I Fell for a NFT Scam

Robin Sloan, one of my favourite people on the internet, recently decided to do an NFT experiment. You can read all about the fun I had in this essay. This is the other side of that story, where I lost about $200 due to a combination of stupidity, scam artists, and buggy software.

Here’s what happened:

  1. I tried to bid on work at zora.co
  2. That meant getting a digital wallet from metamask.io
  3. My bid got lost in transit, so I asked for help
  4. Someone on Twitter responded to my question
  5. They asked me to submit my 12 word phrase to help me
  6. I sent it to them, not realising it was a scam
  7. They took about half of my money
  8. Zora.co helped me find the rest of my money
  9. I transferred it out after hours of effort
  10. But only about $20 made it to me, the rest disappeared

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you don’t want to fall for an NFT scam like I did. First, understand that the whole ecosystem is full of scammers and highly complex technical steps you need to follow correctly.

Second — and this is so obvious in hindsight — the twelve word phrase you’re assigned as part of your wallet should never be shared with anyone. Also, you can’t change that phrase later. Once it’s breached, your money will be gone.

Third, there’s something called “wrapped ether.” It’s a way to convert digital currency into other digital currencies. My bid hit a technical snag that caused my currency to convert to “wrapped ether” but then fail. Which made it look like the money was completely gone. It wasn’t … until it was.

Hope this helps someone!



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