Nonfungible token collector Pransky was duped out of 97.67 Ether, worth $341,500, after the website of popular artist Banksy was hijacked to promote a fake NFT auction.
However, almost all of the money has since been refunded.
On Aug. 31, Pransky spotted a page on Banksy’s official website promoting an NFT auction on the popular marketplace, OpenSea. Despite voicing his misgiving as to the authenticity of the token, Pranksy opted to participate in the auction and increased the highest bid by 87 Ether ($304,500) to almost 100 ETH.
It seems to be hosted on https://t.co/J8U3TmR3gE? So could be genuine, one to watch over the next 3 days
— Pranksy (@pranksy) August 31, 2021
The bid was accepted, but after a link to the OpenSea auction was removed from Banksy’s website, the NFT investor began to fear the listing may have been fraudulent. Just one hour after sharing the auction on Twitter, Pranksy posted:
“So my bid of 100 ETH was accepted for the potential #Banksy first #NFT on @opensea. The link was removed from his website so it could have been a very elaborate hoax, my guess is that is what it will be, only time will tell!”
The perpetrators refunded Pranksy a few hours later, sending 97.69 ETH backr. Pranksy believes he received the refund after identifying the hacker and following them on Twitter. He told the BBC:
“The refund was totally unexpected, I think the press coverage of the hack plus the fact that I had found the hacker and followed him on Twitter may have pushed him into a refund.”
A spokesperson associated with Banksy said: “The artist Banksy has not created any NFT artworks. Any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form.” They declined to discuss whether Banky’s website had been breached by hackers.
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Commenting on the drama, Twitter user “Cryptochild” noted that OpenSea was the sole winner from the debacle, having pocketed a 2.5% cut of Pransky’s massive bid.
A bold one in the circumstances All good fun in the end with @opensea coming out the winner with 2.5%
— CryptoChild (@xCryptochild) August 31, 2021
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