Saturday, February 18, 2012

Art Scam

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 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.


  1. I receive bogus emails regularly, (as recently as last week) Eva, and I have gotten to where I can tell by the first sentence if it's not legitimate. I delete immediately. I do think the internet is a wonderful thing but just like you said, it's also wonderful for criminals, it makes it so easy. I just hope artists who read this take heed and beware.

    1. Robin, you are so wise to delete those messages immediately. I only I played along this time to see how far they would go. Fortunately I was able to call their scam. I posted this for all the artists who have yet to receive these emails.

  2. Good advice Eva. I've received a few of these emails claiming they've seen my art on my blog and then they go on to say they would like to include me in their gallery etc, etc, etc. Very slick.

  3. Carole, glad you didn't take the bait. They are so clever and I agree, sick!

  4. Eva..
    its been a long time since I've been here, hope all is well...

    About 3weeks ago I had a similar thing happen to me, I won't go though the whole story, but bottom line they also wanted two of my paintings, along with my mailing add. and other info, when all I gave them was my cell number and nothing more, the the culprits moved on to the next unsuspecting artist....

    Good to know they left us both unharmed.

  5. Hi Jbkrost! Good to hear from you again. Smart move on your part. I think we can learn how devious these crooks can be and how to deal with them by sharing our experiences.

  6. I pity these people, how desperate can they get in life to make ends by scamming.I got such mails but like Robin said, I delete without opening!

  7. Hi Padmaja, thanks for commenting. I usually ignore these type of emails too, but when you have work for sale online it is not always easy to ignore emails that they have cleverly addressed them with an English name and the subject line is about your work for sale. I just found a blog post about someone who had things for sale on Esty and the con guy found a way to make it look like they were using PayPal. I will add a link to this story on my next post.

  8. The most common fraud is the fraudster paying extra for whatever reason and then asking for the change, so one thing to beware of is being offered too much money for apparently nothing.

  9. Wow Mark !That sounds a little like another story I heard. Not sure how to deal with all of these con men. It makes one a little leery about selling things online.


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