AI Exposes Millions in Bogus Art Deals on eBay

AI Exposes Millions in Bogus Art Deals on eBay

Dr. Carina Popovici, an expert in authentication of artworks, has been unmasking a slew of counterfeit paintings, including fake masterpieces by renowned artists, on popular online shopping platforms. Utilizing cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology, she has unveiled a staggering 40 forged artworks so far.

Popovici’s process involves employing AI algorithms to scrutinize images listed on websites like eBay. The software meticulously analyzes each picture, flagging those with a ‘high probability’ of being counterfeit. Among the duplicitous works identified were a fake Claude Monet painting called ‘Forest With a Stream’ priced at a jaw-dropping $599,000 and a purported study by Claude Renoir retailing for $165,000.

The ‘Renoir’ in question, listed by a Florida seller under the name Metasis, was swiftly taken down after Popovici’s investigation revealed its fraudulent nature. Despite eBay’s strict policy against listing counterfeit items, the prevalence of fake art continues to persist, underscoring the challenges faced by online marketplaces in curbing such scams.

In a bid to combat this rampant issue, Popovici reached out to eBay in late 2023, urging the platform to address the problem earnestly. However, her efforts to engage with eBay have been met with silence, leaving her dismayed and perplexed by the lack of response from the e-commerce giant. The specialist’s persistence highlights the urgency of tackling art forgery in online sales and advocating for greater accountability.

eBay, in response to queries, emphasized its stringent policies against counterfeit goods and its commitment to safeguarding the authenticity of products sold on its platform. A company spokesperson reiterated eBay’s use of advanced AI technologies, trained investigators, and buyer protection initiatives to uphold the highest standards of authenticity.

On a broader scale, Popovici’s work through Art Recognition has significantly contributed to validating over 500 artworks worldwide using only photographic evidence. The AI system she employs has not only exposed fraudulent pieces but also authenticated disputed works, like a self-portrait attributed to Vincent van Gogh at the National Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Popovici’s innovative approach underscores the transformative impact of AI in the realm of art authentication. By leveraging technology to combat art fraud, she sheds light on the pervasive challenges faced by the art market while advocating for increased vigilance and awareness among buyers and sellers. As the art world grapples with the rise of counterfeit sales, Popovici’s dedication to unmasking fakes serves as a beacon of integrity and accountability in the ever-evolving landscape of online commerce.


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