Five criminals have recently been arrested by French police after stealing millions of dollars worth of NFTs. The criminals were caught after performing a phishing scam where they were trying to solicit information in order to steal NFTs from their owners. Apparently, the scam involved promising NFT owners the ability to animate their digital assets by approving a transaction that actually stole the NFT from the owner’s wallet.
Before they were caught, the criminals managed to steal $2.5 Million worth of NFTs using this phishing scheme. They specifically targeted owners of Bored Ape Yacht Club/Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs. The police managed to track down the criminals with the help of crypto influencer ZachXBT, a self-described “on-chain sleuth” who provided all the required information to capture the thieves. ZachXBT is involved in a variety of investigations to help track down criminals across the Web3 space.
The criminals are now awaiting trial in France. The NFT market remains vulnerable to crime as some particularly valuable NFTs have become attractive targets for criminals. For example, owners of the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs likely receive more attention than most other NFT owners. At the same time, many owners of NFTs are not appropriately trained in the best practices of NFT safety. As the value of the NFT space grows, the need for education on NFT safety will also grow. Thankfully, there are also many folks like ZachXBT to help apprehend criminals. Remember to not approve random transactions from strangers and to be completely certain that the person you are interacting with is not trying to scam you.