Beware of scammers in near protocol chat on telegram

Hello fellow Nearians,
I am writing this in the hopes that what happened to me, doesn’t happen to anyone else.

A bit about me:
My name is Christa, some of you might know me as @GeminiRising I got introduced to the world of NFTs by my son @vandal in 2019.

Over the last 3 years I have survived both cancer, a bad marriage, and I have dragged myself out of financial ruin. Financially, crypto has helped me enormously. I have been able to augment my income through creating and selling NFTs, building for people in Cryptovoxels and since January working as a council member for both INA DAO and Van DAO. Recently we have created a new DAO called LP DAO, of which I am also a council member.

Not only have I been able to augment my income, but I have been able to save enough for a rainy day. That has come in handy, since I recently discovered that my cancer has come back and I will need another surgery. It was good to know that I had funds to fall back on for the time that I am unable to work. That was, until now, as I have lost 3/4 of those savings.

What happened and how:

As a council member on INA DAO, I am in charge of the gallery shows in both Cryptovoxels and NearHub. On Thursday the 26th of May, I was minting a new collection on Paras, using the wallet I created for INA - inadao.near. I was getting a lot of errors while minting and sometimes it would take over a minute just to process. This was also happening with my personal wallet. - geminirising.near. After clearing my cache, restarting my computer, to see if it was on my end, I was still having problems, so I decided to reach out to the community for help.

I decided to go to the Near Protocol Official chat group on Telegram for that help. It is a verified group and has almost 60K members. I went there, looked through chat a bit, saw that there were 2 moderators active - Near|Fritz and Horus the Elder. I posted my question, which was basically asking if there were any issues with Near wallets. Shortly thereafter, I got contacted by Near|Fritz privately. He asked me some reasonable questions, got me to do a few things, and then told me he was going to talk to the Near dev team. He gave me a link where he said I would be syncing my wallet. Stupidly I clicked the link and typed the inadao wallet passphrase, then my own wallet passphrase, thinking that this was a guy from Near who was helping me. I wasn’t giving him my passphrase, but the link he provided.

So, the first one I put in was the ina wallet, that owns both a Paras store and a Mintbase store. There were only 5N in that wallet. I got back an error, so I tried my personal wallet.

Good old Fritz kept encouraging me to try more wallets, which foolishly I did. (I will provide the transcripts of our conversation below - please note, the links he provided have disappeared). By the end of it, I put in not only my Near wallet passphrases, but my Metamask and Temple as well.

At the same time, I was trying to continue to mint on Paras, but by then nothing was working. I looked in the INA wallet and it said $0, then I looked in my personal wallet, that also now said $0. Like I said, the INA wallet only had just under 5N in it, but my personal wallet had not only Near, but stakedNear and DAI in it - almost $3K worth in value on that date. I then looked at my MetaMask wallet and that was now empty also. I had other coins in there as well, and right in front of my eyes they were disappearing.

I accused Fritz of stealing my assets, but because I was so upset, I said $25K. Since he obviously didn’t get $25K, Horus the Elder took over, telling me he could help me get it back. Of course, by then, I had clued in and didn’t respond (those transcripts attached as well). I did however go back to warn others on the Near Protocol Official chat by calling out the 2. I immediately got booted off the chat and banned from it. I scrolled back later to see everything I said was erased, but I saw Friz and Horus’s comments on how I was the scammer!

In the meantime, I contacted my son, who started helping me try to get out whatever was left. That was when I found out that they had taken my newly bought Cryptovoxels parcel and put it for sale on Opensea at a lower than average price. Thankfully @vandal bought it back, since that was the only thing possible, but now those thieves got another 0.77 ETH.

Because of the way the Near wallets work, I was able to change the passphrases for both Near accounts and was able to save the stores created and the NFTs in them.

Unfortunately this is not the case for MetaMask. My more valuable NFTs were already gone, but I did manage to get out a few. The process was very tricky, as a hefty sum of ETH was needed just to transfer items. I had to transfer small amounts of ETH back into the wallet, just to move my NFTs. A few times, as soon as I did that they scooped out what I put in, so I had to be very quick and organized just to get those things out. I still have quite a few NFTs left to get out. Obviously since they are of not enough value to Fritz he has left them there. All in all, it is going to cost me at least another $500 in ETH to do this process.

After moving all that I could and posting warnings in other groups on Telegram and Discord, I got a message from Fritz on the Creatives chat saying that I had to stop saying bad things about him. After a long discussion publicly and then privately, I was able to find out that this Fritz was the real one. The fake Fritz profile was exactly the same.

The real Fritz.

The fake Fritz.

So, yesterday when I looked at the Near Protocol Official chat, those guys were still there, supposedly helping people out (of their money). Like I said, this “officially verified” group has almost 60K members. A big pond for these scammers to fish in and they are still there fishing! Is there not anything that can be done to stop them? Yes, I know, never give your private keys to anyone. But I was legitimately looking for help with a wallet issue and thought that was a safe place to ask. Personally I will never use that chat again. Everyone, please be aware of this!

I apologize to the real @NearFritz and the real Horus the Elder, but there has to be a way to stop those impersonators from ruining other people’s lives. I will build back what I have lost by more hard work. Unfortunately, I have lost a lot of trust in other people.

Here are the transcripts of the chat with the fake Fritz and fake Horus:
fakefritzchat.pdf (50.7 KB)
fakehorus.pdf (51.9 KB)

*additional note - all my NFTs that I made and bought on @Mintbase have also been stollen. :frowning:

*** the thief put my funds to this address (my nfts are still there): @087184b14c3cad5de72090c4a48816d46e53f39454df13b957e14350793b18e7, then moved them here: @d647be6806b3000006c36082c3ebec68869e781baea909ffd27c27f808f78338 and then finally to this address: @7747991786f445efb658b69857eadc7a57b6b475beec26ed14da8bc35bb2b5b6
Whoever it is, is certainly raking it in. Really makes my blood boil.


