BAYC owners targeted in forbes impersonation scam


  • Forbes impersonation targets BAYC owners, risking NFT theft.
  • Distracting tactics, like a banana photo, expose scam attempts.
  • Rising NFT scams highlight the need for online caution.

Cryptocurrency collectors and owners of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs have fallen victim to a sophisticated scam involving the impersonation of Forbes journalists. In a recent incident, a BAYC owner narrowly avoided a potential asset theft during what seemed like a routine interview request.

Forbes impersonation scam unveiled

A BAYC enthusiast, known as “Crumz,” shared his harrowing experience with a scammer posing as a Forbes journalist named Robert LaFanco. The scammer initiated contact via direct message, ostensibly offering an interview opportunity for an upcoming article about BAYC. Despite initial suspicions, Crumz engaged with the impersonator, who subsequently asked him to grant access to record the interview.

The scam took a cunning turn when, during the supposed interview, the imposter instructed Crumz to fetch a banana for a photo, ostensibly related to his BAYC. Unbeknownst to Crumz, this request served as a diversionary tactic. While the victim was momentarily away from his computer, the attacker aimed to seize control and pilfer valuable NFT assets.

Instead of complying with the unusual request, Crumz astutely chose to remain by his computer. As anticipated, the scammers attempted to take control of his screen. Muting his screen, Crumz observed the unauthorized access, preventing the attackers from executing their nefarious plan.

BAYC community alerts against rising Forbes impersonation scam

The BAYC community swiftly disseminated warnings about the scam to protect fellow NFT enthusiasts. A prominent figure in the crypto space, the Rollbit partner borowik.eth, alerted his substantial following about the imposter account named Robert LaFranco. According to borowik.eth, this account, claiming to be a Forbes assistant managing editor, aimed to deceive individuals into granting access to their PCs, ultimately leading to the theft of valuable NFTs.

This incident is part of a broader trend where scammers exploit the popularity of NFTs, particularly those associated with high-profile projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club. The attackers often adopt the profile pictures of legitimate NFT owners on social media platforms, further complicating the identification of fraudulent accounts.

Earlier scams highlight a growing threat

In recent weeks, blockchain security firm Slowmist exposed various scams wherein victims lost cryptocurrency assets to fake journalists. The attackers, after scheduling interviews, guided victims to join Telegram interviews, conducted lengthy sessions, and then shared malicious links for publication consent. 

This echoes a pattern of deception observed in October, where a fake Bloomberg journalist duped a Friend.tech user into clicking a link, resulting in the draining of their Friend.tech account.

Caution urged amidst rising scam incidents

The crypto community, particularly those involved in NFTs, is advised to exercise heightened vigilance against phishing attempts and imposter scams. It is crucial to verify the legitimacy of interview requests, especially when dealing with valuable digital assets. Industry observers emphasize the importance of scrutinizing accounts on platforms like Twitter, as scammers often utilize BAYC profile pictures, further underscoring the need for caution.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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