Fake Banksy NFT sold for £244k through artist's website

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 03, 2021, 06:44 PM(IST)

The 'guerilla' artist Banksy's 'Sweeping It Under The Carpet' in Chalk Farm, London. The maid depicted here had cleaned the artist's room in a motel in Los Angeles. Photograph:( Getty )

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The auction ended early after the man offered 90 per cent more than rival bidders. Banksy's team told the BBC "any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form"

In a strange development, a hacker has returned $336,000 to a British collector after he tricked him into buying a fake Banksy NFT advertised through the artist's official website.

The link to an online auction for the NFT was posted on a page of banksy.co.uk, which has now been deleted. 

The auction ended early after the man offered 90 per cent more than rival bidders. Banksy's team told the BBC "any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form".

With NFTs, artwork can be "tokenised" to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.

Also, they do not generally give the buyer the actual artwork or its copyright.

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The man who was duped says he thought he was buying the world-famous graffiti artist's first-ever NFT.

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He wanted to remain anonymous as he explained over Twitter direct messages that he suspects Banksy's site was hacked, and that he was the victim of an elaborate scam.

He says the hacker returned all the money except for the transaction fee of around £5,000 on Monday evening.

"The refund was totally unexpected, I think the press coverage of the hack plus the fact that I had found the hacker and followed him on Twitter may have pushed him into a refund.

"I feel very lucky when a lot of others in a similar situation with less reach would not have had the same outcome," he was quoted by BBC. 

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