A recent report on NFTs and Financial Crime published by crypto risk management firm Elliptic has revealed that since mid-2021, scammers stole NFTs worth over $100 million.
During the 13-month period from July 2021 to July 2022, users have been victims of scams wherein NFTs worth $100.6 million were stolen. The report mentions that despite the market downturn and slump in the value of NFTs, scammers stole the most number of NFTs in July 2022. The report points out that scammers looted BAYC NFTs and MAYC NFTs worth over $58 million in July 2022 alone.
The firm verified that the most valuable NFT stolen was a CryptoPunk which was valued at $490,000 at the time it was stolen in November 2021. In another instance in December 2021, scammers were able to steal 16 blue chip NFTs worth over $2 million from a single user.
According to the report, scammers and individuals laundered more than $8 million in stolen and illicit funds through NFT platform and more than $328 million was diverted through crypto mixers including Tornado Cash, which is currently facing sanctions by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control. It is estimated that the disgraced mixer processed $137.6 million worth of crypto through NFT platforms, making it a laundering tool of choice for scammers.
Elliptic reported that more than 2,000 NFTs were stolen in April 2022. Scammers deploy a number of methods to con users, including phishing and also by exploiting the vulnerabilities of NFT marketplaces.