Almost Scammed Out of $1350!!

3 min read

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AnthonyFoti's avatar
Oh, what a weekend it's been.

So, this painting (… ) is the end result of me being almost scammed out of $1350 and the subsequent frustrations. It was a scary situation, but at least I've learned a lesson without having to pay the full consequences.

A week or so ago I was commissioned by a man using the name "Frank Mayfield" to do a series of portraits featuring the past 6 presidents. According to Frank, he was purchasing them as a favor for the business offices of one "Jenkins Mahoney". Yup. My wife and I both thought the name seemed a bit goofball, but you never know with parents.

Anyway, we negotiated the price, I started the first piece, and later Mr. Mayfield told me an initial payment was being sent out via Western Union. I asked if Paypal would be easier, but he said

***Warning Flag Number 2 Alert***

"Wester Union was best for his company".

A few days later I recieved the payment IN FULL in the form of two money orders, which I took to the bank and put in my account. I sent in the first piece (Obama) for review and the client was excited.

This morning a message arrived in my hotmail account from our buddy Frank saying there was a legal problem with his company (Which he called "Tanner Investments"), the project would have to be cut short, and that I would have to wire $1350 of the money back to him IMMEDIATELY because it was an emergency.

Well, luckily my wife realized something was up and began to investigate. In minutes we found several sites where people had reported the same incident. You can read all about it here:… . The original deposit never went through, and any money sent back would have been my loss. Some of them got out when I did, but others lost thousands.

Now, I'm fortunate enough to have more steady work, so it's not too big of a blow, but I can't help but get frustrated thinking about how these people essentially trick others into working their money away. I even turned down two projects based on the percieved workload of these president pieces.

I Guess the first moral here is; If you are ever told that the client absolutely must use money orders, Western Union, or checks, do your research. On top of that, never send money back to a client without checking it all out. Much to the surprise of no one at this point, the money orders turned out to be fakes.

The second lesson would probably just be to avoid working with anyone who sounds like a boxer from the roaring twenties.

Spread the word about this thing, artists!
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lastres0rt's avatar
Ugh. Glad you were a smarter cookie than that.

artyewok's avatar
Man, your wife is awesome for sniffing that out. And I have to say, that is an absolutely gorgeous portrait.
Sethiaz's avatar
Not going to happen to me (wouldn't deal with commissions to that extent) but, kudos to your wife for her amazing investigation skills!
AnthonyFoti's avatar
I was like sitting next to Nancy Drew.
WolfSkullJack's avatar
Thanks for sharing, I have a few artist friends that will want to know about this
Ulario's avatar
Ouch! If you don't mind, I'm going to post this to the Artists Beware community on LiveJournal to help spread the word.
AnthonyFoti's avatar
That's a great idea. I've got a few different agencies looking into it now, and the more people who know the better.
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