Like most things in life, when something new, exciting, and lucrative comes out, the scammers come with it. So, it's no surprise that scammers have decided to target Bored Ape owners, but luckily for all of us, their scams are easy to spot if you know what to look for.
I also think there is one simple UX update that OpenSea could do to stop these scammers in their tracks, and I'll share that below as well - so if you work at OpenSea and you're reading this - read on!
First things first, how does this scam work and how can you avoid accidentally selling your ape for $2.75?
Scammers have figured out that they can make offers for NFTs on OpenSea in USDC, i.e. US Dollars, which as we all know are worth a heck of a lot less than ETH. The scam is relatively simple - the scammer places a bid on one of your apes for say, $2.75 - you don't look closely and assume the bid is for 2.75ETH, get excited, sell, and then break down into tears when you realize you've just sold your ape at a massive loss. Here's an example of one of these sales:
The owner of ape #6874 here assumed they had received an offer for 2.75ETH, but as you can see, it's actually a bid for 2.75USDC, and poof - ape gone.
The really frustrating thing about this scam is that technically the scammers aren't breaking any laws. They placed a bid on an NFT, the owner accepted the bid, and they now rightfully own the NFT. I don't know how people who do this can sleep at night but scammers find a way...
As an NFT investor the best way to protect yourself from this scam is to look at your offers and make sure they're actually in ETH, not USDC. It really is that simple.
So what can OpenSea do to stop these scammers?
OpenSea also has a very easy fix here and I hope someone from OpenSea is reading this and says, hey - great idea Morgan let's do that!
All OpenSea has to do to essentially end this scam is put a little pop-up someone in the experience that makes NFT investors aware that the offer is not in ETH. That's it. The only reason this scam works is because people think the offer is in ETH and often don't even know that OpenSea offers USDC as a payment method - it's honestly just a UX issue more than anything that's allowing these scammers to do what they do.
That's all I've got, be safe out there and if you get an offer for your ape that seems to good to be true, know that it might be...