More than US$100 million worth of NFTs were scammed between July 2021 and July 2022, with each scam perpetrator making an average of US$300,000, according to a report released on Wednesday by crypto analysis firm Elliptic.

See related article: Who fared worse in cryptocurrency slump: criminals or legitimate users?

Fast facts

  • Crypto mixer Tornado Cash has laundered over 52% of the NFT scam proceeds, the report said.
  • May saw the highest amount stolen in the last year, with almost $24 million worth of NFTs stolen. July 2022 had the highest number of NFTs stolen, with more than 4,600, but actual figures could be higher as some scams were not exposed, the report said.
  • The report also noted that NFT scams based on malicious links posted on social media spiked in 2022, particularly the hijacking of Discord servers, with 23% of nearly 5,000 NFTs worth around $20 million stolen this year due to a Discord server breach.
  • State-sponsored NFT scams have also risen significantly, such as the US$540 million Ronin bridge hack of high-profile crypto game Axie infinity.
  • The inflow of ETH into the NFT trading market surged in the third quarter of 2021, with US$8 billion, and growth continued until the first quarter of 2022 that saw the highest ETH quarterly inflow of US$17.4 billion. But ETH flows shrank by 47% in the second quarter of 2022 to US$9.2 billion.

See related article: Ronin hackers converted stolen ETH to BTC using sanctioned mixers: report