The Mask Man Scam
I am starting this article on the 13th of October 2021. I hope, this article never gets published.
Unfortunately, today, on the 26th of October 2021, the project rugged. They are gone, left the investors with a scammed JPEG on OpenSea.
Why did I think it is a scam?
This is the most interesting part. There’re some signs you can see that made me think it’s a scam.
It started out on Twitter. I ran into the tweet below in the morning that represented the scam scheme.
How is this something suspicious? Nobody is generous to give you 1 $ETH. Even though you have 200, you won’t just give away one.
The same for this bloke. Giving away 6 $eth? Nope. He’s just in for shilling the scam.
I looked at their website. Well, not much info on the team itself. They provide a roadmap, some images of the collection, and of course a minting option not to mention the FAQ that helps you if you have no idea how to mint NFTs.
I joined their discord. Scammers like to build a community and when the mint is over disappear and delete their channel.
Well, this team did not try to build a community. They created the server on the 12th of October 2021. Then filled it with bots:
Their told intention was to grow the community and create a stealth launch. Well, if you want to be a stealth launch and growing community, you don’t start minting the next day and let scammers shill your project.
See the two Discord entries below:
How much is in for the scammers?
As I have no idea how much a listing on OpenSea costs, nor how much you have to pay for a minting service, I’d go with the maximum amount of crypto this mint would cost poor people:
1800 x 0,066 $ETH = 118,8 ETH
The usual suspects
What do you need to look out for if you see such posts to have the goosebumps feeling like you see a scam?
- giving away something big for a RT, follow, comment — easy tasks, and this big thing is either a very valuable NFT or some big pile of money
- it has the “hint” of “now minting” and a link to the project
- the development team is not known or do not give their name to the project
- doing something unusual: stealth minting to save the community from missing out
- minting happens very slowly and over a great period of time
- look at the activity on OpenSea and look for buyers — a whale who is minting a highly explosive NFT will buy more in bulk to save on GAS and multiply their profit
He is showing you an NFT that he owns. You see the sales history that this was bought by him and he is the owner.
Now, I went the extra mile and looked at OpenSea for this NFT.
He paid 28 $eth for this piece. Even though the floor of 01n is around 2 (as he’s writing in his tweet) he won’t give it to you just because you followed him. He’s in for the scam too. And he moves his assets around for whatever reason.
And he’s showing his MetaMask balance in the video too:
Now, they care to have the same name of their MetaMask wallet as their Twitter handle. If you look closer, nor 0xArch nor 0xArch_Vault has the Colin of Moon address — he’s clearly showing us a different one which has eth.
Fake it till you make it
This is just my opinion, maybe these paid shillers did not fake their portfolio and have really those assets (bought from shilling scams or doing the scams themselves — this is a hypothesis of course). Mainly, because of this picture:
While he’s showing off his wallet and the NFT on OpenSea, you see his avatar in the top right corner— which is the same as his Twitter one.
Now nor 0xArch, 0xArch_Vault has this profile picture:
Anyhow, I had a thought and went along to try faking it.
It is not as hard as I thought. You can simply fake the website and the wallet too:
These images are no PhotoShop magic just faking on the HTML level. Surely, I do not have this much $eth — if I would I won’t be here writing this article I guess.
Even though I created screenshots, making a video is possible with this approach too.
Why did I invest time to research and writing this article?
Because I’ve got rug-pulled with The Pirates NFT. Yes, why lie about things? I wasn’t careful enough and lost about 0.2 ETH (2 NFTs + GAS).
And many of us don’t care and just see the whales (or fake whales) promote these scams. Avoid them and look out for the signs.
Fortunately, this was not a big investment for me. And should not be for you. Crypto and NFTs can make life-changing money: but it can happen that your life changes for the worse. Invest only what you can afford to lose. Don’t put your last $100 into this market, not to mention life savings or getting a loan to invest the money into crypto.
Scammers among us
I am creating a video series where I expose scammers on Twitter. If you like, follow my series/my channel and see who is up to a scam currently:
Be suspicious if someone wants to give you a lot of money for free.
They do not do it for free. Any usually those blue chips are money only for them.