Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this mutant!!!! Rip off! Also, everytime that I post one of these, I get a dozen emails from artists and gallerists asking me how the scam works - and the occasional sad one of an artist/dealer getting ripped off... See answer at bottom:
Subject:  artwork is needed
From:  "John Scotfield"
Date:  Tue, August 9, 2016 7:07 am

My name is john Scotfield from SC. I actually observed my wife has
been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your
piece of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various
works too, : )  You are doing a great job. I would like to receive
further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I
am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for
immediate sales.
Thanks and best regards,

The scam works like this:

  • They pay you with a Bank draft and/or an International Money Order/Postal Money Order... sometimes stolen credit card numbers - note I said the plural form
  • Your bank accepts the deposit and even clears it 3 days later... then about a month later they get a note from the other bank, post office, whatever saying that they've discovered that the draft was a fake.
  • Then your bank takes the money out of your account.
  • Meanwhile, you've already shipped the artwork out (usually to a foreign country, to which - of course - they've offered to pay shipping; the most ambitious and "local" rip off mutants have you ship to a US address, and once you provide a tracking number, they "wait" for FEDEX or UPS and pretend to be the homeowner as soon as FEDEX drives up and sign for the pacakge - but these "local" mutants are rare - the vast majority has the work shipped overseas.