I am sure most of us have received those bogus emails telling us we have won something or someone died and left us a lot of money, etc. Internet con men and women spend hours thinking up new ways to defraud us and try to steal our hard-earned money. Over the years, I have received a couple of emails from them saying they are interested in my art. The latest one claimed they saw my work on www.theartsmap.com. The site is a great source for locating artists and their studios. A couple of very reputable artists created it to support other artists. I had forgotten registering to be on this map, but that is nothing new, besides if you are anywhere on the internet your information is no longer private. Unfortunately, there are those who use this information to try to run a scam and this site, unwittingly, is like a free mailing list of artists for them. The email I received was full of errors and very confusing. The sender’s name, the Yahoo address and the signature name and email were all different. It was rather oblivious that it was not legitimate, intrigued, but cautious I decided to explore the issue and asked many questions about them and their location. As expected, the reply was very vague but they offered to buy two pieces of my art. They said they would pay for the art with a travelers check. Since I had heard stories about these scams, I told them I would have to cash the check first before I could send them my work. I said if they wanted me to ship the work right away, I had PayPal and I would require this method of payment. As expected, I never heard from them again.
I hope anyone who reads this heeds my warning and makes every effort to protect them self. Do not tell anyone you do not know where you live unless you feel comfortable with whom they say they are. Never send anyone money who claims they are an agent or want a show fee unless you initiated the transaction. Always clear any type of check or money order with a bank, post office or credit union before turning over your art. Better yet, use PayPal as you form of money exchange. They are very good about providing safe transactions. Finally, yet importantly, never open an attachment from someone you do not know. Next to losing you money, losing your hard drive to a virus can be devastating.