How to spot scams like "Collect 500 CUBEs"

Also Known As: Fake "Collect 500 CUBEs" giveaway
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Collect 500 CUBEs"?

Our analysis of the page (in-online[.]eu) which is promoted via email has shown that it is a scam website masquerading as a page hosting a cryptocurrency giveaway. It claims that individuals can collect rewards in return for participation. However, the true purpose of this scam page is to steal cryptocurrency from participants.

Collect 500 CUBEs 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.

"Collect 500 CUBEs" scam in detail

In the scam email promoting this fake giveaway, recipients are congratulated on successful participation in recent quests on Layer3. The email says that they are eligible to collect 500 CUBEs and claim their reward of 1,000 USDC on Base. It instructs recipients to log in to their Layer3 account through the provided link.

The provided link ("Claim Now" button) leads to a deceptive page instructing visitors to connect their wallets to claim the supposed rewards. However, "connecting" a wallet actually signs a malicious contract that activates a cryptocurrency drainer. Once this drainer is executed, it can transfer funds from the victim's wallet to the scammer's.

It is important to know that cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Thus, victims who lose their digital assets due to scams cannot retrieve their funds. Thus, users should be careful with platforms offering free cryptocurrency and never invest in any cryptocurrency project without thorough research and understanding the associated risks.

Threat Summary:
Name Fake "Collect 500 CUBEs" giveaway
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Participants can receive 500 CUBEs and claim their reward of 1,000 USDC on Base
Disguise Legitimate cryptocurrency giveaway
Related Domain in-online[.]eu
Detection Names N/A (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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Similar scams in general

In summary, scammers behind schemes involving cryptocurrency drainers use offers or free cryptocurrency (or similar offers) as bait. They also tend to disguise their scam web pages as legitimate platforms (often mimicking existing platforms). One of the most concerning aspects of these scams is the irreversible nature of cryptocurrency transactions, as recovering lost funds due to fraud can be extremely challenging, if not entirely impossible.

Thus, individuals should be careful when encountering enticing offers and always research crypto platforms before making transactions, connecting wallets, or taking other actions. Examples of similar scms are the "Mint Blockchain Wallet Connect", "HALO Portfolio Tracker", and "Aerodrome $veAERO Voting Rewards" platforms.

How did I open a scam website?

The scam described in our article is promoted via email. A deceptive page gets opened through the provided link. It is also common for pages designed to activate crypto drainers to be promoted using stolen social media accounts or hijacked WordPress web pages.

Furthermore, users may end up on scam pages via websites that use rogue advertising networks. These networks are often utilized by torrent sites, illegal movie streaming pages, and similar sites. Misleading ads on dubious pages, notifications from unreliable websites, deceptive pop-ups, etc., can also lead users to scam websites.

Sometimes, scams can be encountered through advertisements generated by installed adware. Overall, users rarely open websites hosting scams on purpose.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Do not click on links in unsolicited emails or messages, and be skeptical about offers that seem too good to be true. Avoid interacting with ads and other pop-ups on shady websites, and do not permit such pages to send you notifications. Download applications (and files) from trustworthy sources, such as official websites and app stores.

Double-check the URLs of web pages for any inconsistencies before proceeding. Keep all programs and the operating system up to date and use a reputable security tool. 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 "Collect 500 CUBEs" scam website (GIF):

Appearance of Collect 500 CUBEs scam

Email promoting this scam:

Collect 500 CUBEs Scam email promoting this scam

Text in this email:

Subject: Reclama tus 500 monedas Cube

Collect 500 CUBEs

Dear ,

We are excited to inform you that you have participated successfully in our recent quests on Layer3. Now, it's time to collect your 500 CUBEs and claim your reward of 1,000 USDC on Base.

To collect your CUBEs and claim your reward, please follow these steps:

aLog in to Layer3: Access your account on the Layer3 platform using your wallet.
aNavigate to the Rewards Hub: Go to the Rewards Hub section to view your earned CUBEs and other rewards.
aClaim Your CUBEs: Find the option to claim your collected CUBEs and follow the prompts.
aClaim Your USDC: Look for the specific reward option to claim the 1,000 USDC and complete the transaction.

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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 crypto scam?

A crypto scam is a fraudulent scheme involving cryptocurrencies where scammers deceive individuals into performinig certain actions. Usually, scammers behind such schemes impersonate legitimate cryptocurrency services (e.g., crypto exchanges) or personalities.

What is the purpose of a crypto scam?

Most crypto scams are designed to trick unsuspecting individuals into transferring money or providing personal information. Also, scammers use fake web pages to lure users into activating cryptocurrency drainers designed to deplete their wallets.

Why do I encounter scam websites?

Users can encounter scam pages via platforms using unreliable advertising networks (such as torrent sites), links shared from hacked social media accounts, or ads displayed by malicious apps. Fraudulent emails, compromised web pages, misleading online ads, and notifications from unreliable pages are also employed to lure unsuspecting users.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from scams?

Combo Cleaner can detect untrustworthy websites, including pages hosting scams. This app displays a warning and restricts access to a scam website when it detects one.

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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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