Scammer Returns Cost of Fake Banksy NFT

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • The scammer behind a fake Banksy NFT has returned the cost of the piece to the buyer
  • An anonymous buyer paid 100 ETH for the NFT which was advertised on Banksy’s website
  • The NFT was a fake, but the seller returned almost all the ETH once the story got out

An NFT supposedly created by the globally renowned artist Banksy and sold for 100 ETH ($338,000) has been exposed as a fake. The NFT, Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster, appeared on Banksy’s official website on Monday, where interested parties were directed to the listing on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Only once the auction had ended did Banksy’s authenticating body deny that it was created by the artist, which surprisingly led to the seller returning almost all the ETH to the buyer.

Banksy NFT Was Advertised on Artist’s Website

The NFT listing caught many by surprise, with the anonymous buyer, a Banksy fan, being told about it on Discord. Seeing the NFT advertised on Banksy’s official website cemented its authenticity for the buyer, who headed to OpenSea and quickly offered 90% more than all the other bidders for what he thought was the artist’s first entry into the NFT world. Only after the purchase was complete did the buyer find out that the NFT was a fake and that he had been duped, although it seems that he had his suspicions immediately:


Scammer Feels The Heat

Given Banksy’s prominence the story gathered huge interest, especially when Banksy’s authentication body Pest Control told the BBC that it “any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form”. Having presumably thought his money was gone the buyer got a nice surprise – a refund of everything but the fees associated with the sale and the transfer of the fake NFT.

It seems that the heat generated by the fake sale got too much for the seller, who presumably hacked into Banksy’s website in order to perpetrate the scam in the first place, thinking it would be a nice earner. While this story has a happy ending, it is a reminder that copyright issues surrounding NFTs are only going to become more important and complex as the space evolves.