There are many fake paintings sold across the nation and many of them have consequently have been purchased by buyers who were unaware it was not the real deal until it was too late.

Here are four clues that a piece of art is a forgery:

The Deal Is Too Good To Be True

If something is going for an ultra-low price at auction that means other people are not bidding on it. Extremely low reserve prices or a lack of bidders doesn’t necessarily mean a piece of art is fake, but it does means buyers should look closely at the artwork before making an offer.

The Provenance Has No Backup

Provenance can increase the value of a piece substantially: something owned by Henry XIII is going to be more valuable than a similar piece without a famous attachment. Unfortunately, provenance can be made up; art buyers must always ensure the stories being told about a piece are backed up by documentation.

Auction Staff Can’t Or Won’t Answer Questions

Those selling artwork must be ready to provide answers about each piece, especially in online auction formats. A lack of answers could mean something isn’t quite right or that information has been purposefully misconstrued in an auction listing to drive up the bidding price. When pieces are genuine, sellers and auction staff are typically happy — and even proud — to provide additional information about them.

The Style And Signature Don’t Match

While not all artists sign their works, when a signature is present, buyers should also consider its placement and whether it matches the overall style of the work. A painter who typically paints in blue tones and signs in the bottom right corner is unlikely to suddenly switch to bright yellow and orange tones and sign in the center.

Before bidding on a masterpiece you think might be a good deal, take some time a side and verify if it is original. Using these steps will help bidder’s determine what is real or fake.