The FBI is warning about cyber criminals masquerading as NFT developers to steal cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning about cyber criminals posing as legitimate NFT developers in fraud schemes designed to target active users within the NFT community.
The end goal is to steal cryptocurrency and other digital assets from the users.
The scammers compromise NFT developers’ social media accounts or create almost identical accounts to promote new NFT releases.
The FBI warns of criminal actors posing as legitimate NFT developers in financial fraud schemes targeting active users within the NFT community. Criminals either gain direct access to NFT developer social media accounts or create almost identical accounts to promote new NFT releases with a sense of urgency.
The crooks use the accounts to share links to sites designed to trick victims into connecting to their wallets to purchases the NFT.
“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. Links provided in these announcements are phishing links directing victims to a spoofed website that appears to be a legitimate extension of a particular NFT project.” reads the alert. “The spoofed websites invite victims to connect their cryptocurrency wallets and purchase the NFT. The victims unknowingly connect their cryptocurrency wallets to a drainer smart contract, resulting in the transfer of cryptocurrency and NFTs to wallets operated by criminals.”
Once the scammers have stolen the crypto assets from the victims’ wallets, they relied on a series of cryptocurrency mixers and exchanges to launder the stolen funds.
The FBI recommends users carefully review social media accounts and websites proposing new NFT projects to verify their legitimacy. When accessing websites that request you connect your cryptocurrency wallet, look for any evidence that can suggest that it is a clone of the legitimate website and report it to law enforcement.
Below is the list of tips provided by the alert:
- If a well-known NFT project announces a surprise NFT opportunity, research if the developer has revealed surprise opportunities in the past or if they have made statements that they will never offer surprise mints. Many criminal actors prey on the sense of urgency victims feel whenever a surprise opportunity is announced.
- Check to ensure the social media account advertising the opportunity is the legitimate account of the development team, and not a cloned account made to look like the real thing. Any discrepancies in spelling, account history, screen name, followers, or creation date indicate the account proclaiming the opportunity is fake.
- When accessing websites that request you connect your cryptocurrency wallet, look to see if the website is real and not a clone of the legitimate website. Indicators of this would be a misspelled web domain name, a URL with additional or unnecessary characters, or links on the webpage that either do not work or reroutes users back to the main page.
- Vet any opportunity that offers NFTs as a reward especially if it feels too good to be true.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, FBI)
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