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 their victims. 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 last several years. 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.
This article has been originally published at: https://www.cryptopolitan.com/how-two-19-year-old-scammers-are-launching-nft-projects-and-rugging-the-collectors/