Woman buys £90 Banksy art from stranger and thinks it might be worth millions

A woman spent £90 on "art" from a shady-looking guy on a subway and reckons she might now be a millionaire after buying a legit Banksy.

Despite the unlikelihood of him being the real deal, Colleen Alexander had a "gut feeling" and handed her money over to the masked stranger in New York City.

For her $120 (£90) she got one basic stencil of a woman with a rocket launcher and another one depicting a rat with a parachute. Ouch.

Colleen says in a TikTok video: "I was definitely familiar with Banksy and his story and social message/cultural critiques of art and the art world, but I did not follow him or his history very closely.

"I always appreciated his roots as a graffiti artist who believed art was for the public."

She continues: "I decided to share the video on TikTok out of pure excitement.

"I had already called several friends that evening to tell them my story, but I was still so full of shock and wonder that I wanted to share it more."

According to the auction house Christie's, all Banksy artworks created after 2009 were sold with a Pest Control certificate to prove they were not fakes when scams became more common due to his fame.

  • Terminally-ill dad who mooned speed camera honoured with 'Banksy' Bart Simpson mural

There are also fake Pest Control certificates being made by scammers, making it even harder to authenticate the art.

Banksy's art is derivative of the French graffiti artist Blek le Rat who became known for lifesize stencils of rats in the streets of Paris in the 1980s.

The Bristol artist's work often criticises war and capitalism and, ironically, can fetch hundreds of thousands at auction.

Many TikTokers believed Colleen could really have bought two legitimate prints and congratulated her.

But another viewer, who was branded a "Karen" and a "killjoy", told her: "It's a scam they have been doing them ever since Banksy came to NYC for real."

Someone else trolled: "I'm gonna make Banksy pieces and sit in a train station with a ski mask and sell them for hundreds."

A sympathetic viewer wrote: "Even if they are not real Banksy works you might have just paid for an artist to be able to eat.

"Thank you for supporting an artist it's appreciated."

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