Crooks pose as NFT developers to steal cash – FBI

Scammers pretend to be legitimate non-fungible token (NFT) developers in an attempt to seed the community with phishing links, the FBI has warned.

The con involves criminals pretending to be renowned NFT creators to trick victims into believing the scam. According to the FBI, scammers either take over well-known NFT developers’ social media accounts or create nearly perfect replicas.

“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,” reads the FBI’s statement.

Scammers capitalize on the fake sense of urgency by sharing phishing links that direct victims to spoofed websites, masquerading as legitimate NFT projects. Once there, victims are encouraged to connect their crypto wallets and purchase fake NFTs.

Unbeknownst to the victims, the spoofed websites contain a smart contract that siphons the victim’s crypto assets to cybercrooks administering the fake website. Stolen funds are then sent through several crypto mixers that are used to obfuscate the transactions, making them very hard to trace.

The authorities advise users to be wary of any online offers that try to create a sense of urgency. Additionally, users should look into the accounts that are peddling any such offers.

Users should also diligently check websites that demand a connection to a crypto wallet. The usual giveaways, such as misspelled domain names, URLs with unnecessary characters, or dead links, are often present.

NFT or non-fungible token, means non-exchangeable token. It starts with a blockchain, a system that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Every NFT is essentially an element of the blockchain, a unique token that can’t be replicated similarly.

NFTs are used as digital representations of assets such as art, collectibles, music, video game items, and real-world assets such as property deeds, luxury items, diamonds, and more.