Scammers posing as Forbes journalists have targeted Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT holders, attempting to set up fake interviews to steal their NFTs, according to reports.
A BAYC owner shared their experience of being targeted by a scammer claiming to be from Forbes, who asked the owner to provide a banana for a photo shoot, potentially leading to the theft of the owner’s NFT if they had complied.
On Nov. 27, NFT collector “Crumz“ revealed how he narrowly avoided a scam in which a perpetrator pretending to be a Forbes journalist targeted him.
A scammer posing as Forbes editor Robert LaFanco contacted NFT owner “Crumz” via direct message, offering to feature the owner in a new article about BAYC NFTs, but this was a ploy to steal the owner’s NFTs.
During the interview, the scammer requested that the NFT owner click a “button” to allow access to the interview.
Cruz noticed several suspicious details about the interview, such as the fact that the “journalist” was using a free Zoom account and wanted to use a recording bot. Despite these red flags, Crumz still proceeded with the interview until he realized that he was being scammed.
“I had to press a button to allow access to a record,” he said before adding, “I didn’t think much of it at first but at the end, he asks me to say something that resembles my ape and he suggests a banana.”
Crumz later realized that the “interview” was a ruse to distract him from his computer so that the scammer could take control of his computer and steal his assets.
Crumz wisely remained at his computer and caught the scammers in the act when they attempted to gain control of his screen.
“I mute my screen and there’s no video and just waited by the screen and sure enough they started to control my screen, I stopped them when they went on the delegate.cash.“
After Crumz thwarted the scammers, the story was brought to the attention of the crypto community when crypto casino partner “3orovik” warned his followers about the scam.
Cruz also called out a fake account that used the name “Robert LaFranco” and claimed to be an assistant managing editor at Forbes.
3orovik’s warning was straightforward and to the point, making it clear that the scammers were trying to obtain access to people’s computers and steal their NFTs.
It seems that the bogus Forbes editor had attempted to contact more than one BAYC community member, as Laura Rod also reported being contacted by them.
Before the latest incident, security firm Slowmist had already issued a warning about several scams involving fake journalists who were tricking people into giving up their crypto assets.
According to the Slowmist report, once the scammers had contacted their victims and scheduled an interview, they would then move the conversation to Telegram. They would provide an interview outline and conduct a lengthy interview to lull the victims into a false sense of security. They would then provide a malicious link that required the victims to give consent to publication.
However, according to a report in October, a Friend.tech user was lured into clicking a malicious link by a fake Bloomberg journalist who claimed they needed the user’s consent to publish an interview. The user was then duped into giving up access to their account, resulting in a loss of funds.
According to industry observers, scammers on Twitter often use Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) profile pictures in an attempt to appear legitimate.