Schemes, Scams, Scoops, & More.

UPDATE: MY TWITTER (@LEADER) WAS TARGET BANNED BY JOHN MANCINI AND HIS PARTNER DAVID SCHER FOR THIS ARTICLE.

In this article we will be exploring the NFT crypto space, exposing scams, shitfluencers, and other key players bringing a bad name to the NFT space.

(Full disclosure: I am the project lead for SkidsNFT - To prevent the conflict of interest I recommend that you do not mint that NFT project if you are going to read this, as the goal isn't to drive traffic to my NFT projects while I expose "competitors" but rather to shed light into the world of NFT rugs. Skids had to "work" with these folks briefly, I'll explain what was done by them and how later on).

Disclaimer: Nothing stated here or on Ci4K is financial advice. Always DYOR.


What is CaughtIn4K?

Ci4K (The website) is a new expose style blog where myself (an ex-full time security researcher & open source intelligence professional) and multiple other authors come together to expose influencers, Scams, & More in the crypto community. You will find exposes on popular shitcoins, NFT’s, and other LARP’s on this site. Our aim is to educate you on what’s going on, so you don’t fall victim to the currently unregulated wild west of crypto.


The Beginning

I've been collecting NFT's for a while now and wanted to put my own art out. I decided to scope out some of the bigger NFT projects, A few NFT’s started popping up on my radar with crazy numbers such as 40,000+ Discord/Twitter members, and 1M+ TikTok followers. Each one with a vastly different team members – yet they had two thing in common: hyper inflated numbers, and almost never sold out.

I joined a couple of the Discord groups and noticed that each one had a few common team members. At first glance it wasn't that obvious, thanks to Discords "identity" feature which allows you to change your nickname and profile picture in specific servers without affecting your account outside of that server. The same user kept popping up under "management"/"staff" of these servers. That username?

DJs.

*"dj" (ID: 297683637032189952)*

I did a little bit of digging on DJs and found him registered on a infamous sim-swapping forum "OGUsers" under the alias "DJs". After looking at his profile, I found a few interesting things like his Social Media growth services:

DJs Twitter growth service advertised on OGU.

It appeared DJs switched up from marketing Twitter accounts to marketing NFTs. I've concluded that DJs switched from Twitter to the NFT world after being approached by some NFT projects to market for them; seeing the crazy amount of money involved in creating projects off of Fiverr and dishing out 7 projects a week - he couldn't help but want a slice of the sweet pie that is NFT rugs.

After talking to DJs for a few days, he felt comfortable enough to share his personal number with me and start communicating via text & voice calls. He asked me if I had a NFT project of my own - after disclosing that I was working on one, he decided to throw me an offer.

"I’m running a lot of the NFT campaigns"
"making them all sell out"
"Guaranteed to sell out"
- DJs

"What do you charge?" I asked

"Percentages, and me and my partner cover all marketing costs."
"And run the discord + twitter"
"I did Chibi Dinos and My8bit"  
"I’m running Yeezy by Kanye West right now lol"
"we handle influencers and everything. The whole 9 yards"
"Our cut is typically 50-70%"
- DJs
A screenshot inside the NFYe account sent by DJs as proof that he is behind the marketing.

I asked him for more proof, to which he decided to DM me on my Twitter  through the account:

DM from the official NFYe account on twitter.

Every single one of these projects never sell out. They're hyped up, with horrible "art", and are extremely overpriced. Sometimes charging upwards of .125 ETH for the NFT, selling you a "mint pass" (aka WHITELIST), and charge you another 0.08 ETH to "reveal" the NFT (as in, having them push the IPFS Metadata.)

BabyBoomers, a project hyped up by multiple Shitfluencers - Minting @ .125 ETH + 0.08 To reveal the NFT. 56k Members yet only 25% of the supply was sold. 

Who is DJs

It took approximately 3 weeks of finding & attributing projects that matched the same theme (high numbers, giveaways, not selling out and dipping with the money), asking around, hunting, interviewing, and snooping to find out who the real identity behind the group. At the top you have the two main culprits, and below them NFT project founders who either want easy money, or are sold on the lies that this ring spews into their ears.

