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OpenSea launches verified customer support to fight Discord scammers

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A new partnership with Metalink aims to prevent NFT theft through the impersonation of support staff

Illustration by Dale Crosby Close / The Verge

On Tuesday, OpenSea and NFT communications platform Metalink announced a new partnership aimed at preventing social engineering attacks carried out through Discord DMs. As The Verge previously reported, some confidence tricksters have made millions of dollars by posing as customer service agents in OpenSea’s official Discord server and tricking NFT holders into sharing details that will let the scammers take control of their cryptocurrency wallets.

OpenSea hopes to mitigate these scams by using Metalink, which operates a “token gated” communications platform so that only users holding certain NFTs in their cryptocurrency wallets will be able to get access. When they do so, they’ll be connected with authenticated OpenSea support representatives, theoretically cutting out potential scammers from the loop.

“OpenSea will be partnering with Metalink as we seek to engage more deeply with the NFT ecosystem,” said OpenSea’s head of community Stevey Tromberg in a statement. “Our goal is to create a direct channel for you to interact with OpenSea to get support, offer feedback, receive updates, and to share any other information that will help us better serve you.”

According to an email announcing the partnership, staff will spend a few hours each day handling support requests through the Metalink platform, and initially these requests will be restricted to users who hold an NFT from Metalink’s supported collections: Bored Ape Yacht Club, World of Women, CyberKongz, and a handful of others.

Safety announcement reads: Remain vigilant when using Discord, crypto platforms and managing your funds. OpenSea staff will never: - Contact you in DMs first - Ask for your wallet seed phrase - Invite you to a different server - Ask you to click a link to “fix” your wallet We recommend that you block DMs .
A safety announcement shared in the official OpenSea Discord.

On the part of OpenSea, the announcement implicitly suggests that Discord, the go-to community building platform for cryptocurrency and NFT projects, is no longer the best channel to provide priority customer support.

Social engineering attacks have plagued NFT Discords in general, and the chat platform says it is also working harder to prevent these attacks from happening. But there’s only so long that OpenSea, a dominant force in the NFT economy, can keep pushing the message that “all DMs are scams” before pressure mounts to do something about it.

OpenSea’s Discord server remains active and will still be used for many other kinds of official messaging from the company. But the move toward another service for sensitive communications will likely have other NFT projects weighing their options.