OG NFT Collector and CEO of NFT Boxes Pranksy though he just scored the first-ever NFT of Banksy. Turns out, the artist’s official website was just hacked. So not only is the art fake, Banksy had nothing to do with the sale in any way, shape or form. However, the plot thickened when the hacker returned $336K payments to Pranksy.
First, let’s meet the main characters of this narrative. Aside from being a collector and an investor, Pranksy has amassed over 100,000 followers on Twitter, eagerly waiting for his next tweet about the hottest drops and trends in the space. Meanwhile, Banksy is a famous but anonymous graffiti artist. He produces pieces of work that pop up in public places, such as on the walls of buildings. His work bears his signature anti-authoritarian art, which people can easily spot.
What happened? How can someone like Pranksy end up buying a Fake Banksy NFT?
Pranksy is definitely not a newbie and he knows his way around minting NFTs. So how exactly did he get duped?
He said that he first found out about the auction when an anonymous person in his Discord channel shared the bit. Then, he went to check Banksy’s page and saw that there’s a new page called “NFT.” Moreover, it included a link to an auction site selling an NFT called Great Redistribution of the Climate Change Disaster.
After doing his due diligence, he entered a bid far above his rivals and the auction swiftly ended. All the funds in ETH were sent to the scammer. He insists that “It does seem to be some hack of the site. I confirmed the URL on PC and mobile before bidding. I only made the bid because it was hosted on his site.”
Banksy’s team did not respond to questions about how his site was compromised but said: “The artist Banksy has not created any NFT artworks.”
Unlikely Happy Ending
Obviously, the hacker wanted to walk away with the funds, so Pranksy was starting to accept that he was scammed. However, in an unlikely turn of events, the hacker returned all the money except for the transaction fee of around $6000.
Pranksy shared his theory of why the hacker decided to reverse the scam. “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.”
NFTs: Not Immune to Risks
There’s no doubt that NFTs revolutionized establishing authenticity, scarcity and ownership. However, it is not immune to risks, as revealed by the experience of Pranksy. To illustrate, in NFT Marketplaces like OpenSea, once a bid has been placed, the seller can accept and the cryptocurrency is irreversibly transferred.
Pranksy is indeed fortunate that he recovered his funds. “I feel very lucky when a lot of others in a similar situation with less reach would not have had the same outcome,” he said.
A fellow leading figure in the NFT space was not as lucky as Pranksy. Farokh Samad opened up about losing access to his metamask wallet with rare NFTs. Raising awareness to the community, he admitted that it was a “rookie mistake” because he lost his seed phrase. Unfortunately, the wallet contains the 67th rarest Bored Ape and M2 Serums out of the 3 Total. Farokh estimates that the total value of the NFT Collection that he no longer has access to is 250 ETH. At today’s rate, that’s around $847,500.
May the experiences of these experts and OG NFT Collectors inspire you to remain vigilant with your NFT transactions! As technology advances, so will the attempts to attack security and disarm the technology.