Seth Green fell for a phishing scam earlier this month, losing four NFTs including Fred Simian, an image from the Bored Ape Yacht Club series. The actor is desperately trying to get it back, not just because it was subsequently sold for over $200,000, but because he had cast dear old Fred in his new sitcom Whitehorse Tavern. Since someone else has the ape, Green no longer owns its commercial rights, and the series cannot move forward.
Via Buzzfeed News and Motherboard, the theft took place on May 8th after Green unknowingly visited a phishing site. Besides the Bored Ape, he also lost two NFTs from the Mutant Apes series as well as a Doodle. As for Fred, this cigarette-smoking, skeleton-T wearing image was transferred to a virtual wallet called C8A090, which then sold the simian to an entity named DarkWing84. From there, it was passed on to GBE_Vault, where it currently resides. The whole transaction history can be followed through the NFT platform OpenSea.
“Well frens it happened to me. Got phished and had 4 NFT stolen,” Green wrote May 17th on Twitter. He added, “@DarkWing84 looks like you bought my stolen ape — hit me up so we can fix it.”
But fix it they did not. Last Saturday, Green made an awkward appearance at the NFT conference VeeCon, where he showed the unfortunate trailer for Whitehorse Tavern. This blended live-action/animated comedy stars Fred Simian as a friendly neighborhood bartender who serves drinks to his in-love patrons while never finding love himself. Check out the trailer below.
“I bought that ape in July 2021, and have spent the last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show,” Green said at the conference. “Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.”
Green tried to get Fred back again yesterday, asking DarkWing84 to “work it out between us.” And either Green or one of his supporters also sent DarkWing84 a message via OpenSea, soliciting a transaction from “contactsethgreenontwitter.eth.”
Many — though not all — NFT collections confer the commercial copyrights upon the owner. But the legal ramifications of these policies have only recently begun being tested in the courts, and it has led to confusion among less savvy crypto buyers. In January, a group called Spice DAO spent millions on a copy of a Dune book because they were under the mistaken impression that owning a book granted them IP rights.
Green is hardly the first NFT owner to lose their digital art. Ozzy Osbourne’s CryptoBatz NFT collection was hit by a scam that cost users thousands of dollars. The prices for these objects remain wildly variable and some transaction can look awfully sketchy, which is why in February people wondered if Melania Trump bought her own NFT.
Well frens it happened to me. Got phished and had 4NFT stolen. @BoredApeYC @opensea @doodles @yugalabs please don’t buy or trade these while I work to resolve:@DarkWing84 looks like you bought my stolen ape- hit me up so we can fix it pic.twitter.com/VL1OVnd44m
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) May 17, 2022
— FFVV1211.eth (@FFVV1211) May 21, 2022