- FBI warns of new phishing scam in NFT community by crooks posing as devs.
- The scam includes fake NFT releases with false urgency & limited supply claims.
- Phishing websites resembling legit NFT projects stealing victims’ crypto data.
- Drainer smart contracts transfer cryptocurrency and NFTs to criminals’ wallets.
- Stolen NFTs laundered through crypto mixers & exchanges to conceal the trail.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning about a concerning rise in financial fraud targeting the active users within the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) community. Cybercriminals are posing as legitimate NFT developers and employing sophisticated tactics to deceive unsuspecting victims.
In these fraudulent schemes, criminals either gain unauthorized access to NFT developer social media accounts or create nearly identical accounts to promote new NFT releases. To lure victims, they deploy tactics creating a false sense of urgency, using phrases like “limited supply” and promoting the NFT release as a “surprise” or previously unannounced mint.
Once victims are drawn in, the fraudsters provide links in these announcements, leading to phishing websites that convincingly mimic the appearance of legitimate NFT projects. Unsuspecting victims are then invited to connect their cryptocurrency wallets and purchase the NFTs.
Unbeknownst to them, the linked wallets are connected to a drainer smart contract, resulting in the transfer of their cryptocurrency and NFTs into wallets operated by cybercriminals.
According to the FBI’s public service announcement To further complicate the investigation and conceal their ill-gotten gains, the stolen NFT contents are typically laundered through a series of cryptocurrency mixers and exchanges. These practices aim to obfuscate the path and final destination of the stolen NFTs, making it challenging to trace and recover the stolen assets.
The FBI is urging victims to promptly report any fraudulent or suspicious activities related to these NFT scams to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. In doing so, it is crucial for victims to provide all relevant information, including links, social media accounts, crypto accounts, or domains utilized by scammers. The keyword “NFTHack” should be included in the reports to help law enforcement efficiently handle and investigate the cases.
As the popularity of NFTs continues to grow, criminals are seizing opportunities to exploit unsuspecting community members. The FBI’s warning serves as a reminder for NFT enthusiasts to remain vigilant, exercise caution when interacting with unfamiliar accounts, and verify the authenticity of NFT projects before making any transactions.
To combat the rising tide of NFT-related financial fraud, the collaborative effort of the NFT community, platforms, and law enforcement is crucial. By reporting suspicious activities promptly, victims can play an essential role in helping authorities identify and apprehend these criminal actors, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the NFT community and protecting fellow enthusiasts from falling prey to such scams.
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