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  • Writer's pictureMagik Chance

Devil's in the Details: Scams Targeting AI Artists


I wrote a post recently warning of a scam that I had seen multiple times now in my DMs. Today I want to discuss how to identify a scam as well as things you can do to avoid danger.


The Signs


Scripts


"I'm an avid art collector with a deep appreciation for captivating and unique artworks. I recently came across your incredible artwork and was immediately drawn to its exceptional craftsmanship and expressive style."


All of the scams in my inbox recently have started with this script. A few words might be changed, but it's nearly identical every time.


Here's some key things to look for to identify a script:


  • It's impersonal. There are no details in this introduction that refer to me specifically.

  • It's vague. There are no examples, just broad complimentary terms: "captivating," "unique," "exceptional craftsmanship," and "expressive style." These are designed to flatter artists in general.

  • It's stiff. For a DM doesn't this feel waaay too formal? Honestly it feels like it's written by ChatGPT. It's supposed to come off as professional but it ends up being lifeless.


If you have any doubt at all whether something is a script, I encourage you to toss all or part of it into google. More likely than not, you will see other people asking about the same script.


The Accounts


Check out the account contacting you and ask the following questions:


  • Do I remember this account ever interacting with me in the past? There's a good chance they're contacting you completely out of the blue. If they did admire your work so much, you likely would have noticed them following you for a while.


  • How much activity does this account actually have? Often they will have a flurry of activity on just a few days rather than over a long term. Check their media page; this is a good way to see how much they have actually posted compared to retweeting.


  • Is the account brand new? Obviously this is a huge red flag, but I do want to caution that there may be more hacked accounts out there than usual. These will look alot more normal.


  • Does it make sense? Look at the claims in the bio -- I've seen art collector, art teacher, connections to galleries. Ask yourself, does this account make sense for that kind of professional? For instance, would someone connected to a professional art gallery really randomly contact me?


The Offer


There's a saying: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."


I had one person offer me 10 Ethereum each for four pieces of art! I believe at the time Ethereum was somewhere around 3.3k, so the equivalent of $33,000. For one piece. Of AI art. By someone who has no NFT reputation.


Art prices are extremely varied and subjective, but this is just ridiculously unrealistic.


Links & Minting


I cannot stress this enough: do not mint using the random links these people send you.


This is how the scam works. They will send you to a webpage you never heard of and want you to mint there for a high fee. Even if you are "paid" through this website, you will not be able to withdraw any of the money and likely you will be encouraged to pay more fees on your way to trying to get it.


This webpage along with the comments offer amazing insight into these scams along with many, many examples of the types of script you might see.


Avoiding the Danger


Change Your Direct Message Settings


It sucks, but you might consider closing your DMs.


For X, go to Settings > Privacy and Safety > Direct Messages. Here you can choose whether to get messages from No One, Verified Users only, or Everyone. There is also an option to "Filter low-quality messages" which may help keep some of these annoying DMs from reaching you at all.


Offer Your Own Prints or NFTs


If someone really, truly, wants to buy your work or support you, they will not have any problem going through a legit middleman instead of a random website you have never heard of before.


By offering your own options, you can sleep easy knowing you have not missed any valid opportunities while still safeguarding yourself.


There are many printing options, and I can see about doing an article about those in the future. Consider a popular Print-On-Demand site like Redbubble or Printify. If you'd like to handle the print making and selling yourself, consider Etsy or Shopify.


As for NFTs, I honestly haven't done much research into their sites. If you do know of good options, please add them in the comments. Some popular ones right now might be OpenSea and HelloUncut.


Conclusion


These scams seem to be getting more pervasive so be sure to spread this knowledge around, especially to the newer members of our community.


Have you had any encounters with these scammers? Comment below with your experiences! Examples of scripts can be especially helpful for people trying to spot a scammer.

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