Very nice scammer returned $ 336,000 to Pranksy, the digital art collector who bought a fake Bansky NFT

In an actual parable about self-fulfilling prophecies, an NFT collector named Pranksy was tricked into purchasing a fake Banksy NFT that had been linked to the street performer. official site.

Someone alerted the collector to a new section titled “NFT” on the street artist’s website via social media platform Discord, according to the BBC. Pranksy then followed a link to the OpenSea digital marketplace, where a digital artwork depicting a CryptoPunk-esque avatar smoking a miniature fireplace, was auctioned off. Persuaded by the seemingly legitimate source, Pranksy rushed to outbid the competition for what he believed to be the street artist’s very first NFT, titled Great redistribution of the climate change catastrophe, acquire it for the equivalent of around $ 336,000 in Ethereum cryptocurrency.

The fraudulent link was no longer on Banksy’s website this morning, and the collector suspects a hacker may have planted it. Artnet News contacted Banksy employees at Pest Control to confirm, but did not immediately receive a response. (A spokesperson for the artist told the BBC that “the Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any form.”)

But in a twist of history, the fraudster has since reimbursed the collector (less OpenSea’s $ 5,000 transaction fee). Prank call tweeted later, he could be an “ethical hacker” trying to warn people from hasty and costly mistakes with NFTs. Or, he suggested, it could also have been a case where the scammer was frightened by the media coverage of the incident and the collector following them on Twitter.

“Maybe ‘ethical hacker’ was not the correct term,” said Pranksy, a full-time NFT collector / investor in his thirties who prefers to keep his full identity anonymous, later. “It seemed like he or she was happy to prove the interest in showing the vulnerabilities of Banksy’s website.”

The fable has taken place at a time when fraudsters are increasingly taking advantage of the growing interest of the tech-savvy art world in NFTs. Cybercriminals are pushing fake NFTs and deploying more and more phishing scams.

“My learnings from this experience are a repeat of some I have done in NFT over the past four years,” said Pranksy. “If something sounds too good to be true it normally is, and always check with official sources before placing any such high bids.”

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