Top 5 NFT scams and how to avoid them

Watch out for NFT scams so you don't lose your investment. See these tips

With the recent rise in interest in NFT assets and cryptocurrencies in general, so are NFT scams! “Non-Fungible Tokens” are increasingly present in play-to-earn games, or even with the entry of large developers and publishers, such as Ubisoft, Square Enix e Konami, and there is no shortage of people interested in taking advantage of a chance to take some easy money from some unsuspecting player. So let's talk about security.

What is an NFT? Are NFTs legit? Will I be deceived? It doesn't matter if you are just a freshman or an NFT expert, you should be alert and stick with some safety tips to protect yourself from NFT scams!

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Just to remind you: What is an NFT?

We have an article talking about the NFTs and Cryptocurrencies and their differences that you can read to understand everything about this universe, but to summarize: A Non-Fungible Token is a special type of cryptographic token that represents something unique. For example, the genuine Mona Lisa painting, exhibited at the Louvre Museum, is an extremely valuable item because it is unique. Gold extracted from the ground is valuable for its uses and for its scarcity. In other words, at some point it ends.

NFTs are similar, but they exist on the blockchain. You can have a virtual little monster, as in the case of the little monsters of Axie Infinity. Each is an NFT because it is unique in its characteristics and stats, which gives them different attribute values, and the stronger they are, the more expensive they are. And, even if by chance, there are two axes that are the same in practically everything (appearance, powers and statistics, they will still be registered in different numbers and blocks of the blockchain, thus giving them their exclusivity.

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Let's start with how to buy NFTs

  • First, you need to get a digital wallet, like Coinbase ou Dappradar. A valid ID is required to verify your account. You will need to install it on your browser or phone.
  • Load it with some Ethereum (ETH) or other cryptocurrency you want to invest, using any cryptocurrency exchange platform.
  • Link your wallet to NFT trading sites to start bidding! These sites can be sites for buying and selling NFTs or crypto games. If you want some game tips, we have an article with various play-to-earn games for you know!

Top 5 NFT scams and how to avoid them

1. Fake NFT websites

The famous phishing! This is an old scam that you should keep an eye out for not only NFT but everything else! There is no central or official website for NFTs. There is no such thing as the “Central Bank of NFTs”! Creators can decide where to sell them and there are many NFT trading sites to choose from. However, scammers have created fake NFT trading websites that look legitimate to scam you.

There will be NO real NFTs on fraudulent websites. They could simply be phishing sites, functioning as online forms to record all the credentials you submit (like the recovery phrase for your MetaMask wallet) and use them to gain access to your wallet and transfer all your cryptocurrencies.

Safety Tips

  • Check the NFT price. Is it way below normal? Be wary!
  • Make sure the seller/billing is verified. Look for a blue checkmark next to the username and the collection properties listing.
  • Make sure the NFT contact address aligns with the creator's website.
  • Check if a website is a scam with useful tools - go to the website homepage Scamadviser and enter the web address you want to verify:

Use the Trend Micro Check to easily identify scams:

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Trend Micro Check

On this site, you can send suspicious links to Trend Micro Check on WhatsApp or Messenger for immediate scam detection. The website automatically detects and blocks dangerous websites (available in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari). The best way to avoid NFT scams is to stay on legitimate sites!

It is also important to only trade on known and trusted sites. Most people know the OpenSea – the most popular all-in-one NFT trading site. Here is a list of other legitimate NFT markets:

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NFT for art

  • Super rare – Features a most organized NFT art list from the world's best artists.
  • Foundation – Also has an elegant layout of NFT collections.
  • Nifty gateway – Users can use credit card to make purchases here, making it more convenient for newcomers.
  • Rare – It is known for being easy to use. Easy to upload jobs.
  • mintable – Anyone can create and sell their NFTs here.
  • Zora – An invite-only site for trading NFT art.

NFT for sports

  • NBA Top Shot – You can have videos of the best NBA plays as NFTs here.
  • Sorare – Buy digital cards for football players and have your own virtual game. NFT for games
  • Axie Infinity – You can collect and raise pets in this Pokémon-inspired game.
  • Street Fighter – NFT collectible cards now exist for this classic arcade game.
  • Myth.Market – Have your NFT memorabilia and business cards here.
  • treasureland – You can find a variety of playing cards here.

NFT virtual terrains

  • Decentraland – Built on Etheruem, this is where users can buy and sell virtual real estate.

We also have a full article about virtual worlds for you to invest in 2022. In addition to Decentraland, you can get to know several other worlds with land sales on NFT.

NFT for tweets

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  • valuable – Yes, you didn't misunderstand. Now Tweets are also traded as NFTs.

