January 23, 2022 - 6 min read
Project creators often mint NFTs to the wallets of influencers and celebrities who are interested in NFTs, which creates a false marketing narrative that those big names are bought into a project. We're going to show you how to spot fake mints with this step-by-step guide so that you can avoid buying into projects you think influencers behind when really the NFTs were sent to their wallet by someone else.
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As more celebrities and influencers start buying NFTs, more NFT scams are going to pop up. The latest scam doesn’t directly target specific NFT buyers, but it does target ones who are watching the wallets of big influencers and we are going to show you how to protect yourself.
Oftentimes, people buy NFTs that influencers and celebrities buy. It’s a terrible mistake to completely outsource your conviction 100%, but if you are fast enough, you can usually buy into a project as it catches a moon on the hype of an influencer buying in.
It’s a double-edged sword, usually, because the hype dies down and the project stops pumping, but humanity is going to follow people who have status, which likely isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Scammers are using this to their advantage by minting assets from their project to wallets to make it appear as if those influencers are getting in on the project mint.
Inexperienced projects may consider this a marketing strategy, but it’s inauthentic and disingenuous at best.
We’re going to walk you through some short steps to verify legitimate mints for an NFT wallet, so you don’t ape into something that’s effectively fake.
I also want to give a big shoutout to Suited_Aces23 who pointed out these steps on Twitter and was the inspiration for documenting them in this written article. Give a follow if you get value from this article!
To verify that an NFT wallet mint is legitimate, you need to go to that wallet’s page in OpenSea, find the transaction, click on the Etherscan link and verify that the “to” and “from” wallet addresses are the same.
Neymar is a Brazilian soccer player who is a superstar with 168 million Instagram followers and 55 million Twitter followers. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and Neymar recently purchased two Bored Apes from Bored Ape Yacht Club.
He may be the biggest celebrity (in terms of social media following) in the world to have purchased Bored Apes, so we are going to use his wallet as our example.
Neymar’s NFT wallet name is enejay so we are going to head over to OpenSea.io/enejay:
We can see that he collected 13 assets with the assets listed below but what this doesn’t show are the assets sent to his wallet without him knowing.
Next, we are going to click on Activity so that we can see Listings, Sales, Bids, and Transfers of this wallet:
Immediately we can see that it appears Neymar is minting flippeddoodles.club, UniveriseofWomen, and a number of other projects:
It looks as though he is repeatedly minting numerous projects, and the untrained eye might rush to ape into one of those projects without first verifying if it is real.
In the Time column, you can see the date and time of the mint, but you can also click an hour ago to be taken to the Etherscan transaction page:
This Etherscan page provides us with a lot of great detail about the transaction including its Transaction Hash, Status, Block, Timestamp, Action, From address, and interaction address.
This page has all the details we need to verify if Neymar really minted all these projects, or if it’s fake.
In Etherscan, we can see that the From: address is 0x55cd64a (…)
We immediately know this is not from Neymar’s wallet, because on OpenSea, we can see his wallet ID below his profile picture:
Neymar’s NFT wallet starts with 0xb4c2 and ends in cb57 (you can also easily copy the wallet ID). This alone would tell you that he didn’t mint this project, but let’s keep going.
We want to make sure this matches the to address in the Tokens Transferred section:
The To address starts with 0xb4c27 and is Neymar’s wallet, but it does not match the from and is therefore not a real mint.
This is a project that I personally minted and want to use as an example so you can see what the transaction looks like.
In the Transaction Action section, you can see the To address is 0xf6851d45(…):
In the From section, you can see 0xf6851(…) which is the same address and verifies that this was a legitimate mint.
It’s simple matching, but people get caught up in seeing celebrities and influencers minting projects so they ape in without remembering to check to see if the transactions are legitimate.
There are project creators who flat-out lie and say that an influencer minted or bought their project when in reality they sneakily transferred or minted the asset on their behalf. If we want to keep collectors in this space, we have to share information to prevent them from making poor decisions.
This often happens to Gary V, who has a big audience and is very passionate about the space:
In this case, an NFT was airdropped and the project claimed Gary V had bought one, but later revised their marketing statement:
Hopefully, this example and this new tool can help you steer clear of projects using the influence of others illegitimately to help pry your hard-earned ETH out of your NFT wallet.
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