Scammer Steals $500,000 in Apes by Photoshopping a Checkmark onto a JPG
Scammers may steal highly valuable NFTs with astonishing ease.
In the most recent high-profile case, a Bored Ape owner known as s27 lost two NFTs worth more than half a million dollars after falling victim to an incredibly simple fraud, as detected by NFT specialist "Quit."
All the scammer had to do was paste a little checkmark picture over copies of otherwise legal NFTs that they didn't possess. Despite the scheme's obviousness, there is no remedy or safety net on the blockchain, so s27 will be on their own to deal with their pricey blunder.
As Quit explained in a Twitter thread, s27's situation stood out since the user transferred their ape "from his vault to another wallet, only to lose it shortly thereafter."
s27 put their two NFTs up for sale on the NFT trade site SwapKiwi on purpose. Quit discovered that the scammer simply pasted a "verified collection" checkmark on top of the image files they used to entice s27 to trade their legitimate NFTs away after doing some digging.
"Only to make knock-off NFTs appear real on SwapKiwi, the scammer inserted these checkmarks," Quit stated. "Furthermore, there's no obvious method to inspect the asset or the asset contract right away, making it excessively difficult to verify the assets."
SwapKiwi, according to Quit, should easily make some basic adjustments to their user interface to prevent this from happening again — albeit scammers are continually coming up with new methods.
Scams are everywhere
Scams and hacks have nearly taken over the NFT business. Every week, high-profile thefts of extremely valuable NFTs occur.
And it's not unexpected, given that the marketplace is full of simple digital photographs selling for over a million dollars in cryptocurrency.
According to the comments on Quit's post on Twitter, s27 was far from the first one who fell victim to this type of scam.
"Last week, I also lost my Ape and mutant in a moment," one user commented. "It's excruciating how many thieves there are out there." Definitely a difficult lesson."
Quit offers some tips to help others from getting messed over.
They wrote, "If it seems too good to be true, it generally is." "Assume that everyone is out to get you. They most likely are."
"Always keep your guard up," Quit said. "This space is unforgiving; you are the only one who can defend yourself."