71-year-old digital artist from India became a victim of crypto scammers

A 71-year-old digital artist from India fell victim to a scam orchestrated by individuals pretending to be art dealers specializing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The elderly artist lost approximately $1895.

In October 2023, the scammers reached out to the artist through social media, introducing him to the nfttradeplace platform. They claimed they were interested in purchasing his paintings for 42 ETH. Negotiations were conducted primarily through email and Facebook. Law enforcement officials have chosen not to disclose the artist’s name.

The artist agreed to the offer and offered three of his artworks for 10 ETH and another for 12 ETH. After the initial sale, the artist requested a withdrawal of 6 ETH. On February 1, 2024, the scammers asked the artist to transfer 0.115 ETH as a “gas payment.” The artist followed their instructions and made the payment from a cryptocurrency address provided by the scammers. However, the transaction was never completed despite waiting for several days. The scammers then asked the artist to “complete payment” to expedite the withdrawal of funds.

Since the NFT creator did not possess any ether, he asked the scammers if they would accept payment in fiat currency. The scammers agreed, and the victim transferred the money to them in four installments. It was at this point that the elderly Indian artist realized he had been scammed and reported the incident to the authorities.

Recently, Indian police seized $12 million from Raj Kundra, husband of renowned local actress Shilpa Shetty. Kundra is suspected of involvement in the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme called Gain Bitcoin, where investors lost $800 million.