Twitter Sleuth Helps French Police Catch NFT Scammers

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  • Twitter sleuth ZachXBT has helped French police track down a group of French NFT thieves
  • The five men stole numerous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs through a phishing scam
  • French police arrested the group this week, who stole at least $2.5 million worth of NFTs

French police have used information from well known Twitter sleuth ZachXBT to charge five people on suspicion of stealing $2.5 million worth of NFTs via phishing scams. ZachXBT, who helped bring attention to the fact that QuadrigaCX co-founder Michael Patryn was the treasurer of DeFi project Wonderland, published a report in August this year regarding the French NFT phishing scam which identified five victims who lost valuable Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs to the scheme, the details of which police used to detain five men behind the scam.

BAYC Animation Site was Hoax

According to police, the scam involved a website being set up in late 2021 that offered a service to NFT holders that would animate the static images they owned. In actual fact, the site was nothing more than a phishing operation that allowed the group to acquire the credentials from the unwitting users to transfer ownership of their NFTs.

ZachXBT’s report from August highlighted the ploy – holders were hoodwinked into granting access to their wallets on the site, whereupon their NFTs were stolen and immediately sold. However, he revealed that while the thieves used Tornado Cash to launder their funds, they weren’t careful about how they withdrew them, leaving “breadcrumbs” that opened the door to the possibility of being tracked.

ZachXBT’s investigation ultimately led to identifying those likely responsible, with police acting on the information, corroborating it, and charging the five, all aged in their twenties, with the thefts.