NFT dupe protection

If you read my first post, you know that I got duped on one of my first NFT transactions. Based on the scammers wallet (A LOT of NFTs were in there), the conversations I’ve had on Discord and the warnings plastered all over Twitter, I can tell you this is not a unique experience to me.

So, how can you protect your NFTs and other vulnerable crypto assets? I’m sure there are many other methods (please comment your thoughts and ideas), however, here’s how I go about protecting myself in a world full of scammers.

This is how I got got… In a panicked state of FOMO from not making the “whitelist” (this term will 100% have to be updated — a topic for a future post I’m sure) or missing a drop entirely, we can find ourselves making rash decisions to get in on the next big thing. A DM from some rando offering you a second chance may seem like a golden opportunity, but I assure you that it is not.

If it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.

Go ahead and scan the DMs on Discord to see what projects people are shilling and/or attempting to scan you with: this can give you good insight into what’s popular at the moment. But don’t you dare click on one of those things…

Hardware wallets (aka cold wallets) are buzzwords right now in the crypto space for good reason. Unlike exchange and online wallets (aka hot wallets) that are in exposed to the Internet, a hardware wallet a physical storage device where one stores their crypto assets safely offline. Although hardware wallets require some extra steps when exchanging, buying or selling crypto assets, they keep your private keys safe and protect your portfolio from hacks or virus threats.

Ledger and Trezor are two popular hardware wallets that you can find for a reasonable price today. These can be connected to MetaMask, making it easier for us NFT folk to buy and sell our assets.

If you’ve spent 5 minutes on NFT Twitter or crypto Twitter, you’ve seen the warnings of “DYOR” (do your own research) and “NFA”, and for good reason. Everyone has a different idea of what’s next to moon, so it’s best to protect oneself from accusations of financial advice. It’s also a great reminder to all of us that we should not blindly ape into every project someone posts about.

For me, DYOR involves gathering all accessible information possible. Some projects have a website, some don’t. Others will have whitepapers and/or roadmaps hosted on Medium. Essentially all will have a Discord server: get in there and review the chatter in the “lobby” channel, check out their plans for the future, and learn about the project’s creators and devs.

Mint day has arrived and you’ve DYOR on the project at hand. You’ve clicked the link provided in the “official-links” channel on Discord and made it to the mint site. Now it’s time to take DYOR to another level.

Once on the website, step back and do some granular investigations:

Does the URL matchup with what was shared in the project’s Discord? Is it just a homepage with a “Mint” button and nothing else? Are there typos? Ensure all the navigation buttons work: when you click “Roadmap” are you directed to the roadmap? Or was “/#” simply appended to the URL?

When an account is reported as suspicious on OpenSea, the NFTs are locked and no longer can be sold within the marketplace. This however, does not apply to other marketplaces like Rarible, where those same “compromised” NFTs can be bought and sold. To the unknowing buyer on Rarible, they will soon find that they spent their hard earned crypto on an NFT that is locked on OpenSea. Before buying anything on marketplaces outside of OpenSea, always double check the activity of the NFT in question — an NFT going for 1.5ETH on Rarible could be worthless on OpenSea…

This Desperate ApeWife was purchased for .31ETH on Rarible, but unsellable on OpenSea

These suggestions just scratch the surface of what you can do to protect yourself from scams out there. The key takeaways should be to:

  1. Protect your assets from hacks, viruses and scams via hardware wallet
  2. Be patient and take your time to evaluate what it is you are about to purchase

As always, please post comments with your thoughts and ideas below.

Stay safe fam.

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