Asked to get a banana, a BAYC owner narrowly avoids a fake Forbes scam

A Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) owner says he has managed to avoid a potentially “dreadful day” after being asked to retrieve a banana for a photo from someone they initially believed was interviewing them for Forbes.

On Nov. 27, nonfungible token (NFT) collector “Crumz” detailed his run-in with a scammer posing as a Forbes journalist.

He reported that someone pretending to be Robert LaFanco — a real Forbes editor — contacted him by direct message from an impersonator account with the offer of an interview for a new article about BAYC. 

During the interview, the scammer prompted Crumz to click a button to allow access to record the interview. Crumz said he complied with the so-called journalists despite certain red flags, including their use of a non-premium Zoom account and wanting to use a separate recorder bot to record his screen.

“I had to press a button to allow access to record,” he said before adding, “I didn’t think much of it first, but at the end, he asks me to say something that resembles my ape, and he suggests a banana.”

Crumz said he later realized this was a distraction attempt to take him away from his computer during which the attacker would take control of his computer to steal his assets. 

Crumz said instead of getting the banana, he waited by his computer and sure enough, the scammers started to control his screen.

“I mute my screen and there’s no video and just waited by the screen and sure enough, they started to control my screen, I stopped them when they went on” 

Crypto casino Rollbit partner borowik.eth echoed the warning to his 140,000 X (formerly Twitter) followers on Nov. 27.

He also fingered a spurious account named Robert LaFranco, whose profile claims he is a Forbes assistant managing editor. “During this interview, he attempts to trick you to gain access to your PC and steal your expensive NFTs,” he warned.

Meanwhile, BAYC community member Laura Rod also reported being contacted by the bogus Forbes editor.

Related: Nansen phishing emails flood crypto investors’ inboxes

Earlier in November, blockchain security firm Slowmist detailed a number of scams in which victims lost crypto assets to fake journalists.

It reported that, after scheduling an interview, the attacker would guide victims to join the interview on Telegram, providing an interview outline, conducting a two-hour interview and then providing the malicious link to consent to publication.

In October, a user reported being duped by a fake Bloomberg journalist, who lured them into clicking a link for a “consent form,” which instead resulted in a drained account. 

Meanwhile, several industry observers have noted that scammers on X often have a BAYC profile picture, which is something to look out for.

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