Things I Learned as an Oil Painter: Thing #18

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Thing #18 goes like this:

If it's too good to be true...

I recently joined the ranks of artists that have been targetted by scammers. Maybe you've already seen this, but if you haven't you need to be aware.

I got an email that seemed too good to be true.  It went something like this:
Good day,
I have seen your paintings on your website and I think they are beautiful and I will like to buy some. Please give me prices for shipping to Saudi Arabia. I hope you accept credit card.
Please reply asap.
Thank you.
No name, no details of what specifically he/she liked or wanted to buy, no questions about my art. Call me cynical but it just didn't ring true - it didn't sound like someone who had just seen something they were moved to purchase. So I Googled art scam and found this:
  1. The "buyer" contacts the artist via email after seeing their art somewhere online
  2. There is usually a foreign connection (i.e. the "buyer" is in a different country of moving to or from overseas)
  3. The "buyer" may even specify names of paintings they want to buy and will ask for prices including shipping
  4. If the artist responds and the deal happens, the "buyer" will often pay with a cahsier's cheque, credit card or even Paypal
  5. The "buyer" will pay way too much - much more than the asking price
  6. When the artist tells the "buyer" they have overpaid, the "buyer" will claim it was a mistake and ask that the overage be wired to them or to a third party
  7. The artist ships the art and wires the money
  8. The artist's bank takes a month to discover the foreign cheque is bogus or the credit card will turn out to be stolen or the Paypal account hacked. Whichever way it goes the funds are recovered by the financial institution.
  9. Now the artist has no art and is out of pocket for way more than the art was worth.
Luckily, I was able to avoid being sucked in to this scam - it pays to be a little cynical sometimes!


Why am I posting this stuff? maccski.deviantart.com/journal…

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Comments7
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line-melte's avatar
It does indeed pay to be cynical, and the chances of avoiding a scam far outweigh the chances of dismissing a legit offer. :nod:
Natan-Estivallet's avatar
Nice to know, thank you!
irethkalt's avatar
I got a similar email last year. It was creepy. Ignored it out of fear it was a scam.
LauraHolArt's avatar
Good old art scams, grr, I have been spammed by quite a few of them as well! Good advice, it always pays to be suspicious!
JennyMoedKorpela's avatar
Yup, this has happened to me as well, getting these request from my website. Usually they never reply when you ask them which particular work they want to buy, and they never reply if you say that you accept only paypal... Scammers all the way!
21stCenturyDamocles's avatar
glunac's avatar
Thank you so much for the heads up.
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