Basic Crypto with the Beasts: What are junk NFTs? Why so sketchy?

You may have noticed on marketplaces like Aura or OpenSea that sometimes mysterious junk NFTs are airdropped into your wallet. Some are blatant advertisements for scams, and others are just sketchy. It would be best if you didn’t interact with these, but we need to dig a little deeper to understand why.

Let’s go, beasts.

Basic Crypto with the Beasts: What are junk NFTs?

Junks NFTs and more in a huge garbage pile in an abandoned property.

Junk NFTs are scams, unwanted, or spam NFTs airdropped to your wallet that you didn’t ask for or win in a contest — they’re unsolicited. We’ll explore how this happens in a bit. But the most important thing to know is that you should never interact with these NFTs.

On OpenSea, for example, these will drop into your “hidden” tab. It’s easy to mistakenly “unhide” them and bring them to your regular collection, but you want to avoid that at all costs. Note that this is not a thing on the Aura Marketplace. There is no “hidden” tab and spam NFTs are filtered out automatically.

Why should you ignore junk NFTs?

Junk NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace in the "hidden" tab.

By now, you probably know that compromised web3 contracts exist, some even at launch, by design. When you authorize them to interact with your wallet, they can steal your funds, drain your NFTs, and even intercept NFTs or tokens coming into your wallet later.

Well, those junk NFTs often have compromised contracts that do just that. When you “unhide” them on specific marketplaces or interact with them using your wallet, there’s a chance you may lose control of it.

So, it’s best to ignore these junk NFTs completely.

How do scammers airdrop them?

The blockchain is transparent, and anyone can look up addresses on the public ledger. Anytime you mint an NFT, trade, sell, buy tokens, send, or receive content on the chain, there’s a public record of that transaction. Thieves and scammers skim this information and use it to send out unsolicited junk NFTS. Most may use bots to do this, while others do it manually. It doesn’t matter because, in both scenarios, the spam ends up in your wallet exactly where you don’t want it.

What about sending them to a burn wallet?

It’s aggravating to see those NFTs in your wallet, hidden or not. But you should leave them alone.

While some guides say that you can send them to a burn wallet, which is a wallet specifically designed to hold burned tokens, you should avoid doing this. Sending them could compromise yours.

What about spam NFTs promising coins or a prize?

Some junk NFTs may promise a prize, airdropped coins, or the chance to redeem for currency. Please don’t fall for it. You didn’t find a magical lottery ticket. They’re scams and fraudsters are trying to trick you into giving access to your funds and assets.

Stay safe out there, beasts!


One response to “Basic Crypto with the Beasts: What are junk NFTs? Why so sketchy?”

  1. […] a problem in a way that doesn’t make sense or is impossible, that’s a red flag. Many scams will promise to fix, gift, or offer something that’s not feasibly possible. For example, an investment […]