Chinese student loses NFT worth $548,000 after clicking on a scam link

  • A fourth-year student at Shanghai’s Tongji University posted on Discord that he had lost a valuable NFT from the Doodles collective that was worth half of his NFT assets to a phishing scam.
  • The NFT that belonged to Niq Chen is worth around $548,000, based on the $1.1 million paid by collector Pranksy for a different Doodles NFT.
  • OpenSea, a NFT marketplace, had 17 users fall victim to phishing scams that stole around $1.7 million total in NFTs.
  • Upon request, OpenSea froze the stolen NFT, and Chen is hoping to work out a deal with the buyer in order to retrieve his assets.

A senior at Shanghai’s Tongji University, Niq Chen, had a valuable NFT worth about $548,000 stolen after falling for a phishing scam.

According to South China Morning Post, Chen went “all in” buying non-fungible tokens (NFT) before recently losing about half of his assets to a phishing scam. The stolen NFT was bought from the Doodles collective NFT project and was worth $548,000. 

The exorbitant price of the NFT is mainly attributed to Pranksy, one of the world’s biggest NFT collectors, who bought one-of-a-kind Doodle NFT #6914, “Gold Ape,” for an approximate $1.1 million, reported Coin Rivet.

After reportedly falling to a phishing scam by clicking on a link that stole the NFT, Chen requested that the NFT not be bought or sold; however, it had already been sold by the scammer, who claims that they did not do anything wrong. Chen told the buyer that the NFT was bought illegally and offered to buy it back, but the buyer would not comply and stated that it was a “good deal,” reported the Morning Post.

According to Business Insider, phishing scams involves attackers sending malicious email links that can be used to steal personal data and passwords when clicked on.

Chen became well known in the Chinese NFT community after he put down “NFT” as his career choice on a university survey. Despite now having lost a large sum of money through his dealings, the student says that he would still like to pursue NFT dealing as a career path.

The marketplace that the student bought the NFT from, OpenSea, had recently reported another case in which 17 users fell for a phishing attack that stole a total of around $1.7 million in NFTs, reported The Verge. The collective attack occurred during an update of the website’s contract system.

Due to the simple interface of the marketplace, there have been several security issues involving users having their assets stolen from phishing attacks. According to The Verge, OpenSea has denied that the attacks originated from the website and are still unsure as to how the attack took place.

According to South China Morning Post, many NFT buyers have also encountered rug pulls, which occurs when a project is abandoned by a team along with the investor’s money.

With the recent phishing attacks targeting NFTs and cryptocurrency, authorities are warning users to tread carefully, since the chance of having the stolen assets returned is very slim.

Feature Image via Tezos

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