The FBI Warns Crypto Scammers Are Posing as NFT Developers

The bureau says scammers are creating phishing links on look-alike social media accounts of popular projects to try to trick users into investing in fake NFT projects.
Image source: Medium/Crypto Unchained

Quick take:

  • The FBI has issued an alert warning the crypto community of scammers masquerading as NFT developers.
  • The bureau claims the scammers are either hacking legit NFT developer accounts on Social Media, or creating look-alikes to lure users to fake ‘exclusive’ promos.
  • They then use phishing links to direct unsuspecting users to pages that look like legitimate extensions of a particular NFT project.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has issued an alert warning crypto investors about scammers masquerading as non-fungible token (NFT) developers.

According to the statement, the US crime watchdog said crypto scammers are either hacking into legit NFT projects’ social media accounts or creating look-alike accounts. After that, they then post promotional statements asking crypto traders to click on links to gain access to exclusive opportunities.

“Fraudulent posts often aim to create a sense of urgency, using phrases like “limited supply,” and refer to the promotion as a “surprise” or previously unannounced mint,” the FBI wrote on Friday.

The bureau warns those are often phishing links “directing victims to a spoofed website that appears to be a legitimate extension of a particular NFT project.”

NFT traders are then invited to connect their crypto wallets and purchase the NFT. The wallets are then drained via a smart contract, which transfers the owner’s cryptocurrency and NFTs to a wallet owned by criminals.

The scammer then uses a crypto mixing site to blur the final destination of the stolen assets.

The FBI is asking unsuspecting NFT and crypto traders to be wary of such scammers by doing proper due diligence on the advertised project and ensuring that websites that request them to connect their wallets are real based on what they claim to be.

In March 2023, the FBI published a report warning that fake cryptocurrency investment schemes led to losses of more than $2 billion in 2022.

Highlighting an example that involved a dating app called CryptoRom, the bureau said users were first onboarded to the platform through online dating before being introduced to crypto trading.

“Criminals coach victims through the investment process, show them fake profits, and encourage victims to invest more,” the FBI said. “When victims attempt to withdraw their money, they are told they need to pay a fee or taxes. Victims are unable to get their money back, even if they pay the imposed fees or taxes.”


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