While crypto celebs may have grown quieter in the wake of falling prices, scammers hoping to cash in on them haven’t.
Cybersecurity firm BrandShield recently looked at scams involving a handful of crypto-loving celebs, including Paris Hilton — who says she owns 150+ NFTs — and Tom Brady, co-founder of the NFT platform Autograph.
It found that 41.5k+ NFTs on OpenSea are using unauthorized celebrity names or images.
How does the scam work?
BrandShield CEO Yoav Keren told The Hustle that scammers often create social media profiles or websites impersonating celebrities or brands. They found 2.8k+ impersonations of Tom Brady alone.
The profiles might direct fans to phishing sites or fool them into buying bogus NFTs.
But what is a bogus celebrity NFT?
“When you buy an NFT of a picture of Tom Brady, what that NFT represents is that you are the only valid owner of that picture,” Keren explained. “If someone sells you a fake one, you’re not the real owner. Someone just copied it.”
So, kind of like if someone sold you a poster of the Mona Lisa claiming it was da Vinci’s original. Except in this case, it’s a graphic image and, thus, much easier to copy than robbing the Louvre — and you can’t even hang it on your wall.
Keren thinks people fall for fake NFTs because they’re hoping it’s “the next gold rush.” But you should do your due diligence before handing over your crypto for a JPG someone pulled off Google.
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