YouTuber baits MMA fighter into secretly shilling fake NFTs for $1K

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Coffeezilla, a YouTuber and crypto investigator, revealed that American mixed martial artist Dillon Danis promoted a fake NFT project without disclosing that he received $1,000 for the advertisement.

In the promotion, Danis tweeted out a digital image along with a website URL, which according to Coffeezilla, “literally spells out S.C.A.M.” A further investigation from Cointelegraph shows that the website URL was newly created on Feb. 1, 2023, an important clue to check when checking the credibility of new projects.

Moreover, the website FAQ clearly mentions that no investors can get hold of the “Sourz” NFTs, a crucial piece of information overlooked by the MMA fighter.

SourzNFT FAQ highlighting that no users can get the NFTs. Source: sourznft.com (CoffeeZilla)

A similar incident involving Kim Kardashian was flagged in June 2021 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as she promoted EthereumMax (EMAX) crypto token to her 330 million Instagram followers. According to the SEC, Kardashian violated the anti-touting provision of the Securities Act by failing to disclose the $250,000 she had received for the promotion.

However, Coffeezilla ensured that the users who fell for the scam NFT project were notified immediately. When users click the “Mint Sourz” button (as shown in the above screenshot), they are redirected to a website that cautions against a possible scam.

A webpage showcasing crypto projects previously promoted by MMA fighter Dillon Danis. Source: sourznft.com (CoffeeZilla)

While Coffeezilla plans to share more information on this through a follow-up video, the incident comes as a strong reminder for influencers and investors to conduct thorough research (DYOR) before promoting or investing in a project.

Related: FBI seizes $100K in NFTs from scammer following ZachXBT investigation

Japanese authorities have started exploring blockchain use cases to solve numerous technological issues. Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, recently spoke about the “various possibilities for using Web3” in the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressing the Budget Committee on Feb. 1. Source: YouTube

“If you consider DAOs, people who are interested in the same social issues can form a new community,” said Kishida. “NFTs can also be used to diversify the income of creators and maintain highly loyal fans.”

While the support from numerous A-list celebrities expedited the nonfungible token (NFT) boom of 2021 and 2022, a handful ended up promoting unvetted projects to fans purely for personal monetary benefits. However, the misconduct retains its popularity in 2023 as markets embark on a recovery.