Two people under house arrest were accused of offering for sale to inexperienced buyers 12 fake “Micro-paintings hidden in paintings by Leonardo da Vinci” and 32 NFTs of works by the painter Alina Ciuciu, who is obviously not involved in the case.
Leonardo da Vinci, Banksy and the fake NFTs
A few weeks ago, a collector called Pranksy paid the equivalent of £244,000 in cryptocurrency for what he believed to be the first NFT by the mysterious street artist Banksy.
A fake. But surprisingly, the turnaround: Pranksy got most of his money back, with the scammer apparently returning everything except the £5k transaction fee.
It was worse for a woman, who was swindled out of 125,000 euro, which were to be used on paper in part for the purchase of 12 fake “micro paintings hidden in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci” and 32 “digital fractions” of works by the painter Alina Ciuciu (not involved in the investigation). The fraud allegedly involved “200 customers”.
According to the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera”, the victims reported that they had received the proposal to “buy the micro-paintings whose price was set at 2 thousand euro each and that in a short time they would have reached the value of 20 thousand euro each”, investing 70 thousand euro through various transfers.
Beware of scams
Investments in crypto art and the NFT market continue to grow, but many are approaching the sector without really knowing its dynamics and if artists or collectors thought they were now safe from fake works or fraud, well, the game is still on.