I have an Instagram account for my paintings, which is a separate endeavor from Artsology, and in the past couple of days, I’ve received several suspicious direct messages from random accounts asking to buy my original art as NFTs. I responded to the first inquiry, giving her the benefit of the doubt, and explained that I have never made any NFTs, but that my original paintings were available for sale. She said she only collected NFTs, and pressed on about buying my art as NFTs. Her account profile described her as an entrepreneur and coach, so I said “can you coach me on how to turn my art into NFTs so that I can sell them?” She told me the name of a platform she wanted me to use, but there was something about her messages that just seemed off. So I Google-searched her name, which had a unique spelling for a common name, and I got zero results. Then I did a search for her name with “entreprenuer” and “coach” (since she promoted herself as such), and again, no search results. When I told her that I couldn’t find her online as a way to vet her identity, she stopped communicating.
More suspicious messages from different accounts
No big deal, there are always scams running out there, but I found it odd that a few hours after this interaction, my personal Instagram account received two more direct messages from two different random accounts with almost identical wording to the opening lines of the first inquiry. I didn’t reply to either of these, and as I check now to share the wording with you, I see those messages have disappeared despite me not deleting them. My gut feeling is that whomever is running this scam, they seemed encouraged by the fact that I interacted with the first inquiry – and even though I didn’t follow through with it, maybe they thought if they kept sending similar messages, they might get me on the hook with a different account.
Another inquiry with a different offer
Today I received another inquiry, and just for curiosity’s sake, I replied to this one and started a discussion. This time a price was quoted by the “buyer,” although he never said which artworks of mine he wanted to buy. When I told him as well that I haven’t made any NFTs, he kept pressing but his messages were also sending a weird vibe, like it wasn’t a natural flow of conversation. Then, despite saying he wanted to buy my art as NFTs, he then turned around and said that he wanted to pay me so that he could turn my art into NFTs, and offered me a percentage on any sales that he might make. I kept asking questions, and he finally stopped replying.
Beware of NFT scams on Instagram
Considering my personal art profile says nothing about NFTs, the idea that I would get 4 inquiries in 36 hours about buying my art in a legitimate way as NFTs would seem unlikely, and without knowing a whole lot about the process, I’m sure there’s plenty of ways to slip a scam in there. There was another inquiry I received several months ago where the person wrote that his clients were rich and were willing to pay huge amounts to buy NFTs, he just wanted me to pay a “gas fee” to help him convert my art to NFTs and he repeated this over and over again, pay the gas fee, it’s only the gas fee, I’ll show you how to do it after you pay the gas fee. There was nothing logical about the exchange with that guy, so I stopped that chat.
Has anyone else experienced these kind of messages and offers? Is this a scam running through Instagram these days? I had written a while ago about getting attempted scams through Instagram where the scammer tried to flip the PayPal process on me, so maybe this NFT angle is the new scam approach. If you have any thoughts or experiences to share, please do so in the comments section below.
If you want to learn more about the NFT phenomenon, how it works, and what are some of the most interesting projects in this space, you can check out these resources:
- Are NFTs Worth Buying?: This post explores the pros and cons of investing in NFTs and provides some tips on how to evaluate their value and potential.
- The Heart Project: 10,000 NFTs: This is a collaborative art project that aims to create 10,000 unique NFTs based on the concept of the heart. Each NFT represents a different emotion, story, or message, and is generated by an algorithm that combines various elements and colors.
- Update on the NFT scam directed at artists via Instagram: This post warns about the increasing frequency of scam messages on Instagram targeting artists who want to sell their art as NFTs. It shares some examples of how to spot and avoid these scams.