How To Spot a Fake NFT? Top 7 Ways to Identify Fake NFTs
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The NFT craze has escalated since last year, and as well as the number of scams associated with this asset class. NFTs are unique blockchain-based digital collectibles that are one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced by another piece. Since last year, more and more people are getting into the NFT sphere either to earn profits by investing in them or just to keep up with this latest trend.
Hence, this billion dollar market has come under the radar of scammers and fraudulent parties for sweeping quick bucks. Since NFTs are extremely easy to manufacture and also have a high earning potential, it’s not hard to see why scammers target this asset class.
In this article, we have discussed some of the red flags associated with fake NFTs. Let’s see some steps you can take to save yourself from falling victim to these scams.
1. Beware of fake NFT artists
Most NFT marketplaces are full of plagiarized NFTs because it’s pretty easy to grab other people’s works. Scammers take a screenshot of some existing collections, slap them on the blockchain and post them for sale as their own.
As an NFT collector, you probably want to avoid becoming the owner of copied works. To determine if a digital collectible is a replica, you can perform a “reverse Google image search” to see if the item is already listed somewhere.
If the results show similar-looking items with the name of another author/producer, the NFT you selected is probably not genuine. Simply put, if you see that the NFT you’re looking for already exists on the internet, it’s probably stolen and you shouldn’t buy it.
2. Check the NFT website
A significant way to check the legitimacy of any NFT is its website. It is not uncommon for scammers to develop a fake NFT website from one of the original NFT brands or companies. Although scammers can create website imitations of real NFT artists and projects, most of the time they leave some loopholes that show the fakeness.
To verify the trustworthiness of an NFT website, you should first look at its URL and compare it to the web addresses listed on the project’s official Twitter or Discord account. Even a small discrepancy in the links can indicate something sneaky, and you should refrain from such projects.
In addition, you should also look at the layout of the website and decide whether the features and layout look believable. Most fake websites contain ambiguous information and a half-baked interface because scammers can’t afford to spend a lot of time working out complicated details.
3. Does the NFT project in question have active social media (Twitter and Discord)?
Anyone familiar with NFTs probably knows that social media apps like Twitter and Discord are the primary den of NFT enthusiasts. Usually, credible developers cultivate a lively and interactive NFT community on their Discord channel or Twitter account. They keep members updated on ongoing developments, upcoming releases, expected price range and other factors in a professional manner. In addition, the communities associated with real projects are productively active and organized, with a large number of participants engaged in fruitful discussions.
That said, it’s rare to find such an animated and crafted environment on spoof social media channels. So if you notice a boring atmosphere in the NFT community with bot activity and nonsensical posts, withdraw from the project immediately.
4. Analyze the NFT’s metadata to find out its blockchain location and number of previous owners
In spite of both genuine and fake NFTs are stored on the blockchain, you can identify the manufactured one by looking at its chronological position on the blockchain compared to the original piece.
An NFT’s metadata can indicate its source address, creation time, and all buyers and sellers who have yet participated in it. By analyzing such data, you can pretty much verify the original NFTs. Any digital product that does not have a verifiable transaction log or a different contract address than the original collection is a red flag and you should stay away from it.
5. Is NFT being promoted with some dubious pre-sale campaign?
It’s a general rule of thumb that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Keep in mind that most scammers lure NFT buyers with lucrative pre-sale offers and impressive giveaways such as free NFT distribution or promises of big profits. Next they ask you to click some malicious link, connect your crypto wallet, accept some transactions and boom! You have been scammed!
To avoid such scenarios, you need to stay alert and vigilant to ignore any suspicious messages. Note that some bulls may present themselves as representatives of well-known and popular NFT projects, so be extremely careful and research everything carefully before taking any action.
6. Follow the NFT description and contact information provided
Since scammers’ sole purpose is to scam people, they don’t have much conviction and knowledge to add working NFT descriptions. Additionally, they also avoid providing links to their Discord, Twitter or other social media accounts.
If you find an NFT with vague information and no link to the original author, you should back off immediately. Another way to avoid buying such fake NFTs is to only consider proven creators and collections listed on reputable marketplaces with a blue badge.
7. Compare the price of NFT with similar collections
If you spot some popular and great collection of NFTs at significantly low prices, it’s probably a scam. Any pricing that deviates from accepted or average levels is a red flag and you should avoid such suspicious NFTs.
What happens is that most scammers either lower their NFT prices to increase sales volumes or raise prices higher than average to trick buyers into thinking “something big is going on”. So always remember to research and compare the prices of your chosen NFT with other collections to ensure its viability.
In addition to the above mentioned scams, you may also encounter some still modified and high level tricks. Because of these scam trends, many people have started to feel fearless and aware of their NFT investments. However, note that if you remain attentive, keen and attentive, you can avoid such a carpet and pull fraud. The NFT market is exploding and you shouldn’t turn your back on its huge potential for fear of being scammed. Just remember be observant and follow the steps above to spot fake NFTs!
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