How two 19-year-old scammers are launching NFT projects and rugging the collectors

"AI-Based" Project Reported to Have Stolen Nearly $1 Million from Its Users"AI-Based" Project Reported to Have Stolen Nearly $1 Million from Its Users

In this post:

  • ZachXBT, an on-chain detective, has found a network of clever adolescent fraudsters who use Twitter to start NFT projects and defraud collectors.
  • The culprits, who are 19 years old and earn $4,000–$10,000 a month, blocked Zach at the end of his postings but did not remark on his thread.
  • Over the course of the past year, the NFT community has seen consistent growth in the popularity of rug pulls.

On-chain investigator ZachXBT has uncovered a group of sneaky teenage scammers who use Twitter to swindle collectors by launching NFT projects and robbing them, and he has outlined the process by which they carry out their elaborate scheme.

How the scammers did it

Along with their Twitter handles, Zach posted that @/radoko and @/Fitz_lol, two verified accounts that at first glance seemed to be NFT creators, popped up in December 2022. They started to be very active and gained a lot of followers, all of which turned out to be fake, according to Zach’s investigation.

The investigator went on to say that the crooks had either sold or stolen the accounts from some people. Soon after that, they started making cringe Tweets botting the engagement and promoting more than six different rug projects that they create.

Zach posted evidence demonstrating that @/rodoko and @/Fitz_lol were the ones who created those projects because they are connected to the former’s public wallet in addition to their other rug pulls. Zach’s evidence can be found here.

Zach uncovered the fact that the vast majority of the scammers’ “tweets” resulted in the addition of two more rugs. Before moving on to the next scam, each of the projects adheres to the same pattern of being funded through FixedFloat, created with BuenoArt, and having a limited supply.

The on-chain sleuth also shared screenshots of multiple people who claimed the perpetrators had taken advantage of them and scammed them.

Messages obtained from Discord reveal, in an unexpected turn of events, that the original owner sold access to the account to a scammer without realizing it and now receives 20% of the funds from the sale of the rugs.

Apparently, the perpetrators are 19 years old and make $4,000-$10,000 a month. Radoko and Fits_lol did not make any comments regarding Zach’s thread, however, they did block him as he showed at the end of his posts.

NFT rug pulls continue to get popular

The NFT community has seen a steady rise in the popularity of rug pulls over the past year. Technically speaking, a rug pull is analogous to a pump and dump scam, in which the developer (or developers) of an NFT project misrepresents the advantages that will be generated by the project, and then, after all of the NFTs have been purchased, the developer(s) ceases interacting with customers, withdraws the purchasers’ monies from the company’s cryptocurrency wallets, and uses the funds for their own personal gain.

Just this month, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Aurelien Michel, the creator of “Mutant Ape Planet” non-fungible tokens (NFTs), of participating in a $2.9 million fraud conspiracy. Michel is a French resident who now resides in the United Arab Emirates.

The Department of Justice stated that Michel acknowledged to the fraudulent ‘rug pull’ in a social media discussion with existing and potential customers. He was arrested

However, Michel placed responsibility on the community of NFT consumers for his conduct, noting that they never planned to rug but the community got much too toxic.

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 decision.

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