Update on the NFT scam directed at artists via Instagram

Update on the NFT scam directed at artists via Instagram

I’ve received a lot of responses to my post last December about scam messages on Instagram directed towards artists, offering to buy the art as NFTs. I wanted to give an update, as a sort of public service announcement.

The Anatomy of an NFT Scam Message

This scam, where some character, usually using a profile that describes the person as an “NFT enthusiast” or “NFT collector,” is also identifiable because they usually have just a handful of posts, with thousands of so-called followers and lots of people that they’re following.

They always offer to buy the art at high prices, suggesting prices of thousands of dollars per piece as long as the artist will mint them, or pay gas fees, or send them to some NFT exchange that no one has heard of. I’ve heard countless stories where the artist will offer to sell the original art works at much lower prices, but the “NFT enthusiast” always insists that they’d rather pay much more as long as it’s an NFT. Makes no sense, right?

The Increasing Frequency and Laziness of NFT Scammers

NFT Scam

At any rate, my public service announcement today is that this scam seems to be increasing in frequency, and the scammers are getting lazy. They create fake profiles of people who look nothing like what one might assume would be a person who collects NFTs for real. I don’t really mean anything negative by this, and please don’t take offense, but my example is: a recent inquiry came from a profile showing an approximately 70 year old man who is, from the pictures posted in the “profile,” apparently an avid duck hunter. And they want me to believe that this same 70 year old man likes to spend his time trolling Instagram offering artists 3.181 ETH for NFTs?

The other new level of laziness from these scammers is that they’re simply copying-and-pasting the same message. I’ve received this same wording from at least 5 different “NFT enthusiasts” just this week: “Hello, sorry for the random approach, I found your profile on explore. From what I can see you have some clean artwork pictures. I would love to buy some collections of your artwork as an NFT … kindly send me a DM if you’re interested.”

How to Deal with NFT Scam Messages

I’m getting so many of these, I don’t even bother replying, I just delete them. It doesn’t even seem to matter to block or report them, because a similar “profile” and identical message will come from someone else tomorrow.

Of course, artists are always flattered when someone expresses interest in buying their work – but a head’s up – none of these are legit, as far as I can tell.

Additional readings:

If you are curious about the value and potential of NFTs, you can read this post: Are NFTs Worth Buying?

If you are interested in The Heart Project, a collaborative NFT art project with 10,000 tokens, check out this: The Heart Project: 10,000 NFTs

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2 thoughts on “Update on the NFT scam directed at artists via Instagram

  1. Thanks for this. I thought the messages looked suspicious, and your post confirms it. Thanks for taking the time.

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