I’m going to write about something a bit different this week. Art Scams!
Scammers suck, especially ones that target artists who are just starting out. Hopefully most people are honest and don’t do this, but there has been one in particular that I get quite often. Like once every two months often. Generally it will look like a legit email, from a real email address. Sometimes they even fill out my submission form. However I have gotten it before where I am CCed in the middle of a list.
I am not even going to sensor this because scammers blow but generally the scam looks like this:
Normally they have something to do with getting their wife a present. Or they want to purchase a piece on your site immediately. They base their email on something you probably would customarily would respond and be receptive to. They include personal details and make you believe that they are actually interested in your work.
What is the scam?
Their intention is usually money and perhaps personal information. They state that their “wife” handles their credit cards or PayPal accounts, so they have an elaborate explanation about how they will get you the money for the painting (or art). Something common they do is they say they are traveling or overseas, and they overpay and ask you to send the extra amount to their shipping company who is transporting it for them. Once you do pay with your own bank account – you discover the cashier check they sent you is not legit. So essentially you paid them and they didn’t actually pay you, note this is what I have gathered from searching the scam. Sometimes they will ask you to ship before they make payment, obviously don’t do this.
Here is another, this one I did reply to:
My reply just included the price of the painting in question.
This second email immediately sent up the alarm bells, I kindly told them to shove it.
So generally keep an eye out for these “Wife” emails or other complex stories. Other things to look out for is anyone that wants to arrange the shipping themselves or purchase immediately. If all else looks okay but you are still suspicious, google their email address, scammers send so many emails that it may already be on a list online.