I remember my first conversation with DJs, after discussing Skids (the NFT project I'm working on) he demanded 65% and said

Do you want Half a million over night bro or not? - DJs

The amount of pressure these guys put on NFT projects is unreal. I pretended as if I was a stupid NFT owner that wanted easy money.  DJs introduced me to his partner and other folks in his ring as if I was really interested. DJs real name? “David Edward Scher”, a New Jersey native & California resident in his early 20's & self proclaimed marketing guru, music DJs, and influencer.

A photo of David uploaded to his Instagram account.

That led me to "WzY" - another OGU User whose real name is Alex (last name withheld for privacy purposes.) Alex was living with DJs up until 12 months ago when the pair split. Alex claims that DJs was manipulative, scheming, and abusive towards him and their pets.

A deal dispute on OGU after the pair (Alex & David) Split.

Projects

Here's a list of some of the projects these folks are behind, this isn't a complete List. I've investigated dozens of NFT contracts looking for signs that the same crew was behind them and spoke to the team (DJs & his partners Anthony Niech, & John Mancini.  for about ~5 weeks) to extract some of this information.

  • BabyBoomersNFT ( Twitter | Website )

  • NFYe ( Twitter | Website )

  • Lucky Bhuddas Lucky Club ( Twitter | Website )

  • MoonBoyz ( Twitter | Website ) (not to be confused with MoonBoys)

  • Psycho Teddys ( Twitter | Website )

  • My8Bit ( Twitter | Website )

  • Simp Mermaids ( Twitter | Website )

  • EternalBeings ( Twitter | Website ) (yup, the one promoted by Lil Uzi)

  • Chibi Dinos ( Twitter | Website ) (DJs worked on this early on, but was kicked off the project).

  • Cash Cows ( Twitter | Website ) (still hasn't dropped at the time of writing this, so make sure to tell your friends and show them this article to save them some money.)

  • And many others... sSeriously... there's just too many to list - feel free to join the Discords and check for DJs crew. They'll probably purge all mentions and strip them of their roles after this goes up. DJs will most likely make a new Discord).

Notice how all of these either have disappeared (Twitter, Website, and/or Discord completely deleted.) The floor price almost zero, always shout each other out after Mint has died down - and are never touched up on again. None of the roadmaps are delivered, the social accounts/discords die out after a few days when folks realize the "team" is not really going to pick the project up.


BabyBoomers

We decided to pick a NFT called BabyBoomers as a prime example. Charging 0.125 ETH for mint, then another 0.08 ETH for “Reveal”, while selling Mint passes and presale access. This is the definition of a cash grab. All while hyping up the community via “influencer” (Or in this case scamfluencer) Shills, and generic games purchased from CodeCanyon (a marketplace where developers can sell already developed code, often times mobile apps or web applications.) At the time of posting this, 2Chainz (@2Chainz), Antonio Brown (@AB84), and Jay Alvarrez (@jayalvarrez) all have their tweets up. Make sure to let Twitter know that these verified users are using their platform to push scams on unsuspecting folks.

2Chainz promoting a Scam/Pump & Dump on Twitter. Now Deleted.
AB84 (Football legend Antonio Brown) promoting a Scam/Pump & Dump on Twitter. Now Deleted.
Jay Alvarrez promoting a Scam/Pump & Dump on Twitter. Now Deleted.
LilUziVert promoting a Scam/Pump & Dump on Twitter. Now Deleted.


What do you think happens when folks, who’ve never heard of crypto/NFT’s see those posts from public figures, decide to get into it, and get burned? They never touch crypto/NFT’s Again. There will be no mass adoption, and the 99% of the world that doesn’t know about NFT’s? They wont touch it either.

46K Followers, Really good engagements, right? Wrong.
The BabyBoomer "Game". Interesting how engagement goes from 10k per tweet to almost ZERO after mint.

Let’s take a deeper dive into BabyBoomers, but I want you to remember NFYe as it’s not off the radar yet. BabyBoomers along with its ridiculous shills, promises, and prices – like all the other “NFTs” In this project, never sold out. That game they’re hyping up?

https://playcanv.as/p/y3ZFwtwW/

See if you can spot the differences. I won’t be linking the original CodeCanyon link as the developers behind that are not the same that are behind this blatant rip-off and I don’t want to put them in a bad light. They’re just developers who make video games and sell them for anyone to purchase. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, there is something wrong with scamming folks.


