A new free mint NFT project called The Saudis has reached the number 1 spot on OpenSea on launch day, hitting 4,774 ETH within the first 24 hours. However, a cloud has formed over the project as around 10% of the NFTs were minted by one person who made around 194 ETH.
Jason Cline uncovered that the wallet used to sell the NFTs on OpenSea had used “tons of wallets” to bot the free mint, thus turning roughly $16,000 in gas fees into $234,000 in less than a day.
A serial NFT sniper
CryptoSlate analyzed the wallet to discover that 0x8026 has performed similar actions many times in the past. Previous projects such as Crypto Dads, Tubby Cats, Jungle Freaks, Galaxy Eggs, Shroomz, Racoon Mafia, Fang Gang, Al Cabones, and ChiptoPunks have all fallen victim to the scalper. The mints are bottled through associated wallets and then moved to 0x8026 to trade on OpenSea. The wallet currently holds 194 ETH, but its most significant balance was back in February when it peaked at 464 ETH.
In February, the wallet received hundreds of Tubby Cats NFTs from a smart contract owned by 0x8026 designed to snipe Tubby Cats from the deployer. The contract obtained 1,240 Tubby Cats and sold them for $1.4 million worth of Ethereum. The funds were then sent to multiple wallets via the Disperse app.
Users on the Saudis Discord are also reporting wallets being drained by scammers who were able to tag all users in a public channel.
Usually, Discord moderators limit the use of @everyone and @here to only officially recognized accounts. However, some users are claiming the scammer “tagged everyone” and “sent a link on general chat and said it was 2 stage we should mint before it mints out.” Unfortunately, some users seemed to fall for the scam and had their wallets drained of funds.
Yet again, it seems poor Discord security is the cause of ordinary NFT collectors losing the contents of their wallets. Users must act fast to grab their NFT before the mint sells out during a frantic free mint such as this. As a result, some are not as careful with reviewing URLs and smart contract permissions before they sign the request.
The Saudis project is maintaining a high floor price regardless of the issues, with the price currently at 1 ETH and a best offer of 0.97 ETH.