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Small Streamers Beware: Art Scams On The Rise

Live streaming platforms, notably Twitch, have transformed the dynamics between content creators and their audiences, allowing real-time interactions and a deepened sense of community. However, as with any rapidly growing digital space, Twitch’s soaring popularity has not only attracted genuine creators and their followers but also those with deceitful motives targeting unsuspecting new streamers. A particularly concerning trend emerging on this platform is the rise of art scams.

These fraudsters often prey on smaller streamers eager to upgrade their channels with custom graphics, overlays, and emotes. So, how do these scams unfold? What warning signs should streamers be vigilant about? More crucially, once these scams are detected, how can one combat them effectively? This article delves into the growing world of Twitch art scams, equipping you with the know-how to spot an art scammer, and how you can find a genuine artist.

How Do These Scams Work ?

On platforms like Twitch, where new enthusiastic streamers seek to engage audiences and enhance their digital space, scammers have identified opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities. So, how exactly do these art scams unravel?

    1. Targeting the Novice: Scammers intentionally go after very small streamers, particularly those without custom graphics. These streamers, still in the beginning stages of their online journey, are often unaware of the prevalence of such scams.
    2. Gaining Trust as a Viewer: To build rapport, the scammer enters the chat posing as a genuine viewer. They immerse themselves in conversations, ask relevant questions, and actively engage with the streamer. This charade can continue for up to 10 minutes, laying the groundwork of trust.
    3. The Deceptive Offer: Subtly, they shift the conversation towards the aesthetics of the stream. They inquire if the streamer has ever considered upgrading their graphics or emotes, making it seem like a casual suggestion from a well-meaning viewer. These scammers have also been known to join the streamers Discord or send them Dm’s with their offer.
    4. Manipulation Tactics: If a streamer declines the seemingly generous offer, some scammers resort to manipulative tactics. They may imply that the lack of viewership is directly tied to the stream’s subpar visual quality, attempting to shame the streamer into reconsidering.
    5. The Illusion of Quality: For streamers who do bite the bait, their excitement is often short-lived. While promised high quality custom designs, they usually receive generic templates, likely churned out from free design software. The deception is usually reinforced by the scammer showing other talented artists work in their portfolio.

The essence of these scams lies in their psychological approach—gaining trust, exploiting insecurities, and delivering an illusion of quality. Streamers, especially those new to the platform, must be aware of such scams in order to avoid a waste of both their time and hard earned money.

How To Identify These Scammers

Streamers that have had run-ins with such scammers before will tell you that after the first few, it becomes pretty easy to identify them. However, for beginners, knowing what red flags to look out for can help you avoid falling prey. Here are some pointers to help identify potential scammers:

    1. Immediate Offers: If someone dives straight into offering custom graphics shortly after joining your stream, be wary. Genuine artists, especially those with a good reputation, seldom resort to such aggressive tactics for drumming up clients.
    2. Check Their Portfolio: If a viewer presents you with a dazzling portfolio, take a moment to cross-check. Use a reverse image search on the provided images. If they’ve been lifted from another site, it’s a clear sign of deceit. Also, be wary of portfolios that have varied styles, this is an indicator of a fake portfolio mixing the work of multiple artists.
    3. Scripted Interactions: Engage in random, off-topic conversation. If their replies seem canned or don’t align with your questions, they might be following a predefined script.
    4. Overenthusiasm: Excessive enthusiasm can be a red flag. If a new viewer quickly transitions from following your stream to joining your Discord and sending friend requests, it’s advisable to proceed with caution.

In the world of Twitch, while the majority of viewers are there for genuine interactions, a little vigilance can go a long way in ensuring you steer clear of dubious offers.

How To Deal With The Scammers?

To preemptively deter scammers, tweaking your chat settings can work wonders. By blocking specific words commonly used in scam approaches, such as; “commission,” “commissions,” “gfx,” “panel,” “panels,” “overlay,” and “overlays,” you reduce the likelihood of these unsolicited offers reaching you or your community.

Adding “no self-promo” to your channel rules is another good option. Ensure that you specify this includes graphic artists promoting their services. Being consistent and firm in enforcing these rules is essential. Anyone violating the rules should be hit with the ban hammer, and be permanently banned from your channel.

Of course, not every encounter with a potential scammer has to be confrontational. You can opt for a lighter approach. Given that they contribute to your viewer count, why not engage in some light-hearted trolling? By stringing along the conversation with a dash of humor, you can potentially create entertaining content for your viewers without letting the dishonest interaction dampen your spirits.

Lastly, the age-old adage, “Kill them with kindness,” can also work. Politely thank them for their interest, and either let them know you simply can’t afford it, or simply convey that you’re not seeking such upgrades at the moment. A direct response often ends the interaction swiftly, keeping your channel’s atmosphere positive and scam-free.


Now, you should have a clearer understanding of how art scams unfold on Twitch, especially their focus on small streamers. It’s vital to note that most genuine artists won’t directly approach you with unsolicited messages about their services. More often than not, they promote their work through appropriate channels on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, or specific Discord servers.

With this knowledge in hand, if you ever come across a potential scammer, you’re well-prepared to handle the situation in a way that suits you best. With that being said if you’re looking for some new graphics to upgrade your channel you can check the overlays in our store.

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Liam Doherty

Liam Doherty comes from game development background, initially exposing him to the world of content creators. In 2017 he decided to dive headfirst into the creators realm, offering solutions for branding and creating better content.

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