Sad to hear, hope everything turns out all right in the long term. :pray:

I think members of the community should have access to a place other than discord for solving issues. Why not create a forum category for that @David_NEAR @mecsbecs? The forum is much more user friendly than discord, and much easier to manage than TG.

Always sad to hear about stuff like this :frowning:


This is so sad and unacceptable. I’m so sorry you went through this. I hope all is well from now on. And that measures are taken so that no one else is scammed.



It’s disheartening to hear this news! I believe you’re steps ahead smarter than the predator. Sending love and light :purple_heart:+:bulb:


Sad to hear it miss @GeminiRising i also have this stories in my life but luckily in different token i hold. So now i need to be really carefull , specially to those council that holdings huge accnts for group monthly funds request…it is a very sake to bring and used your wallet to scammer mods without knowing them.

This is really a big leasson to us that we need to remember it in our life.


Hey @GeminiRising - so sorry to hear about this experience and thank you for detailing it here as a warning for others.

We must be hypervigilant always in this space and I speak for myself in this as well.

Do you have a screenshot or the username for the NEAR Protocol Official chat you mentioned? There’s always some small nuance in the name and it would be important to have it to report to Telegram. cc: @ConciergeTeam
I’ll also flag this to internal Security.


Hello. It is very sad to hear that you are going through this.

There are thousands of scammers working with hundreds of different methods on every platform in every industry. But it is true that these scammers are mostly on telegram especially targetting crypto users thanks to telegram account mechanics :frowning: telegram allows you to create an identical account with someone using the same name and profile picture (but for the username tag they can’t fake it you must pay attention to it-watch for capital letters too-)
Therefore we got our community chat verified (a badge given to official channels only by Telegram) and warn and try to educate our community about such scam attempts/fake groups/impersonators 7/24 with infographics/pinned messages and by often posting relevant warnings on main chat.
Our telegram verification mark

the Community Mod tag must be checked before sending a DM/PM to any Mod/Admin for support, etc.

some infographics/warning posts

recurring pinned welcome post

Crypto communities are very active on telegram and I believe we have to offer such services and support there as well.
Again, I’m really sorry for what happened to you


and due to our high popularity and increase on scammers we put the warning on the welcome message as well, which also include a picture captcha (the one pops out on every new user arrival)

Hey …username… Welcome to NEAR :wave:
:point_right:Please Check Pinned Messages First. Beware of Scammers
:rotating_light: ADMINS NEVER DM FIRST :rotating_light:


there are two things to mention again.
1st probably you ended up in a wrong chat.
2nd even if you end up in the righr group Telegram: Contact @cryptonear scammers/impersonators can DM you (or anyone) easily.
this is how telegram works in order to send private messages to someone you don’t need to be a member of that group or a mutual group with the correspondent.
3rd you must have noticed that we warn you on welcome post that

rule is simple for Telegram if you got DM’d by an Admin or so called a support agent 100% it’s an impersonator scammer so never engage block&report


Wow! this is so disheartening @GeminiRising, So sorry for your loss. The raised alarm will give other Nearians awareness about what is happening and we all would be more careful.
@KriptoRaptor and @mecsbecs thanks for the information, I’m sure it will help us all identify the bad eggs around our wonderful community.


Yes there are screenshots of the fake Fritz and the real Fritz’s accounts in the above account. I will report it to Telegram. Thanks for the link.


Hello! Here real Fritz at your service again. Sorry for everything you went through.

Want to highlight the following:

As @KriptoRaptor said, there is only one official telegram group with the check mark given by Telegram itself, the link is on (the scammers called themselves Official but there is no checkmark).

@frnvpr had a great idea to offer a place for support on this forum, I do believe it is a safe platform as is ours.

The pics at the beginning make us (me and @TheGo1denBull) look harsh, but it was difficult to make you understand at that moment that we weren’t the scammers.

Thanks for the apologies but no need for that, I am glad we finally were able to explain u that we weren’t the scammers, and again as I told u on private chat, I really really sorry and send you positive strong energies for u to keep going further and recover from this.


Sorry about what happened. It’s a sad one tbh… I hope things go well with you in the long run.

I also support the suggestion made by @frnvpr. If this could be possible @David_NEAR


Hi @GeminiRising , I am truly sorry for this experience.

Please always keep your mindset as: Anyone DMs you first on Telegram, Discord is 99% scammers/imposters.
Always raise red flag when you receive some links from others.

We will spread your story to the community so others can learn this lesson and avoid this type of situation happening again.

Again, I hope everything can get better soon.
Stay safe.



We are really sorry for your loss, as a member of Concierge team, we always have impersonators who try to lurk and scam people.
Plz stay vigilant as admin never dm you first.
Once again, I hope you getting more healthy and wealthy after the incident.


Yes, that is the main reason I posted it here. To warn others…


So sorry to hear this! :frowning:


Thanks, it is a important warning indeed

Recommended tittle for the warning:
"NEAR PROTOCOL" without checkmark verified status on Telegram is a scam group

As it can be seen here, we did as NEAR COMMUNITY a great effort to receive the verification checkmark to help avoid this kind of situation:

Example from another Blockchain that had not achieved this verified status

none verified status


But I was in the check marked group. The scammers were in that group.

1 Like

Nope, that didn’t happen, sorry for your confusion.

You could receive a private messenger from an impersonator who at the moment was in the verified group. But, the group conversation you might had with the impersonator wasn’t on the verified group because if that happens we just ban the impersonator on the spot.

We @ConciergeTeam take care of that group 24/7.