Don’t Become An NFT Scam Victim

David Coultham

Updated on:

Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to extract cash from unsuspecting victims. One of the latest incarnations is NFT (Non-Fungible Token) scams targeting photographers and undoubtedly artists in general.

What Are NFT Scams?

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How to Avoid NFT Scams

NFT Scamming is rampant across the internet, and in particular across social media platforms. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, the scammers rely on you not knowing what NFTs are. Secondly, they can converse directly with you as their next potential victim. Finding you is easy if you are active on social media, they can discover you through public posts as well for example groups that they have infiltrated on platforms like Facebook.

The initial contact is likely to be either a flattering comment directly on one of your posts and/or a direct message to you through the platform’s messaging service. There are probably many forms of engagement, but the ones I have personally seen start with a flattering comment about your work, a question on how you monetize your content, or sometimes indicating that they want to purchase multiple items from you.

Rest assured, these people haven’t even looked at your work! They are merely blasting out multiple comments and messages to identify potential victims. If you engage in conversation with them, they will try to guide you down a well-trodden path designed to extract cash from your pocket. These no doubt adapt and change over time, but the ones I have personally seen raise the question of whether you have considered selling your work online as NFTs. This question is often veiled with more flattering comments about your work to try and keep you off your guard. They will then inform you that you need to cover ‘gas fees’ for uploading your work as an NFT and that you should send them Crypto Currency into one of their wallets for them to do this on your behalf.

If you transfer Crypto to them, then that is likely the last time you will hear from them. Your money is gone, and they have moved on to their next unsuspecting victim!

What Are The Warning Signs?

First and foremost the main warning sign is that someone contacts you completely out of the blue. They regale you with positive remarks. It is easy to get drawn into a conversation at this point because after all, every photographer likes to be praised for their work. As with all forms of scamming, you need to ask yourself the question:

Does this sound too good to be true?

If the answer is yes, then they are highly likely to be a scammer. The second warning sign is their eagerness to get your artwork loaded as NFTs. What they are relying on here is that most people are clueless about what an NFT even is, let alone how to create one. The solution here is to educate yourself on this potential new outlet for your work. Some photographers are selling their work as NFTs, and the way they have done this is by registering with a (reliable) NFT platform and uploading their work themselves. In other words, you don’t need a third party to do this for you. So if someone is offering to do this service for you, ask yourself why.

A third warning sign is that after getting into a conversation with one person, you are then transferred to another person. This is an indicator that you are dealing with an organized crime ring as opposed to a lone scammer.

But What Can You Do?

Don’t engage in conversation with these scammers. It is tempting to try and waste their time by talking to them, but all you are doing is wasting your own time. Hide or delete their comments from your posts, and report them as spam and/or suspected illegal activity to the social media platform. Also, spread the message amongst your fellow photographers that these scammers are out there. Because after all, the more of us that are aware that this is going on, then the less likely the scammers will pursue us!

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