Ozzy Osbourne NFT Shortlink Error Could Have Cost Fans Thousands
Osbourne launched his own line of NFTs, called CryptoBatz (a nod to that one time Osbourne bit the head off of a live bat), back in December. The collection features 9,666 non-fungible tokens.
"I've been trying to get in on the NFT action for a while, so when I asked Sharon for a Bored Ape for Christmas after several failed attempts of buying my own, and she said no, I decided to create my own," Osbourne says via statement. "CryptoBatz is a fucking mental project for NFT collectors and fans. The design pays tribute to one of my most iconic onstage moments and is a chance to acquire a rare piece of art history. I love it!"
The CryptoBatz deal was promoted using one link to the official CryptoBatz Discord. It was later replaced with a shorter one, but scammers reportedly took ownership of the abandoned link and created a fake Discord server.
Official social media posts, including tweets from Osbourne's own account, failed to delete references to the old link, now potentially controlled by the scammers who may have persuaded some individuals to connect their cryptocurrency wallets.
Tim Silman is one person who lost money from the scam, although the invite on the fake Discord showed the total number of members as 1,3330 –which may be an indication of the number of people who could potentially have been fooled.
Silman estimates that around $300 to $400 was drained in ETH (the cryptocurrency Ethereum). “I’ve seen at least a dozen people on Twitter voicing this same issue,” Silman tells The Verge. “If you look at the transactions on Etherscan, others lost a lot more than me.”
The Ethereum wallet address linked to the reported scammers Silman is referencing received a series of incoming transactions totalling 14.6 ETH ($40,895) on Jan. 20.
A spokesperson for Sutter Systems, developers of the CryptoBatz NFT, told The Verge in a statement that the blame for the scam should be directed towards Discord.
“Although we feel very sorry for the people that have fallen prey to these scams, we cannot take responsibility for the actions of scammers exploiting Discord — a platform that we have absolutely no control over,” they say. “In our opinion, this situation and hundreds of others that have taken place across other projects in the NFT space could have easily been prevented if Discord just had a better response/support/fraud team in place to help big projects like ours.”
Discord said that it was aware of the incident and in contact with the affected team.
“Our Trust & Safety team is in touch with the server owners and are investigating the incident,” Peter Day, senior manager for corporate communications at Discord, says. “Our team takes action when we become aware of attacks like this one, including banning users and shutting down servers.”