A Twitter user described how he lost $450,000 worth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in an airdrop scam that has become popular with hackers in recent months.
It’s open season for scammers as crypto novices, attracted by stories of high returns on digital coins and tokens such as NFTs, rush to buy assets they do not fully understand. Cryptocurrency scammers worldwide raked in $7.7 billion in revenue in 2021.
The crypto airdrop — a marketing strategy followed by blockchain-based services that helps crypto startups to stand out from the crowd — has become a way for scammers to lure people into a clicking frenzy with the goal of separating them from their assets.
Yash Terikal, who goes by the handle @yash_tek on Twitter, shared a thread of how he was hacked and in his attempt to correct the mistake, ended up giving access to his MetaMask wallet and losing a lot of cash in the process.
“I’ve had a lot of bad days, and today objectively ranks somewhere in the top 5,” Terikal tweeted.
“How I lost ~$450K in an instant, how you can avoid my mistakes, and why I still think Web3 is worth the heartache and the risk.”
His bad day began like any other, but a notification that he had received a Lobstar NFT — one in a collection by British contemporary artist Philip Colbert — ended up hacking his wallet, even though he said he rejected the approval to his MetaMask.
“I thought I immediately rejected the transaction but from looking at EtherScan, somehow, a Safe Transfer request went through around that time,” he tweeted.
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This led to a second mistake. “In my panic to get the NFT out of my wallet, I tried to list it on OpenSea.”
Listing an NFT was an attempt by Terikal to get rid of the fake NFT from his wallet, but that simply created a loophole for the hacker to access it and transfer his genuine NFTs out.
It was only after another investor with the username @ArtCzar4 alerted him that he realized that he had been robbed of his NFTs.
“My heart jumped into my throat,” Terikal wrote. “I immediately messaged the PROOF lounge to make sure nobody else had fallen for this.”