An art forgery causes a purchaser to be defrauded and the public deceived. The forgery may have been created for the purposes of fraud, or it may have been incorrectly attributed through ignorance. In some cases duplicates are made as duplicates and later used to deceive purchasers. The increased interest in art collecting and record breaking prices for art and antiques is serving the interests of con artists and fraudsters.
The biggest obstacle to collecting African art is the number of fakes available through tourist shops. African masks may be carved and aged by placing them in termite hills, smoked over cooking fires, stained with soot and water, rubbed with shoe polish, and sanded smooth or rubbed with sweat marks to show wear.