The Blockchain Doesn't Lie

Let’s take a moment to investigate this contract, Besides DJs crew (Anthony Niech, & John Mancini.) The developers are involved – but going so far to expose them is not their fault. The main folks behind this are “DJs” (David Scher), Anthony Niech, & John Mancini. They are extremely charismatic and I personally believe to be sociopaths. They hype up unsuspecting NFT owners last minute, and demand a 50%-70% cut. let’s investigate the contracts:

https://etherscan.io/address/0x5cdb6298e9546aab02558a0419e6556e6b822ad8

At the time of writing this, the contract was emptied – but they had close to 1.1M USD in the wallet, after selling out only 22% of the NFT’s they hyped up. Surely a NFT with 1.1M Tiktok Followers, 50k+ Twitter/Discord users would sell out, right? Well no. Their goal isn’t to target the everyday NFT user, but rather unsuspecting newbies.

Inside the contract you’ll find a function called “WithdrawBalance” With the following code:

BabyBoomers WithdrawBalnace function in contract

Notice something funky? 50% to just one wallet?

Let's trace the money:

0x5cdb6298e9546aab02558a0419e6556e6b822ad8 (Contract) Withdraws to: 0x5344F3bBB45541988a7d44651922c5575FBc8E17 > Sends money to: 0x1c60eb49a70cd1de3e4e2731c8b7572b5da0fd83 > Which sends money to: Crypto.com

Let’s take a look at LuckyBhuddas:

LuckyBhudda WithdrawAll function in contract

Notice how all these NFT’s (I’m not going to take the time to go through and screenshot each one, you can do that yourself and fact check all of this) have a split function, with 1 address getting 50% of the cut each time, often hidden with names like “Creator” or “Dev” or “Artist”. The same amount that DJs crew demanded earlier.

Let's trace the money (again):

0x657f49b422f98b3092f27add6210831bf2e56622 (Contract) Withdraws to:
0x596d5B9529d62B44187EeeaF82e728848022F7c8 > Sends money to:
0x1c60eb49a70cd1de3e4e2731c8b7572b5da0fd83 > Which sends money to:
Crypto.com

Interesting. All the contracts follow the same pattern. 50-70%, sent to a middle man, which gets sent to another wallet, then out to Crypto.com

How It's Done

let’s talk about how these two users grow Discord and Twitter accounts, this cost me roughly $20k to replicate - and this is what I meant by Skids being involved with these folks. They "marketed" it for about 3 days, which inflated the numbers like crazy. It's done via the oldest Twitter growth method in the books: Giveaways.

"KimiPromotes" A Twitter account that hosts giveaways to 100's of thousands globally.

See the Twitter account above? Yeah. There’s dozens of them. They post fake giveaways, that attracts hundreds to thousands of underprivileged folks from 3rd world countries who hope to earn some money. They post things like “Like, Retweet, and follow @<account> for a chance to win $1000” and promise things like Motorcycles, Phones, Cash, And computers. Their main target demographic is low-income countries. Let’s  see if we can find some of the posts for these accounts:

https://twitter.com/Bang_Garr/status/1441946684796268554
https://twitter.com/Bang_Garr/status/1433353086873919488
https://twitter.com/ladyincrypto/status/1433328840995000326
https://twitter.com/crypto_bearr/status/1435650701904941057
https://twitter.com/kimipromotes/status/1439834614109904897
https://twitter.com/chitaglorya/status/1438377431392395268 (Not to be confused with MoonBoys)

(and dozens more, just search a projects @ on Twitter and sort by top or add the keyword “Follow” and find the dozens of “Giveaways” telling folks to give them a follow, join their discord, and so on. - Do not harass these giveaway folks. They are not involved in this, this is how they earn a living. Most of them don't even know what NFTs are.)

Take a look at the BabyBoomer discord. So many upset new comers, so many people that are furious, the developers pulled the plug and ran away with the funds – It’s just despicable.

While this isn’t botting, this is exploitation of 3rd world folks. Again, this is a very bad image for NFT/Crypto.


Consequences & Why

What happens when you say No to them, or you realize what they're doing after the fact, want to salvage your project and end up kicking them off the team?

