Saw this in a forum!
As NFTs gain more popularity and I’m asked many questions about it in the discord as well as onsite, I decided to make a thread on the bad side of NFTs: scams. I will be listing the most popular scams and there will be undoubtedly be more I haven’t mentioned but these are the main ones to watch out for.
Please note: this is just a guide to help the community to avoid getting scammed. I won’t be providing support if you need help with learning NFTs and how to mint, I don’t have the time at the moment to provide a mentorship on NFTs but you can watch many useful YouTube tutorials and there are many useful people in the community who are into NFTs willing to help out for free, just need to ask around! That is how I got started.
A rugpull is when simply, you go to mint an NFT and it takes everything in your wallet. These are rare cases but of course, 1 bad case and you lose all your money in your wallet. It will send the maximum amount possible to send with your wallet to their wallet which is probably untraceable and they will convert to USDT, clean the money and send it to themselves. This would all be conducted by the owners of the NFT of course.
A recent example of this is the Ballers Ape Club who scammed 15,000 SOL which is roughly $2.5 million (at the time of writing this) by releasing their NFT and robbed the SOL out of many, including an acquaintance of mine who lost 32 SOL.
To avoid a rugpull, do some research into the NFT. For example, Ballers Ape Club didn’t tell the community who the developers and the staff team are because of course, they didn’t want to be traced after the scam. If the owners of the NFT are not comfortable with at the very least stating who they are, then why should you trust them with your money? Of course, there will be some rugpulls where the NFTs can fake an ID, etc. and it’d be hard work for you to track it and expose it so you may want to take other precautions which are much easier.
Make sure not to tick auto-approve on your transactions when minting and connecting your wallet. Yes, this will make your minting process slower but I think missing out on a mint is worth more than losing everything in your wallet. For example, during the Ballers Ape Club mint, I was actually going for it but before approving the transaction I saw that it was attempting to send a crazy amount of SOL so I backed out and saved myself alot of money.
A common trait of rugpulls are them having a separate website for minting. For example, the website for the NFT may be abc.com, but the website for the minting may be abcd.com. This is so that it all seems legit but in the process of minting and rushing to be the first, you of course cannot check the security and legitimacy of the website.
During the release of an NFT, it is common for scammers to bot and mass DM everyone in the server with a message following the lines of ‘The minting process is now live! (fake website) to mint.’ This is of course, a fake website setup by the scammers to take your money and you will not get the NFT. Some will even impersonate the owners/moderators of the NFT in an attempt to make you believe it is an official announcement/DM.
To avoid this, just ignore DMs from random people or turn off DMs in total from people in mutual NFT servers which I do, you can do this by clicking the arrow next to the server → Privacy Settings → untick Allow direct messages from server members.
Once an NFT has been minted, some take time out of their day to create a fake listing. They can not do this on all marketplaces but an example where it can be done is https://solsea.io/ where they can screenshot any NFT (usually a rare one) and list it for cheap where someone thinks they are getting a bargain and buys. Of course, this will not be the real NFT and it’ll be a fake which has no value.
Make sure that when buying NFTs on online marketplaces, they have a verification badge. On solsea, they will have a blue tick and on other marketplaces such as digitaleyes, they will have a ‘Verifeyed’ badge (misspelt on purpose that is their terminology). Other marketplaces such as https://solanart.io/ do not even allow NFTs to be listed which have not been verified by them.
If there are any more popular/mainstream scams you believe I have left out, please let me know and I will add it to the thread as quick as possible.
I hope this saves even as much as 1 person from losing all their money!