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


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, 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 BAYCs.

I just spent the last 2hours on Zoom with ‘@Forbes’ it was pretty sophisticated and well thought out because I’m usually on high alert but luckily I wasn’t caught. Here’s what they did. 1/8

— Crumz (@crumz10) November 26, 2023

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”

Hopefully I’m safe now. Don’t think they can still control my computer when I turn it back on.
Please be safe out there, it could’ve been a dreadful day today

— Crumz (@crumz10) November 26, 2023

Crypto casino Rollbit partner ‘@3orovik’ echoed the warning to his 140,000 X 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.


A fake Forbes journalist is reaching out to BAYC holders for a fake interview

During this interview he attempts to trick you to gain access to your PC and steal your expensive NFTs

It’s very unlikely Forbes would reach out

— borovik.eth (@3orovik) November 27, 2023

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

Earlier this month 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 (Twitter) often have a BAYC profile picture which is something to look out for.

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