With NFTs becoming more popular by the day and new community members constantly joining, it’s no surprise that scammers have begun to take advantage of those who may not know how to spot a scam when they see one… and they’re getting craftier by the day.
We’re seeing really slick fake websites, fake social media accounts and more popping up regularly, so before tragedy strikes, we want to make sure our community is aware of red flags and learns some best practices for not getting “rugged.”
One way scammers are taking advantage of people is with what’s called “replica stores.” These websites are mirror images of genuine NFT storefronts, but the web address is changed just slightly to subtly mislead. We recommend only using the official link posted on the project’s Twitter or in their Discord, and always be sure to check the URL of the store you’re using.
With these replica stores, a scammer can collect someone’s credentials, wallet ID, and more. To be safe, you can check if a website is fraudulent on this website or just stick with being redirected to storefronts only from official channels.
As you can see in the example above, these fraudulent websites can be very convincing. In this case, the scammer replicated the website and simply shortened the URL to trick people.
Fake social media accounts
Scammers are also getting very good at using social media to trick buyers. We’ve seen scammers create replica social media accounts that look nearly identical to a brand’s socials. They might use the same profile picture and a similar handle, so it’s important to always check that the handle is correct by confirming with their Discord or Telegram group, and only trust a brand if it has a good track record. When you get started, we suggest sticking to known marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and SuperRare.
As you can see, pretty much any NFT store has many social media accounts claiming its name. The one that’s linked to their website is the one you should follow.
There are many replica stores out there, but there are also entirely fake storefronts. These websites look like a normal NFT storefront, but they’re not actually selling NFTs at all. They’re just stealing people’s credentials and wallet IDs.
Again, make sure to only use trusted stores that you know are legitimate to avoid getting scammed. If a lot of people who are established in the NFT community are using a store, then it’s probably more reliable than the one you just happened to come across.
Everyone wants free NFTs and tokens, but another scam we’ve seen become more popular is a malicious giveaway/airdrop. Someone will post a link on social media saying they’re about to give away NFTs, and people will end up having their credentials stolen when they provide their private key.
If you see a giveaway from a brand you’re not familiar with, it’s usually best to avoid it.
If you just do a quick Twitter search, you’ll see a lot of people posting about fake NFT giveaways, so it’s clearly become a big problem.
If you’re new to the NFT community, it’s probably best to just turn off your DMs on Discord at first. A lot of scammers’ first move is to spam the accounts of people who are new to the community.
To turn off your DMs on Discord:
- Go to your user settings
- Select “privacy and safety”
- There will be an option to turn off your DMs
- Discord says this change will not affect servers that you had already joined so next you’ll need to go into each of your server’s settings to disable DMs there too
ABC: Always Be Cautious
It’s important to also remember that an admin will never directly message you and ask for any type of personal information, so if you receive a DM like that, it’s almost certainly a scammer.
Additionally, never share your private key with anyone. Sharing your private key gives others complete control over everything in your wallet, including your NFTs. For quick, small transactions, using a burner wallet can help keep you from losing all of the crypto you’ve accrued.
The bigger NFTs and crypto get, the more scammers there will be. The scams we’ve listed above aren’t the only ones people are trying, so please be as cautious as you can to avoid being tricked. We will continue to keep you informed of new scam techniques we discover so we can all stay safe and enjoy our NFTs together. �