Learn how to make money with non-fungible Tokens

2. Phishing emails

In addition to fake websites, scammers also pose as famous NFT trading websites and send fake email notifications about offers related to your NFT, enticing you to click on the embedded button to view the details. Of course, it's always good to keep an eye on the sender and the website the email wants to redirect you to. If you've never heard of this sender or website, why are you going to click on it?

They also send fake security alerts via email, saying you've been hacked, someone has tried to log into your account or something. In this case, it is best to go directly to the website without clicking on any links in the email and try to contact technical support directly to find out if there has been anything or suspicious activity on your account. Either way, consider changing your password.

Buttons and links in phishing emails will take you to a phishing website. The fake page will ask you to link your wallet and submit a recovery phrase. Similar to what happens with social networking or bank phishing sites. Scammers can record credentials and hack into your wallet to steal every penny.

Safety Tips

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  • Never click on links or attachments from sources you don't know, even though they may look legitimate.
  • Go to the official website of the platform/company to get help directly.

3. Support Technical Assistant false

Scammers will also contact you, posing as a fake support team on Discord. For example, when you seek technical support, they will contact you and claim to be from OpenSea or another well-known site. Then the scammer can instruct you to share your screen and eventually trick you into exposing your wallet's passphrase by taking a screenshot of it. Or it might send you a link to a fake customer service website where you will be asked to enter your credentials. Stay alert!

Safety Tips

  • Turn to the official customer service of NFT trading sites for help rather than trusting someone who contacts you via social media. Does the site you use contact you via Discord? No? So why did this technician decide to talk to you via Discord? How did he find you on Discord? Think about these questions before continuing with “support”.
  • Be smart with your wallet credentials and NEVER share your opening phrase (recovery phrase).

4. fake gifts

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Millions in Solana were stolen from project supporters

There are always people falling for scams that will get fake giveaways. Again, scammers pretend to be from famous NFT trading sites and find you on Discord or Telegram. A case of “click the link to gain an advantage” happened with the Fractal project, as we talk about in this news.

They falsely claim they have an offer and promise you free NFTs, asking you to help promote their messages and participate in promotions through scam or phishing sites! Its objective is to steal your wallet credentials. If an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

Security Tips:

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  • Before accepting any kind of freebie or limited-time offer, see if the official website you use is offering something like this. In general, they put up big banners with this type of offer, so if you don't have anything free on the site, be suspicious.
  • Try contacting the site, either via support or any other type of online chat, and see if they are offering anything like that.

5. Fake NFT Projects

New NFT projects emerge and gain popularity, but which ones are legitimate? in a stroke of “pull rug”, cryptocurrencies cannot circulate and owners cannot resell the tokens, causing their price to drop. In these schemes, the only ones who profit are the creators of the digital tokens who earn money from those who believe in their project.

In other cases, these investment scams are committed by putschists enthusiastic. Catfishers try to entice you to invest in some NFT projects that they are 'sure will be the next big hit in the NFT world and will give you a spectacular return in no time!' They may send you links to fake NFT sites or ask you to send them money. Be careful!

Safety Tips

  • Always use legitimate app/wallet browser extensions to avoid phishing. There are many malicious apps that pretend to be official.
  • Do research on your investment before investing! Don't believe anyone who is "absolutely certain" that the project will be a success and that it will make a lot of money. It is possible that he is the only one who earns a lot of money!

Quick FAQ

Are NFT freebies legit?

Again, scammers pretend to be from famous NFT trading sites and find you on Discord or Telegram. They falsely claim they have an offer and promise you free NFTs, asking you to help promote their messages and participate via scam or phishing sites! Their goal is to steal your wallet credentials. Before accepting or passing on any data, please verify that it is a real offer.

How do I know if my NFT game is legit?

A fake NFT website may show an incorrect address, while a legitimate one will show you exactly where the NFT is hosted. So be sure to check the official website of the NFT creators you are interested in to see if the contract addresses match.

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Are NFTs real?

NFTs are collectible digital assets that have value, just as physical art has value, just like NFTs. NFTs are very similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, an NFT is completely unique and cannot be traded on an equal footing, which is where the non-fungible starts to make sense.

How do I avoid being scammed on OpenSea?

The safest way to avoid scams on OpenSea is to buy NFTs from collections that have been verified as authentic and trustworthy by OpenSea itself. Just look for the 'Verified' badge in ratings, search results, and on the collections pages themselves, and check for mouseover confirmation as well.

Is OpenSea good for NFT?

OpenSea.io is currently the largest NFT marketplace on the web and a great place to start working with new NFTs.

Now, leave it in the comments if you know of any other scam and how to avoid it. Has anything similar happened to you or someone you know? Talk to us and also take the opportunity to read more about criptomoedas on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.