Can your NFTs be stolen? The simple answer to this question is YES. However, it is improbable that your NFT vanishes without you playing a role in its theft. Therefore, be mindful of how you handle your crypto wallets.
- More than $100 million worth of NFTs were stolen between 2021 and mid-2022
- More than 80% of free mint NFTs on Opensea are stolen art
- NFT theft is unlikely if you safely store your wallet seed phrase and you stay cautious of malicious links.
The Magnitude of NFT Scams
If you think NFT scams are not popular, now is the time to change that orientation. NFT thefts are commonplace and scammers steal huge amounts from a single heist.
Recent statistics have shown that scammers made more than $100 million from NFT art thefts between 2021 and July 2022. Reports further revealed that scammers stole an average of $300,000 from each successful NFT art theft.
Additionally, Cryptopunk #4324 is revealed to be the highest-profile NFT to ever be stolen. The art was sold for a price equivalent to $490,000. Now that you know the magnitude of NFT theft, let’s get down to the details.
Opensea and stolen NFT Art
It is no surprise to know that more than 80% of NFTs on Opensea are stolen art. The NFT marketplace revealed in early 2022 that more than 80% of NFTs minted through its free creation tool are scams, stolen, or outright frauds.
The NFT marketplace has since started taking measures to prevent NFT fraud. The marketplace revealed in November 2022 that it had implemented a system that auto-detects stolen art and blocks such art from being listed. Artists caught in such acts are also punished.
Despite this measure, it is important that you take responsibility for your NFTs to keep them secured at all times.
Also read: What are PFP NFTs and what are they used for?
Avoiding Scams and Spams
Safeguarding your crypto wallet is key to avoiding NFT scams. It does not matter if you own a wallet on a centralized exchange or you operate a decentralized crypto wallet.
If your NFTs are stored on a centralized exchange, it is important that you use a password that cannot be easily guessed. Ensure you maintain a complex password that includes letters, numbers, and special characters.
However, if you operate a decentralized crypto wallet like Meta Mask or Phantom, then you should ensure that your seed phrase is stored in a secure place. You already know that your private keys are called private keys for a reason. Always ensure they stay that way.
In the same vein, be cautious of malicious links. Reports have shown that phishing scams are some of the most common ways that scammers used to steal NFTs. Be careful of providing sensitive information on NFT marketplaces, and always check a link before clicking through.
Malicious links often function as baits to obtain your information. Such information is then used to trigger an irreversible transaction on the blockchain which transfers your digital asset to the scammer’s wallet address. Blockchain anonymity, therefore means that you can never catch scammers, and your NFT is gone forever.
You should also read: How to use DeCir’s NFT Royalty Splitter Tool
There is but one conclusion here. You have to take primary responsibility for protecting your digital assets. It is highly unlikely that your NFTs will be stolen without your consent. Always keep your wallet access information safe and be cautious of malicious links.