Well NFYe found out the hard way. On mint day DJs decided to utilize the same Twitter marketing tactic but in reverse:

A post by the same marketing pages requested by DJs to FUD NFYe drop on mint as a response to being kicked off the project.

This is just one example, and after the owners of NFYe improperly revoking Twitter & Discord access DJs deleted the Discord server along with securing their Twitter. Essentially putting the nail in the coffin of the NFYe NFT.

While I can't vouch for how the NFYe founders felt - DJs implemented something very similar against Skids. After I've decided that I've gotten enough information about their identities, and the inside of their operation - or at least enough to write this article I let them know they I wasn't interested on working with them on Skids. I told them "You're taking too long". When in reality I just wanted to distance myself, and focus on work along with the NFT project I was putting out.

DJs noticed that we had ~10K discord users, and Mint date was close. He decided to take matters in his own hand by hiring some folks of OGU to raid our server with messages like "this user scammed me off OGU for $2k" and "this project is a RUG". Forcing us to close Mint early and reveal metadata for the first 650 Skids Minted to prove that it is not a rug, along with postponing the public mint for another ~3 weeks.

How do I know it's them you ask? The guy raiding the server admitted to it after the fact, added me on his personal account which was also a mutual with DJs. I talk to him now and we're kind of friends. He's also helped me get some of this information.

Text messages between me and DJs with him boasting about what could've been, and his future.

Why you may ask? Why take the time to do all this, spend my money, and release now? It isn't just about money. Thanks to crypto I've done well enough for myself. I know a lot of folks that are joining in now thinking they're late - when they're not. A lot of them unfortunately fall victim to these scams and never touch it again. I don't mind the $20k spent on these guys "advertising" if it means I can prevent a few hundred folks from falling victim to them again.

Even if Skids doesn't perform well on the next Mint it doesn't bother me. Skids is a passion project and I am absolutely in love with the community we have, the art, the amount of work, and creative direction I've taken the project. I cannot explain the feeling I had when hundreds of hours of work, countless sleepless nights, and a ton of experience and management was put into Skids only to have it FUD'd the way it was. I felt sick to my stomach, and almost threw up a few times on that first initial whitelist sale. I am still extremely proud of my team and extremely proud to own some Skids NFT's. Don't get me wrong - marketing an NFT is not bad. But when you're using human meat farms to pump and dump, paying shitfluencers to hype it up, then disappearing after a few days - that's what really grinds my gears.

DJs seems to be moving on from harassing NFT owners into giving up 50-70% of their project revenue for rug pulls and claims to have corporations approaching him to setup NFT's for them. My advice moving forward is always check the contract, check who's behind the project, DYOR. Do not FOMO into NFT's just because of the amount of followers or hype behind the project. Only purchase what you would physically purchase and hang in your home. DJs claims to have his own team of developers and is just looking for artists now to continue his pump and dump schemes. Always DYOR.

DJs claiming to have his own development team as of 3 days ago

This is the only reason I decided to publish this now and now juice them for more information. I realized by going completely in-house I would no longer be able to string them along for information or projects. By the time this is up, they'd have probably seen it and will FUD my project even more. It doesn't phase me tho.

In the future, look for addresses that have sent/received money from the above contracts (and their addresses). If you're an avid NFT collector investigate every contract mentioned in this post, and log down every address in the contract along with every address that address has interacted with, and so on. If a previous or up and coming NFT project has interacted with those addresses, it's probably part of the Pump and Dump empire. Stay away from it. Crypto is a double edged sword. Because they can just generate a new wallet via MetaMask and proceed under new discords.

My best advice would be to look on Twitter . Just plug in an accounts @ followed by "Giveaway" or "RT" and see if they're using promotional accounts exploiting 3rd world countries. If they're new (i.e. less than a few months old) but somehow have over 15k followers - it's probably them. If you've ever ran any kind of community you know how insanely difficult it is to grow one organically. It costs a lot of money, time, and dedication.

If they have 50K Twitter followers but barely any engagements. It's fake.
If they have 50k Twitter followers but only 15k Discord users (or a ±10% fluctuation between the both) they're probably hyper inflated and is a pump and dump (and vice versa.)

