How to stay safe from NFT scams
NFT is short for a non-fungible token, but you probably already have heard of this massive buzzword. If we go into more detail, the term non-fungible token refers to interchangeable digital assets, including anything from videos and audio files to photos.
Unlike fungible assets like cryptocurrency, you can’t exchange an NFT for another non-fungible token, as each digital asset is unique.
NFTs exploded last year, attracting countless traders and digital art fans who liked the idea of harnessing the power of the internet and technology to collect and sell various digital art forms. However, this new NFT market also attracted cyber criminals.
The more it grew, the more hackers became interested in it. The results are not great – increased numbers of NFT scams and fraud cases. Fortunately, there are a few ways to protect yourself against these new scams.
Do your homework
If you’re actively participating in the NFT exchanges, pay attention to transaction details before verifying and agreeing to proceed. First, the market exchange must be trustworthy and reputable.
Use Google to search for user reviews and testimonials about the marketplace before joining. Take your time to explore the buyer or seller’s reputation and transaction history, tap into previous experiences, and look for any existing problems, negative reviews, or complaints about how they do business.
Each marketplace should allow you to check the user’s level of engagement. We recommend trading only with experienced, highly engaged NFT users. If you aim to invest in NFT projects, research the developers, including their previous endeavours, to see who you’re dealing with and how trustworthy they are. Such actions will also help you detect counterfeit NFTs.
Avoid opening attachments or following links from unknown senders
Do not open attachments or follow links from unknown contacts. In most cases, hackers infect these communication forms with viruses and other cyber threats. They use cyber-attacks to target your digital asset wallets and steal any data they can find.
On the other hand, malicious links commonly redirect you to suspicious websites and exchange marketplaces where scammers try to get their hands on any information they might find helpful.
Freebies and giveaways are usually a scam
It’s common to run across free promotions and giveaways on NFT marketplaces. Most reputable market exchanges offer such gifts to reward loyal traders. However, each promotion includes a safety risk since each NFT trade goes through a contract.
A contract is a set of rules determining what a trader can do with a specific NFT. Hackers use such contracts as access points to users’ digital wallets to snatch their holdings, steal credentials, etc. Only accept NFT gifts from well-known contacts.
Keep your crypto seed phrase and private key to yourself
One of the fatal errors that most new traders make is sharing their seed phrase or private key to their digital wallet.
Hackers who get these credentials can breach your crypto wallet security, access transaction history, and hijack your crypto and NFTs without a trace.
We recommend protecting your NFT and crypto accounts with two-factor authentication and strong passwords.
Only use official market exchange platforms
Conduct all your crypto and digital exchange transactions on official, verified market exchange platforms. Most suspicious blockchain networks offer promotional deals and various bargains to attract naive traders.
Avoid disclosing any sensitive information or your wallet’s essential data in pop-ups. Double-check the URLs to avoid entering faulty websites.
Ensure you have up-to-date prices
Things tend to move rapidly in digital asset markets, and opportunities can change instantly. Such is the case with NFT prices.
Fortunately, you can always visit official market exchanges and trading platforms to check the current pricing for a particular NFT asset. Compare prices before every NFT purchase to get the best deal. Most questionable crypto exchanges will offer lower prices – a clear sign of a scam.
Burner wallets are an excellent protection
The burner wallets are excellent safety mechanisms against scams as they allow the trader to use limited funds for each transaction. Instead of using your entire crypto budget, you’ll only use a portion of your funds, thus protecting the rest against potential threats.
Secure your connection
Online transactions can never be 100% secure. Thus, you should do everything in your power to protect your regular payments and NFT purchases. One solution is getting a Virtual Private Network and becoming more immune to unsecured networks.
A VPN for PC adds a layer of security to your computer connection and allows you to browse NFT market exchange platforms more anonymously and safely. Most products reroute your internet traffic through its dedicated servers, encrypting your traffic using AES-256 encryption and protecting your connection from malicious attacks.
Crypto and NFT market exchange platforms are the future of digital asset trading. Unfortunately, that also makes them quite attractive to cybercriminals. Although they will try to steal your funds, you can protect yourself with a bit of cybersecurity awareness and practical knowledge.
Use a VPN to secure your connection and only join reputable marketplace platforms when exchanging NFTs. Aside from keeping your NFTs safe, trustworthy platforms offer the most benefits, including the best pricing terms and exchange conditions for NFT traders.