How I Turned a Scammer Into an Art Collector by Jeremy Torman
Over the past few months I’ve become friends with a lot of artists in the NFT space. Jeremy Torman is one of those friends. So, when he pitched a story idea to me and I told him I was swamped he quickly responded, “I’ll write it!”. So here it is, a Jeremy Torman experience:
When I first sincerely entered the world of NFTs in late February I caught a post on Twitter about someone who lost all of their tokens and all of their crypto; everything to a scammer, it was all gone. I felt bad for them but scams are more or less a part of life. Always be on alert for something fishy and if it sounds too good to be true...it is.
I had heard about little scams here and there, but nothing really blew up until Fvckrender fell victim. So, when I got an Instagram message on Friday from @viola_siollo claiming that her and her husband were about to have a wedding anniversary and she wanted to commission me to produce a NFT for her for 4 ETH, I instantly knew it was bogus, but I agreed.
I'm known for using a type of convolutional neural network called GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) to produce images and video that is distinct in style and unlike anything, anyone has ever seen. So when Viola wanted to commission me I knew doubly that it was a scam. I don't really do commissions except for close friends and their album cover art. I make what I make and people buy what they like and everyone is happy. So a stranger that clearly didn't understand the abstract nature of my art was trying to send me an "example of what kind of painting she would like me to create for her" was a red flag. When she asked me for my email, I requested she just send the example in an Instagram message. Who knows, maybe it wasn't a scam? No response since.
Then on Saturday, I noticed that I had a message request on Twitter. I looked at the account which was several years old and had 23 followers and just 1 tweet, a retweet in fact of what appeared to be stitches from carpal tunnel surgery. The person's "name" was John Billmate. He claimed to be in charge of digital distribution for Luminar (AI photo editing software that I already own) which is a useful piece of kit for editing photographs quickly. He also claimed to be a representative of Skylum, the company that makes Luminar. He wanted me to beta test a new version of the software with NFT creation integration and in turn, he would pay me. There are legit ways to find software beta testers, like reaching out to existing customers which I was, but Skylum would surely go through email for that, not Twitter with no acknowledgment of me being a customer already.
So I began googling the name and Skylum, and received no results except for this:
I reached out to Skylum on Twitter. While I waited for their response I began negotiating a price of 1ETH. He told me to "download the software from a webpage and enter a password to unlock and enter in a secret code and that would register me as a user". I followed up with an explanation that I don't do anything without a 10% retainer. He said that I had to register first and they couldn't do anything illegal, so I responded with "So buy one of my NFT's for 0.1 ETH off of OpenSea, because I don't do anything without a retainer. ANYTHING."
—AND HE FUCKING DID—
Then I went back and forth with him a little bit. The goal to simply waste his time:
Eventually I told him that I had reached out to Skylum who had not heard of him, or any beta test program and they aren't integrating NFT creation at this time.
Then he blocked me.
This is where Jeremy decided to end his story. No moral. No lesson. Well, maybe one lesson: don’t fuck with Jeremy Torman or he’ll make you buy his art.
Look for a Jeremy Torman NFT Membership Drop coming soon. In the meantime, follow him on social media or support more of his social justice rampages by buying his incredible art.
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Definitely tell your less technical friends that have gotten into NFTs to NEVER open a .zip or .src file from an unknown source!
Wow Joe this was so entertaining haha ! Great read haha !