content. Should you happen upon such a webpage – you will be immediately warned, 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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