Friday, August 12, 2016

Art Akwukwo Check Rip-Off Identified

This an oldie but goodie - this is when I had the time to screw around with rip off artists. The emails listed below are in the order in which they arrived to me. This is the classic art ripoff known as the Akwukwo check scam. As you all know, whenever I get one of these, I like to have fun with the thief.
See my previous encounter with Louie The Fish here. All misspellings and English and writing errors have been left as received:
From: stone.123@live.com
To: lennycampello@hotmail.com
Subject: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 06:55:45 -0600

Hello ,
My name is Stone Martins . I am 46 yr old American by birth, catholic by faith . It is my pleasure to have come across your beautiful Artworks while searching through Google. I am planning on presenting some Artworks for my Wife's Birthday which is coming up soon. She is an addict of Artworks and i want to present her one of your beautiful artworks as a surprise gift on her Birthday .

I want you to help me to choose from your Numerous Artworks the one that will really make a woman more than happy if presented with such Selection.

My prince range is $1,200.00USD - $1,500.00USD. I will really appreciate your effort in doing this and i want you to keep your good work up.

I will be glad if you can process my request in a timely manner . You can call me anytime on this number +447031838823 ..

Cheers,
Stone Martins.
Note the hesitant English for a Harvard man; and my response to him:
From: lennycampello@hotmail.com
To: stone.123@live.com
Subject: RE: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 15:35:40 +0000

Thank you for your note.

I am very choosy as to whom I allow to own my works, as I have a very long wait list for them. Can you tell me more about you and your family?

Thank you,

The Lenster...
Unfazed by my arrogance, Stone responds very quickly:
From: stone.123@live.com
To: lennycampello@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 07:03:12 -0600

Hello ,

Thank you for the email . I am a 60 year old University Don .. I retired from Harvard Business School and i have relocated to United Kingdom with my wife and we have only one son who is schooling abroad . My wife will be 50 years old come next month and i will like to present your beautiful artwork as a birthday gift . She loves Blue color . She also loves kids and shopping . We are happy family and fulfilled . I want you to get back to me and let me know the one you have chosen and it must be within my price range . I will make the arrnagment for the pick up once i have settled the payment ..

I want you to get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you
And so he has bitten and now I can have some fun with him:
From: lennycampello@hotmail.com
To: stonemartins1@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 14:46:51 +0000

Sounds like a very nice family, but I told you that I am choosy, so I need to know a few more details:

1. What other pieces of artwork do you own?

2. Who was your favorite faculty member at Harvard?

3. Who is your favorite artist?

4. Are you prepared to have me choose which piece of my art I will possibly allow to live in your house?

Let me know soonest.

The Lenster
PS - I will be raising my prices soon by the way - so hurry!
Nothing deters this guy, he responds within minutes:
From: stonemartins1@hotmail.com
To: lennycampello@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 10:22:35 -0500


Hello,

We have one Painting at the moment and the painting is more Abtsract . My favourite Artist is Don Moen . I was a consultant to Harvard on Contract , so i didn't have faculty member .. You can go ahead and choose for us .. Thank you and keep in touch
More demands from my part:
From: lennycampello@hotmail.com
To: stonemartins1@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: INQUIRY ON YOUR ARTWORKS
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 15:57:04 +0000

Sounds good...

It will take a least one week for me to concentrate and meditate on which work of art will align best with your wife on her birthday.

Here's what I need for you to do:

1. Get $1500 in cash - US Dollars, package it carefully and double bagged and FEDEX it to my art dealer. That will cover a work of art plus shipping and insurance to you.

2. Email me you shipping address and contact number.

3. Once I receive the cash I will send you the work.

4. Once you receive the work, you must take a photo of it once it is framed and send it to me, as I must approve of the framing.

The Lenster
He then gives the ripoff mechanism:
From: stonemartins1@hotmail.com
Sent: Thu 2/28/08 4:03 PM
To: F. Lennox Campello (lennycampello@hotmail.com)

Thank you for the quick email . I will like you to have the payment so that you can go ahead and start the work soonest .. I want you to open www.freequickwire.com and click on Request for Payment and enter the exact amount of $1,500 ... Email me once you have done this . Thank you.
And I send him back the conversation killer:
From: lennycampello@hotmail.com
Sent: Thu 2/28/08 4:07 PM
To: stone Martins (stonemartins1@hotmail.com)

No, no... using technology to receive payments for my work "dirties" the process and makes me anguish over the whole issue of selling my work. I would be unable to create if I had to do such things...

No, no... just send US dollars directly... even then I have to have someone open the FEDEX package and meditate over the whole transaction and commodification of my art before I finally decide to go through with it.

My art is more valuable than money.

Cash.
That was the last that I heard from Stone.

Be careful out there...

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