Ozzy Osbourne's NFT buyers may have been scammed for thousands of dollars

Ozzy Osbourne
(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

Last week saw Ozzy Osborne enter the popular NFT market as he launched Cryptobats, a collection of 9666 non-fungible tokens minted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Prince Of Darkness's infamous bat-biting incident.

"I've been trying to get in on the NFT action for a while so when I asked Sharon for a Bored Ape for Christmas after several failed attempts of buying my own, and she said no, I decided to create my own," Ozzy told Rolling Stone. "Cryptobatz is a fucking mental project for NFT collectors and fans. The design pays tribute to one of my most iconic onstage moments and is a chance to acquire a rare piece of art history. I love it!"

Ozzy probably loves the idea a little less today, as it appears that fans who purchased the NFTs may have been the unwitting targets of a phishing scam. 

The news was broken by tech website The Verge, who revealed that a shortlink used by the creators of the CryptoBatz NFTs to direct customers towards their community page on digital distribution platform Discord had been hijacked by scammers. 

The official CryptoBatz Discord server is currently accessed via the shortlink discord.gg/cryptobatz, but had previously been accessed via a slightly different URL, discord.gg/cryptobatznft. This URL had been widely shared on social media, including in posts from both Ozzy's and Cryptobatz's accounts. 

After the switch, scammers took possession of the old URL, and directed users to a phishing site where they were asked to enter their user credentials, theoretically exposing the contents of their cryptocurrency wallets to the scammers. The Verge believes up to 1300 buyers may have potentially been taken in by the scam.

In an email to The Verge, Sutter Systems (the company behind Cryptobatz) co-founder “Jepeggi” was quick to lay the blame at Discord's feet, saying, "Although we feel very sorry for the people that have fallen prey to these scams, we cannot take responsibility for the actions of scammers exploiting Discord – a platform that we have absolutely no control over. 

"In our opinion this situation and hundreds of others that have taken place across other projects in the NFT space could have easily been prevented if Discord just had a better response/support/fraud team in place to help big projects like ours."

There is no suggestion of any impropriety on the part of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

At the time of writing, tracking website NFT-Stats reveals that the total volume of all Cryptobatz trades over the last seven days is $34.54 million. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.