As free mints for NFTs have taken over the space lately, free mint scams are becoming the NFT crime du jour. Obviously, the idea of winning the lottery on the next Goblintown has people in the NFT space very excited. But how do you know if an NFT project is legit or if it’s just a free mint scam? Read on to learn how to stay safe.
What is the free mint NFT scam?
Firstly, let’s talk about free mints. This refers to the big trend that is growing, in part due to the current NFT bear market. To clarify, most new NFT projects over the past year have charged people to mint pieces from a collection. These prices can vary wildly, but generally fall into the 0.05 to 0.25 ETH range.
Of course that wasn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, the NFT PFP collection that started this craze, CryptoPunks, was famously a free mint. However, now that cryptocurrencies are down across the board and interest in buying NFTs has fallen massively, free mints are back in fashion in the NFT space.
Most notably over the past few weeks is the case of Goblintown.wtf. The Goblins are without a doubt the biggest NFT story of late, and were free to mint. The project now sits at a lofty floor price of 5.8 ETH, and has seen a secondary trade volume of about 31K ETH.
Unfortunately, whenever an NFT project skyrockets to success, the scammers always follow. And the recent popularity of free mints is no different. Now there are multiple scams popping up posing as free mints for new NFT collections.
In essence, these scams utilize the kind of malicious smart contracts we’ve seen in many Discord scams. That is to say that rather than minting an NFT, unwitting NFT owners are unknowingly signing away their NFTs to scammers. This includes a Mutant Ape holder who sadly lost his Otherdeed with a Koda on it.
How to know if an NFT mint is legit
When it comes to avoiding free mint NFT scams, it’s very important to be able to navigate NFT smart contracts. Being able to spot some basic functions and what they mean is a major way to tell apart a legit NFT project, from a scam that will empty your wallet.
Of course, keeping your valuable NFTs in a hardware wallet that you never use to mint is a tip that many people in the NFT space implore people to listen to. Especially when it comes to free mints, you can simply have a separate wallet with a small amount of ETH in it for gas fees. That way, your valuable assets won’t be lost to a scam contract for a fake free NFT mint.