Bill Murray is the latest celebrity to be targeted by crypto thieves.
The criminals got away with 119.2 ETH (about $185,000) that the actor had collected during his NFT charity auction. The unknown hackers also attempted to steal non-fungible tokens from Murray’s personal collection, which includes two CryptoPunk NFTs, according to Coindesk.
CryptoPunks are among the most sought after NFTs and can range in price from $77,600 to $1.2 million in ether, according to GoBankingRates.
The “Groundhog Day” star’s virtual wallet security team, NFT consulting firm Project Venkman, was able to protect his NFTs. However, they were unable to protect the funds raised for charity. It might be difficult to get them back because cryptocurrency transactions are usually irreversible.
Murray’s team say they have filed a police report and are working with cryptanalysis firm Chainalysis to identify the thief.
Although Murray’s charitable funds appear to be away, another Coinbase user donated about $187,500 worth of ether to Chive Charities, the nonprofit Murray was fundraising for, to replace the stolen money.
Murray is far from the only celebrity to be targeted for their expensive digital collectibles. In May, for example, actor and producer Seth Green lost four Bored Ape NFTs to a phishing scam, which is when cyber thieves steal users’ personal information by tricking them with fake links.
Like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape NFTs are among the best-known non-fungible tokens and a popular target for theft.
Since the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection launched in June 2021, a total of 143 Bored Ape NFTs worth nearly $13.6 million were reported as stolen in August 2022, according to Immunefi, a security firm Web3.
Green paid nearly $300,000 to get back one of his stolen NFTs, Bored Ape #8398, which he plans to use in an animated series he’s developing, according to Buzzfeed News.
While crypto scams involving celebrities tend to be the most publicized, they are certainly not the most common, says Chen Arad, chief operating officer of Solidus Labs, a company that provides services such as commercial surveillance, transaction monitoring and threat intelligence to some. of the largest stock exchanges.
“The scammers don’t discriminate and target anyone they think they can get money from, from celebrities to royalty to everyday people,” he told CNBC Make It.
However, cybercriminals tend to go after celebrities in particular because “it adds buzz” and attracts more attention, says Arad. “Celebrities are also perceived as wealthy and often are, making them a prime target,” he says. “Celebs deal with a high volume of offers/suggestions, which could mean less time to properly review and assess their legitimacy.”
How to protect NFTs, cryptos and other digital investments
Although theft and scams are not unique to the crypto market, there are high rates of illicit activity in the crypto space because “new technology is always being tested and it takes time to discover and close security gaps,” says Arad.
If you want to buy NFTs, there are several ways to protect your investment.
OpenSea, the most popular and largest NFT marketplace, recommends implementing a variety of security measures, including using two-factor authentication and a physical hardware wallet, in addition to your digital wallet.
Also, be careful not to share your personal and financial information with people you have never met. A seemingly random text from an unknown number could be an attempt to lure you into a “pig cutting” scam, the latest scheme costing crypto investors millions.
It is important to note that NFTs, like cryptocurrency, are subject to unpredictable fluctuations in value. There is no guarantee that you will be able to make a profit from your investment, which is why experts advise against spending more on your crypto, NFT, or other speculative investments than you can afford to lose.
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