How to avoid NFT Phishing Hacks — Bored Ape Yacht

2 min readApr 28, 2022


On April 25, 2022 Bored Ape Yacht Club’s official Instagram account was hacked. A hacker stole 91 NFTs from users who connected their wallet to receive the fake airdrop.

A hacker has stolen 91 NFTs worth at least $2.8 million through a phishing attack targeting Bored Ape Yacht Club owners today. It was carried out through the official Bored Ape Instagram account.

In this article we are going to cover two attacking vectors typical for Phishing websites and how you can detect them (and hopefully avoid them)

Method 1 — Using Approve Directly


In the token interface and NFT interface there’s an Approve function. This function gives an allowance to another wallet to spend / use your NFT. After you give an approval, the address you approved to can transfer the NFT you owned on your behalf.

The Attack

Usually in this method the phishing site ask you to give permission to access your NFT to the attacker wallet.

Detection on Metamask

The Attack

The method most of the phishing website use is quite basic.

The attacker wallet:

Phishing tx:

Method #2 — Using SafeTransferFrom Directly

safeTransfeFrom / safeTransfer

safeTransferFrom function simply transfer the NFT to the attacker wallet.

The Attack

Usually in this method the phishing site ask you to safeTransferFrom or safeTransfer the NFT to the attacker.

Detection on Metamask


You should always make sure you understand the consequences and the side effects of the operation before confirming the transaction on metamask. Another way is to check the contract you are interacting with, in most cases the contract you are interacting with won’t be verified.

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