Over $100 million worth of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) were stolen via scams since July 2021. In a report published this August, blockchain analysis provider, Elliptic highlighted the theft, adding that the fraudsters netted an average of about $300,000 per scam.
Report on the stolen NFTs
Elliptic estimated 4,647 stolen NFTs in July 2022 alone. While over $100 million worth of NFTs were publicly reported as stolen between July 2021 and July 2022, the report adds that the number may be higher as several such scams have also gone unreported.
According to Elliptic’s NFTs and Financial Crime report, over $8 million of funds have been laundered from NFT-based platforms since 2017. This represents only 0.02% of trading activity from identifiable sources.
🚨Over $100 million worth of NFTs were publicly reported as stolen through scams between July 2021 and July 2022, netting perpetrators $300,000 per scam on average.
Head to https://t.co/u6iPLjXgpR to read our NFTs and Financial Crime Report.#nft #crypto #aml
— elliptic (@elliptic) August 24, 2022
Scams and security compromises on social media also witnessed a steep hike accounting for 23% of NFTs stolen in 2022. North Korea’s Lazarus Group also carried out a similar heist in April that cost around $540 million to NFT platforms.
Security measures on NFT platforms
Several reports of stolen NFTs being aided by ‘cryptocurrency mixers’. Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixer, was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for laundering over $7 billion.
The report also sheds light on financial crimes’ nature, origin and scale. Regulatory schemes for NFTs are mentioned in it. Furthermore, it details investigating and preventing similar heists. The report intends to help NFT stakeholders with information related to safety, security and other details of NFTs.
Non-Fungible Tokens are cryptographic assets that may be images, videos, or text. NFTs have unique identification codes that set them apart from one another. Despite a noted market surge in 2021, NFT prices have come down. Several experts have linked the fall to the cryptocurrency crash that happened earlier this May. The sale of NFT has also been affected due to the same factors.