According to an investigation from Rug Pull Finder, a group of NFT projects managed to take over 40,000 in Ethereum (ETH) or $120 million from their communities. The anonymous investigators believe the groups have been using one strategy across different platforms and projects to attract users and steal their funds.
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The second installment of a long investigation, Rug Pull Finders has been looking into the activities of these NFT projects to try and uncover the alleged perpetrators of a “cash grab” scam. So far, the investigators have linked influencers, celebrities, developers, venture capitalists, “founders” and around 20 NFT projects to the scheme.
At the center of this alleged operations is Vasco Rouw and a company called VascoGames. Via these entities, the supposed perpetrators have been able to infiltrate communities to “generate hype” and trapped users in the alleged scam.
Once they have achieved their financial objectives, the perpetrators abandoned the projects. Rug Pull Finder claimed:
Vasco and his crew then bankrolled the creation of a plethora of projects – launching new project after new project, and subsequently draining the majority of liquidity, before rinsing and repeating.
The investigators were allegedly able to track the scammers’ transactions with software from Blockchain Intelligence Group. In that sense, they were able to establish a connection between the different NFT projects allegedly part of the scheme.
Their investigation pointed to Omicron Blockchain Solutions (OBS), the entity that wrote “a large majority of these projects contracts, identifiable in their code”. This entity was supposedly behind 90% of the following projects, all classified as scams by Rug Pull Finder:
Naughty Bape Club NFT, Meta Eagle Club – GalyVerse, Shiba Social Club, Prime Ape Planet, Prime Kong Planet, Kitty Crypto Gang, Alpha Kongs Club, Trillionaire Thugs NFT, Bored Billionaires, Digital Ape Club, The SpaceBulls, Supreme Kong, BeHype, and many more.
The NFT Projects That Are Too Good To Be Truth
After the investigators published the first part of their investigation, Omicron erase some of the mentioned projects from their websites. In addition, the company “bragged” about making their users over “$60 million in NFT primary sales”.
Rug Pull Finder was able to link Omicron with Kominos Chatzipapas. Born in Greek, this person’s email was allegedly listed as the company’s contact. As seen below, these alleged fraudulent projects are connected to a complex transaction network that stands to benefit a few at the expense of the users that believe them.
15/Hundreds of millions of dollars has been taken from good people looking to invest their hard earned money in hopes of future returns from the mentioned projects – in reality, it is funding a group who wants nothing more than to feed off the holders and fund their pockets
— Rug Pull Finder (@rugpullfinder) April 11, 2022
On the potential consequences for the individuals and entities linked to these alleged fraudulent schemes, Rug Pull Finder said:
We are working with both private intelligence groups and proper federal authorities to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Stay vigilant friends and family – if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
At the time of writing, Ethereum trades at $2,900 with a 15% loss in the last 7 days.