  • If they have 50K Twitter followers but barely any engagements. It's a pump and dump.
  • If they have 50k Twitter followers but only 15k Discord users (or a ±10% fluctuation between the both) they're probably hyper inflated and is a pump and dump (and vice versa.)
  • If they have 1M Tiktok followers but only a few thousand likes per video and very few videos, it's fake.
  • Don't be fooled by verified status. Anyone can pay Opensea for their verification to be expadited. Anyone can get verified on Twitter/TikTok. It's as easy as publishing a Wikipedia page on yourself and applying for verification.
  • If a NFT project overpromises on their roadmap - they're not going to deliver. I've spent a lot of time/money on game development for Skids. I can tell you it's not easy, and it's not free. If they have a working game before launch, it's most likely a spin on a existing game via custom assets (easy to get if you have an artist) and some $50/free source code. You're not going to get a video game, free merch, and a TV show out of an NFT project that's less than a week old.

Unfortunately, these folks touched Skids. They "marketed" it for a bit, but the community as strong as ever. I regret letting them touch that project, but I really wanted an inside view of their operation. Regardless, Skids has a strong growing core community and a lot of attention right now. So I'm not really sweating it. If you've already minted a Skid during the presale and are now reading this - You can check the "marketing" posts they've made. The discord invites were deleted a day later. We have a strong 20K user Discord that wasn't touched by their "marketing" which is why Twitter numbers are severely skewed.


Outcome

DJs and his partner according to my very conservative estimates have made at least a grand total of $3.5M USD (based on the contracts I've seen) off NFT pump and dumps in the last 6-9 months alone. I suspect this number to be larger (~$6m) but that's just speculation. As I do not how far back this goes, and there are some NFT's that I couldn't for certain say he's behind.

Some memorable quotes by DJs & John Mancini:

"I've never once purchased a f*cking NFT in my life"
"I don't even know how it [the blockchain] works LOL"
"It's just super easy money [these] idiots buy anything"
"Just add our address to the contract am not a developer ill just have one of my guys verify its good"
"We can literally market shit Fiverr art and buy a Ferrari off of it"
~ DJs, & John Mancini

DJs now resides in Vegas with a Lamborghini made off stolen funds according to a close contact (Now verified.)

DJ boasting about his Lamborghini in front of the Vegas Auto Gallery
Anthony Niech - Self proclaimed brand specialist/marketing guru

After releasing this article, I've uncovered multiple allegations of:

  • Rape
  • Swatting
  • Sim-Swapping
  • Carding

And a slew of other allegations against David. He's also gone out of his way to harass me via my burner phone number which is quite funny with how upset he is about this. David has multiple restraining orders and was disowned by his own family for his behavior. All of these threats have been forwarded to the DA and I encourage you to report him to the FBI & Local Vegas/Los Angeles authorities. He already has multiple pending cases against him.

DJs close friend (audio distorted for privacy reasons) claiming DJs has purchased a Vegas home & Lamborghini with NFT money.

Captions of audio snipped above:

He's made...
He's just bought a Lamborghini
He's just bought a house in Vegas
Just off NFT money
... There's a couple of people tied in with him that just do it [with him]

Closing Notes

You, as a reader, as a individual involved in crypto – need to step up to the call and take action. Take 60 seconds, share this article, tweet at the above shitfluencers promoting these projects, and let them know how you feel. Report their profiles to Twitter. You need to exile people like this from crypto, let them know that their kind is not accepted. So that when the big banks and media come knocking, and look for a reason to scare folks away from this amazing community – they wont find a reason.

I also urge you to file a complaint with the SEC here with regards to 2Chainz, Jay Alvarrez, LilUziVert, and Antonio Brown for promoting/partaking in Pump & Dump schemes and undisclosed promotions. Take a screenshot, and tag them with it. Let them know pump and dump scammers are unwelcome in crypto and that we will not turn a blind eye to this.

Special shoutout to Paul Griffiths for proof reading my gibberish and helping me put this into a cohesive, & readable structure.

*I purposely left out some important things with regards to EternalBeings as I feel like the mainstream media has done enough publications on it, no need to shed light on something that has plenty of other articles on it; You can read more about EternalBeings here.

