The alleged fraudsters built a BAYC and MAYC NFT-focused website that masqueraded as a service to animate the apes but instead phished victims’ details to steal their NFTs.
French authorities have reportedly utilized research from pseudonymous blockchain sleuth ZachXBT to charge five people on suspicion of stealing $2.5 million worth of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) via phishing scams.
According to an Oct. 12 report from the Agence France Presse (AFP) shared by Barron’s, the alleged fraudsters built a website that masqueraded as a service that animates the static artwork from people’s Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFTs.
Unfortunately for the victims, they had their credentials swiped and their NFTs stolen via the phishing website instead.
The five young suspects are said to be in their mid to late 20s and had allegedly conducted the scheme between late 2021 and early 2022.
The charges against the five include fraud committed as part of a criminal gang, concealing fraud and criminal association.
Two of the suspects are thought to be the ring leaders, and prosecutors have requested for them to be held in pre-trial detention.