NFTs are polarizing: Some think they're the future of digital ownership, others predict the crypto bubble will pop and NFTs will vanish with it. What's uncontestable, though, is that there are scams everywhere. One of the latest to fall for one such scam is actor and comedian Seth Green.
On Tuesday, Green announced on Twitter that four of his valuable NFTs were stolen from his wallet. These include a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT (worth $200,000 at the time of writing), two Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs ($40,000 each) and a Doodles NFT ($28,000). Someone subsequently bought Green's stolen Bored Ape for $268,000.
"Well frens it happened to me. Got phished and had 4NFT stolen," Green said. "Please don't buy or trade these while I work to resolve."
In a subsequent tweet, Green said he was trying to buy an NFT -- a Gutter Clone, a spinoff from a popular collection called Gutter Cats -- and connected his wallet to the site, which ended up being a scam website. "Phishing link looked clean," he said.
Looking at Green's wallet history, the NFTs were stolen on May 8.
Because crypto and NFTs have no centralized authority that can reverse transactions -- which is by design, as the whole point of blockchain technology is decentralization -- victims of scams have limited recourse in such situations. OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, has labeled the stolen NFTs as "suspicious" and bars anyone from making offers to buy them. But that only happened after Green's stolen Bored Ape was sold to another buyer.
Yat Siu, co-founder of Web3 gaming company Animoca Brands, noted in a Twitter thread that the best move for scam victims is to report their loss to the police or FBI, as phishing is a form of fraud, and to publicize the theft on a public forum. "If a buyer knowingly purchases a suspicious #NFT that was stolen goods he becomes personally liable," Siu tweeted. "Marketplaces or organizations that -- now knowing that the goods have been stolen -- that do not take action may potentially make themselves liable as well."
Green has invested in Web3 culture in more than just an expansive NFT portfolio -- over $250,000 worth of NFTs remain in his wallet after the theft. He created his own NFT collection called PizzaBots, released to celebrate 4/20 last month, and is working with DJ Steve Aoki on Dominion X, a TV show tied in with an NFT collection.