How two teenagers are scamming NFT collectors through launches and rug pulls
Famous on-chain investigator, ZachXBT, has alerted the crypto community on the activities of two 19-year-olds who have been defrauding NFT collectors.
Teenagers targeted by ZachXBT
The unofficial investigator called out the two fraudsters via a series of tweets on January 27, alleging that their verified accounts popped up and had been used to scam people through elaborate rug pulls. The post stated:
“Two verified accounts @radoko @Fitz_lol that popped up out of nowhere in the past few weeks and all the different NFT rug pulls they’ve created in that time.”
The investigator said that the duo has been raking in $4,000-$10,000 monthly with the scheme they have perfected. According to the Twitter thread by ZachXBT, both accounts suddenly appeared on Twitter in the last weeks of December 2022 and started shilling NFTs. He said that considering that accounts with fake followers are usually characterized by an unnatural jump in the numbers, it is likely that the two accounts were stolen or bought from their original owners.
After Zach posted the thread, the two culprits did not respond to the allegations even though they were tagged. They quickly blocked the investigator.
NFT scams have become commonplace in the past year as the space has attracted many investors eager to benefit from the boom. The most popular NFT scams are rug pulls In outlining how the two 19-year-olds operate, ZachXBT said that shortly after the two accounts became active in December, they started engaging their followers while promoting several NFT rug projects they created.
How the fraudsters were linked to the rug pulls
On how the investigator knew that the projects were created by the fraudsters, he wrote:
“Well if you start with @radoko PFP you will see it’s MAYC 5998 owned by: 0x00c69661c3b084baa98a69da64ae3a30441662e5. Then we go to a rug @Fitz_lol “created” The deployer of the contract for the project is 0x77e796bd46245c1b5bb96df025328c614404caa5. Mapping it out we can see it’s 1 hop away from @radoko public wallet as well their other rugs @TrippyFrogsNFT @FatNutzETH ”
ZachXBT said that the fraudsters’ Twitter accounts @radoko and @Fitz_lol were verified, giving the impression that they’re NFT creators. This could have contributed to helping them gain many followers, further giving the rug pulls a semblance of authenticity. Zach said that these are all carefully set up to deceive the victims of the rug pull.
He also stated that all the rug pull projects created by the scammers followed a similar pattern of funneling investors by shilling them on Twitter. All of the scams were funded using FixedFloat, created with BuenoArt, and characterized by low supply.
The fraudsters seem to know when to exit from one scam and almost immediately set up the next one. Even though no one can account for how many victims have participated in the rug pulls, Zach said that people should stop responding to random projects just because they created the impression that they are NFT projects.
According to the on-chain detective: “Stop following, cotweeting, or replying to random NFT accounts just because of their PFP (Profile Pictures), followers, and engagement. ”
A message on Discord
An update from ZachXBT alerted the public that the fraudsters bought access to the account for their rug pull NFT projects. According to the release, the original owner of the account gave them access after an agreement that he would receive a 20% cut without knowing that they were fraudulent projects:
“Messages from Discord show the original owner sold access to the account unknowingly to a scammer and gets 20% of the funds from the rugs.”
Even though the number of victims was not immediately known, the on-chain investigator shared screenshots of discussions with people who lost money to the fraudsters.