With the unrivaled success of crypto and the NFT spaces as of late, it does not come as a surprise that many want to become part of the rapidly growing community. Even more so when they see testimonials from famous social media personalities and A-list individuals such as KSI, Faze Banks, and Gary Vee.
These influencers play a crucial role in showing the appeal of non-fungible tokens by regularly posting and promoting projects they have minted. In addition, they openly share their goal of flipping these tokens for big money. Emmy-nominated photographer John Knopf has already accomplished this when he recently sold his Bored Ape for a whopping $1.4 million.
Seeing the buzz in the industry and the potential to earn a lot of money, a few predatory individuals have capitalized on the hype. They are taking advantage of innocent and unsuspecting people through fraudulent projects.
These fraudsters generally capture the community’s interest through a strategy called “rug pulls.” They basically promise NFT buyers incredible rewards like a chance to win a Lamborghini or other extravagant and valuable items.
To someone not well-versed, these deals seem like excellent investment opportunities. However, as with all things too good to be true, it comes with a catch. These project owners have no way of delivering prizes unless the entire project sells out.
Nicole Arbor recently had a close call with one of these suspicious schemes. Luckily, the NFT enthusiast quickly realized what was happening before she encouraged over 5 million of her followers, including the verified accounts of Joe Rogan, Paris Hilton, and cast members of Netflix’s Sabrina, to invest in the project.
Hoping to warn everyone about the dangers of these sham projects and expose their methods, the comedian did an Instagram live. Because of her highly successful and viral marketing campaigns in the past, she was asked by Bitcoin Wine NFT to promote the project.
The details say that each NFT costs $1,000 to purchase. In exchange, buyers would receive a bottle of Bitcoin Wine, the digital NFT, and access to the whitelist for upcoming NFT drops. Everything seems to be going well as it has excellent earning potential and has similar inclusions to legitimate projects.
But before long, Nicole saw several warning signs and red flags. First, the project does not have a confirmed release date; the project owners could not even tell her what the NFT projects were. On top of that, Bitcoin Wine NFT’s website states that they will only ship out the wine bottles when the 2,500 NFTs are sold. Therefore, if the collection fails to reach that goal, everyone else will be left with nothing.
Nicole knew that she had to walk away from the deal. Based on the contract posted by Bitcoin Wine, she left over $800,000USD in profits and even offered the deposit back. The remarkable woman knew that it was her responsibility to protect her followers and audience as an influencer.
During her Instagram live, she said, “You’d be paying $1,000, and you wouldn’t get anything, possibly. I’m not going to scam my audience.”
She went on to add, “I want to encourage everyone to do research before purchasing any NFTs or crypto. There are a lot of great opportunities out there, but you have to know what to look for. Influencers are being offered crazy money to promote projects without knowing if it’s a solid purchase.”
Because of the incident, Nicole Arbour has made it her advocacy to spread awareness and educate others on avoiding scams in the NFT space. So to help accomplish this goal, she will be releasing courses on NFTs and Cryptocurrency later this month.