As digital assets grow more integrated into the mainstream, there’s an alarming increase in cryptocurrency scams. Stretax stands out in this context, operating dually as a deceptive crypto exchange promising free digital asset giveaways and, more covertly, as Trojan Horse. This Trojan, a malicious software, masquerades as benign or authentic files, all the while harboring a hazardous payload. Our combined analysis aims to offer a thorough exploration of the Stretax double threat: from understanding the scam’s mechanisms to recognizing the Trojan’s manifestations. Vigilance is paramount; hence, remain alert for signs like peculiar system operations, unanticipated system failures, or diminished performance. Likewise, monitor any unusual network patterns or unaccounted-for data exchanges, indicative of Trojans liaising with distant servers under malevolent control.
What is Stretax?
Stretax is yet another webpage part of an expansive web of intertwined crypto fraud pages. The administrators employ varied brand labels and sites, such as Stretax, to mislead their targets. Nonetheless, these deceitful platforms exhibit identical website layouts, service terms, and “About Us” content, indicating they all hail from the same illicit network pushing similar scams under varied facades. The fraudsters merely replicate the same fraudulent site with alternate titles to dupe individuals into believing they’re registering for a fresh service and chance. However, in truth, it’s the identical group of swindlers orchestrating the misleading assurances and efforts to pilfer initial payments.
Is Stretax a Virus?
Trojan Horses and viruses may both fall under the category of malicious software, but they operate in significantly different ways. While viruses are self-replicating, spreading from one system to another, Trojan Horses like Stretax do not have this capability. Instead, they trick users into installing them by masquerading as legitimate programs. Once inside a system, viruses attach themselves to files and spread rapidly, causing widespread damage. On the other hand, Stretax can deceive users into giving it access, allowing hackers to gain control and execute a range of nefarious activities, such as stealing sensitive data or corrupting files.
The Stretax Scam
The Stretax scam is a sneaky and deceptive Trojan-based threat that employs various methods to infiltrate systems and evade detection. One common way it spreads is through email attachments and malicious links. Unsuspecting users may inadvertently download and execute the Stretax scam by opening a seemingly harmless attachment or clicking on a malicious link. Another method is through software downloads from unofficial sources, where the Trojan may be disguised as a legitimate application. Moreover, malicious websites and spam campaigns play a role in Trojan distribution, luring users into interacting with harmful content. Social engineering techniques, such as fake software updates or enticing offers, are also utilized by cybercriminals to trick users into unwittingly installing this malware.
Stretax.com portrays itself as a cryptocurrency exchange and trading hub, promising enticing rewards and incentives for newcomers. Yet, beneath this veneer is a sophisticated ruse crafted to pilfer money from unsuspecting individuals. A few alarming characteristics of this scheme are:
Absence of Credible Company Information: Stretax.com fails to present any credible data about its proprietors, locale, or official credentials. Even genuine means of contact are missing.
Counterfeit Elon Musk Endorsement: Their primary attraction is a sham “giveaway” allegedly backed by Elon Musk, with an alluring offer of 0.42 BTC for nothing.
Pyramid Referral Mechanism: The deception operates using a cascading referral model, extending its influence via social networks.
Restricted Access to Deposits: Money put into the platform remains locked, effectively ensnaring the funds of the preyed-upon. Leveraging psychological manipulation and exploiting human behavior, this fraud effectively siphons funds from those hopeful about delving into cryptocurrency investments.
To try and remove Stretax quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Stretax extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Stretax by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Stretax and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Stretax removal guide below.
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide.
Some of the steps may require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Next, Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
Uninstall the Stretax app and kill its processes
The first thing you must try to do is look for any sketchy installs on your computer and uninstall anything you think may come from Stretax. After that, you’ll also need to get rid of any processes that may be related to the unwanted app by searching for them in the Task Manager.
Note that sometimes an app, especially a rogue one, may ask you to install something else or keep some of its data (such as settings files) on your PC – never agree to that when trying to delete a potentially rogue software. You need to make sure that everything is removed from your PC to get rid of the malware. Also, if you aren’t allowed to go through with the uninstallation, proceed with the guide, and try again after you’ve completed everything else.
- Uninstalling the rogue app
- Killing any rogue processes
Type Apps & Features in the Start Menu, open the first result, sort the list of apps by date, and look for suspicious recently installed entries.
Click on anything you think could be linked to Stretax, then select uninstall, and follow the prompts to delete the app.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, click More Details (if it’s not already clicked), and look for suspicious entries that may be linked to Stretax.
If you come across a questionable process, right-click it, click Open File Location, scan the files with the free online malware scanner shown below, and then delete anything that gets flagged as a threat.
After that, if the rogue process is still visible in the Task Manager, right-click it again and select End Process.
Undo Stretax changes made to different system settings
It’s possible that Stretax has affected various parts of your system, making changes to their settings. This can enable the malware to stay on the computer or automatically reinstall itself after you’ve seemingly deleted it. Therefore, you need to check the following elements by going to the Start Menu, searching for specific system elements that may have been affected, and pressing Enter to open them and see if anything has been changed there without your approval. Then you must undo any unwanted changes made to these settings in the way shown below:
Type in Start Menu: View network connections
Right-click on your primary network, go to Properties, and do this:
Type in Start Menu: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
Type in the Start Menu: Startup apps
Type in the Start Menu: Task Scheduler
Type in the Start Menu: Services
Type in the Start Menu: Registry Editor
Press Ctrl + F to open the search window