Update 10-05-2021

I started this blog to give back to the crypto community. Crypto has given me so much and it only makes sense to give back. Since releasing this article it has gained a lot of traction thanks to those sharing it. I've been approached about a few leads that I left out due to insufficient evidence; however this time I was given a lot of evidence to go on. I will be updating this article later this week or releasing a part two with all the new findings. Since posting this, I've received dozens of threats from DJs and his crew. All of which have been forwarded to the DA.

The same folks by the way are behind DogeElonMars coin. I'm currently compiling a maltego web for you folks to illustrate the entire crews connections. From mainstream shitfluencers to folks that are in their crew. I initially wanted to focus on DJs and show the inner workings of the NFT scam scene. But because of the text messages I've received last night (10/04/2021) I will be releasing the entire web.

Update 2 - 10/05/2021

It has come to my attention that beanie has posted a fake screenshot claiming that I contacted him.

Let's break this down:

1) Skids is a project I run. I have never contacted influencers randomly. It's always through people I know or recommendations. I never reach out via email, strictly via twitter or discord/telegram - and I never offer ridiculous amounts like $20k. He purposely hid the "email" (I'm assuming this is an email, and not a random screenshot of a text editor.) to hide the fact that this wasn't me. I'm not sure if he was either paid to post this, or is part of their crew and wants to spread fud. Here's an example of what it looks like when I reached out to the few influencers that I did. Notice how they're not crazy big, but smaller guys with a smaller platform. Also notice how I don't offer money upfront, and state that I only want them to promote it if they truly do like the project.

2) I've never reached out to Beanie about sponsorships. The only time I reached out was when we were in a spaces call together, and he said he would check out the article. He clearly knew it existed, and had my info. Why didn't he reach out? Why did he instead opt to post this obviously fabricated image?

3) Why on earth would I do something like that after releasing this article?

4) In the "email" I supposedly claim to offer a percentage. How can I offer a percentage when the Skids contract is up and live? How can I modify a contracts split function after the contract is live?

5) In the "email" I supposedly claim to have signed on multiple A list celebrities, if so - why would I need some random twitter guy with 100k followers to promote me? On top of that, Where are these A list celebs? we're 48 hours away from minting, yet not a single celeb has talked about us. This is pure crap.

Seriously. If you follow this guy you need to unfollow him. I've tried reaching him as soon as that went up, via twitter, telegram, and other big friends (friends with 50-400k followers that he contacts regularly via telegram/twitter) and he's choosing to ignore reaching out. He was obviously either paid to post this, or is part of the crew. No worries! I've gotten a lot of tips about him, and surely will do a nice deep dive into who he is and why he's choosing to discredit me. I'm gonna take a guess that he's either involved with DJs crew or wants to discredit me before I get big enough to take on guys like him.

Seriously? Your email isn't public anywhere. Which is it? Is it me? Is it a spoofed email? How would I have gotten your email when it's not listed any where? Even if this was someone FUD'ing us, why would you post something like that without any kind of verification on your part?

Update 3 10-7-2021

I've identified these as projects that are:

  • Marketed by DJs crew
  • Involved with DJs crew
  • Owned by DJs crew
  • Utilize same shady marketing

(Twitter Handles)

@SolRoyalti
@GrumpyDragonNFT
@TheCyberHornets
@Cypher_PunkNFT
@Dogepuptribe
@RaptorFrat
@BeyondEarth_NFT
@VirtualPangea
@SamuraiTemple
@Cryptodevsclub
@NFTGhettoGranny
@tribesofogun
@SatanicNFT
@ReCheckNFT
@NoBrainersNFT
@brainiacnfts
@CelebPunkNFT
@bunnyfreaksNFT
@cyber_pugs
@galaxymeerkats
@TypicalTurtles_
@InfamousSkullz

Stay away from these, unless you like investing in pump and dumps/getting rugged.

Update #4 (10-13-2021)

Just a heads up, if a project is promoted by anyone managed by "Champs Social Media Agency" They're a part of DJ's crew. It's one of the companies they use to pay taxes on their shit.

Some of the influencers they manage (notice how they've already used some of these 2 push rugs):

Akon
Jalals
Cardi B
Jailyne Ojeda
2Chainz
Trent Shelton
Austin Mahone
Wiz Khalifa
Snoop Dogg
Lou Ferrigno
Lindey Pelas
HowAboutBeirut
Patrick Barnes
& Many More

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