Free Mint NFT Scams Are on the Rise: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe

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Because free mints for NFTs have recently taken over the space, free mint scams are quickly becoming the NFT crime du jour. People in the NFT space are obviously very excited about the prospect of winning the lottery on the next Goblintown. But how do you tell if an NFT project is legitimate or a free mint scam? Continue reading to find out how to stay safe.

What exactly is the free mint NFT scam?

Let’s start with the free mints. This refers to a major trend that is gaining traction, owing in part to the current NFT bear market. To be clear, the majority of new NFT projects launched in the last year have charged people to mint pieces from a collection. These prices can vary greatly, but generally fall between 0.05 and 0.25 ETH.

That wasn’t always the case, of course. In fact, the NFT PFP collection that sparked this craze, CryptoPunks, was a free mint. However, now that cryptocurrencies are down across the board and interest in purchasing NFTs has plummeted, free mints are making a comeback in the NFT space.

The case of Goblintown has been particularly notable in recent weeks.

The are without a doubt the most important NFT story of late, and they were completely free to mint. The project is now trading at a lofty floor price of 3.1 ETH, with a secondary trade volume of around 33.9K ETH (at the time of writing).

Unfortunately, whenever an NFT project succeeds, scammers always follow. The recent popularity of free mints is no exception. There are now numerous scams posing as free mints for new NFT collections.

In essence, these scams use the same malicious smart contracts that we’ve seen in numerous Discord scams. That is, instead of minting an NFT, unwitting NFT owners unknowingly sign away their NFTs to scammers. This includes a Mutant Ape who tragically lost his Otherdeed with a Koda on it.

How can you tell if an NFT mint is genuine

It is critical to be able to navigate NFT smart contracts in order to avoid free mint NFT scams. Knowing how to recognize some basic functions and what they mean is a great way to tell a legitimate NFT project from a scam.

Of course, many people in the NFT space advise people to keep their valuable NFTs in a hardware wallet that they never use to mint. You can simply have a separate wallet with a small amount of ETH in it for gas fees, especially when it comes to free mints. That way, your valuable assets will not be lost due to a bogus contract for a free NFT mint.

Step 1: Go to the OpenSea NFT Wallet Page

To ensure that an NFT wallet mint is genuine, navigate to that wallet’s page in OpenSea, locate the transaction, click on the Etherscan link, and confirm that the “to” and “from” wallet addresses are identical.

Step 2: Go to the OpenSea Wallet Activity Page

Next, click on Activity to view this wallet’s listings, sales, bids, and transfers.

If someone appears to repeatedly mint numerous projects, then the untrained eye may rush to ape into one of those projects without first confirming its authenticity.

Step 3: Go to Transaction in Etherscan

The date and time of the mint are displayed in the Time column, but you can also click an hour ago to be taken to the Etherscan transaction page. The Etherscan page contains a wealth of information about the transaction, such as the Transaction Hash, Status, Block, Timestamp, Action, From address, and interaction address.


Some project creators outright lie, claiming that an influencer minted or purchased their project when, in reality, they sneakily transferred or minted the asset on their behalf. To keep collectors in this space, we must share information to keep them from making bad decisions.

How to spot a fake NFT?

This is a question that more people are asking as non-fungible tokens gain popularity in the art world. Plagiarism and fakes are on the rise as NFTs help many traditional and digital artists make art profitable again.

First and foremost, if a deal appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is. NFT prices are determined by supply and demand. A fake NFT is one that is significantly cheaper or more expensive than similar NFTs from the same collection or category.

A reverse Google image search can be used to verify the authenticity of the NFT. Furthermore, the platform can validate collections and their artists. If it’s genuine, a blue checkmark will appear next to its title.

Finally, the best way to ensure that your NFT is genuine is to use the right platform, preferably one with human moderators.

All investment/financial opinions are not recommendations. This is an educational article. Always conduct your own research before making any type of investment. #DYOR

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