Scammers are going after a popular tool for online investing, known as NFTs which stands for "non-fungible token."
While you used to be able to hold collectible items in your hands and be able to touch and feel them, that's all changing with online investing and specifically NFTs.
You can now buy NFTs--which are online assets like digital art--in the form of jpg files, gifs, videos or even tweets. Artists, influencers, even the NBA recently launched this website where collectors can buy and sell NFTs and are making millions of dollars off the digital art.
Scams related to online investing like NFTs and cryptocurrency can cost you. Nick Hill with the BBB of Eastern of North Carolina says, "Anybody can fake an NFT. It's easy, you can basically just copy the image if you find it online."
According to the BBB, online investing scams cost victims an average of $1,200. If you're scammed, Hill says it's difficult to get your money back. "Unfortunately there's no real way that you can get them back because you've given your money to the scammer at that point, and in return, you get an empty file."
To avoid being scammed in this new world of investing, watch out for fakes. Make sure you're buying an original NFT by tracking down the content creator and reaching out to them directly.
You should also look for trusted vendors that provide you with protection. Always read the fine print as the BBB says some NFTs come with a smart contract containing a transfer clause that is required every time it sells making part of the proceeds go to the previous owner.
The BBB also cautions you about wash sales. That's when someone creates an NFT, puts it up for sale, quickly buys it themselves for a high price to make it look more valuable than it is, then offers it again at an even more inflated price.
Another tip is to look for the mintable warning icon. The BBB says this yellow circle with an exclamation point inside means to proceed with caution.