Ever had an email like this?:

"Hi there,my name is Larry im an art collector from Connecticut,was
browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work
on the subject,will like to have it for my new apartment probably this
month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me
have the detailed price and more information about it.kindly reply me
with your phone#.
Regards."

This is an art scam email received by one of our members. I've had a few of them in the past few years too. This is what our member was able to find out:  

The scam always has the same basic structure, even though the "story" may change.

They pretend to want to buy something and pay with either a cashier's check (which will turn out to be fraudulent) or a credit card (which will turn out to be stolen, even if not yet reported as such) and then overpay the amount (by a lot) claiming to have to pay a third-party shipper (who doesn't exist) or sometimes they say their assistant or wife made a mistake. They ask you to deposit the money and then forward the difference - either on to the non-existent shipper or back to them. And here's the critical part that is ALWAYS involved - they ask this money be sent to them via wire transfer (Western Union or MoneyGram). For them, that's the critical part because once they pick up a wire transfer, it is completely untraceable and it's easy for them to then just disappear and work on the next victim.
Fancy picking on artists to scam! Don't they know we're all starving as it is!? I guess there are always people less fortunate than ourselves and always those people willing to ignore their moral compass to get what they want. I can only feel sorry for them and be wary of anything on the internet that seems too good to be true, because it usually is. Eyes open my friends, eyes open.

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Comment by Richard Rogers on February 20, 2014 at 12:00

Thanks for sharing this Richard. Important info we all need to be aware of.

Comment by Britt Greenland on February 18, 2014 at 9:47
Actually, I think artists are most likely to fall for this kind of thing simply because of the desperation to sell or to get "discovered". Much like the billions of dollars people spend on the magic cure to help them lose weight, the desperation makes the perfect target. I recently read about "vanity galleries" as well. If you aren't familiar, google it, it's interesting reading and you can see how people again prey on the desperate.
Comment by Gene Doyle on February 13, 2014 at 8:33

I don't feel sorry for them at all! . . . "Less fortunate?"—not very likely. And they are not as dumb as they appear. I live by the old adage "It takes more intelligence to do wrong and cover it than it takes to do right in the first place."

Comment by Silvana M Albano on February 10, 2014 at 12:30

That is very common around here.... they phone and say a relative had an accident, with open questions so that you provide the answers. When they get enough information, they let you know it is a kidnap, and you should go someplace witha lot of money.In a way, they get you so that you have all the phones busy... everything is a lie, but many get a lot of money out of it.... I thought it was just in my country.... we are really globalized.... Apparently, everything is managed from jail....

Comment by Gina Dalkin-Davis on February 10, 2014 at 12:01

A scammer phone recently to say that a family member was in jail and needed bail money... same basic structure as Richard's scenario.  It sounded suspicious so I kept asking questions and getting unsatisfactory answers. I also noticed that they make open ended comments that lead you to provide the answers which they then pick up on.  If it sounds wrong...it likely is.

Comment by Gina Dalkin-Davis on February 10, 2014 at 11:57

Hi Richard.  thanks so much for the warning. If scammers spent half as much of their energy on legitimate ideas they'd all billionaires!.  Skamming artist, indeed! Actually, that's pretty low.... as starving artists what do they want? our crust of bread? HaHaHa!

Comment by Jim Haycock on February 8, 2014 at 12:28
Oy... You're a better man than I, Richard. I DO NOT FEEL SORRY for these creeps!!! I loathe them! If any of you are approached, let them know that you have a friend from Utah that will deliver the money to them IN PERSON.
Comment by Sharon Casavant on February 7, 2014 at 3:40

check with your spirit, that's what I do.  If there is any uneasiness about it, then I don't do it.  Yes, I had that happen to me while selling something on Craig's List.  They wanted me to send wire transfer and someone else  would come and pick it up, it was a big mess... I didn't "feel" right about it, so I cancelled the whole thing.

Comment by Richard Robinson on February 6, 2014 at 11:12

Here's another artist's more comprehensive blog on the matter: http://www.kathleenmcmahon.com/info/scammer-names.html

and another: http://stopartscams.blogspot.co.nz/

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