ONLINE ART SCAM AND PHISHING ALERTS
Recently, many online art websites, including ArtistSites.org, have been getting hit by serial scammers soliciting artists to buy their work. The scammers are continually changing their names, email addresses, and the solicitation message. They use a website's contact forms and send emails to members inquiring about a piece of work for sale. Generally, the emails are fairly vague and appear to be written poorly but generally they insist on paying by check (fake) and wanting to pick up or arrange their own shipping (a big No No!), generally they claim to be out of the country and want to send a check, sometimes for more than the actual amount. Many times there is no real contact info provided. There is no security issues with the ArtistSites.org website, these are just common phishing solicitations that are found all over the Internet. Please be wary of any solicitations. If the offer sounds too good to be true or you cannot verify the potential buyer's identity do not go through with the sale...
WARNING Recent Spam Solicitations Received by Artists on ArtistSites.org: (send any you receive to us to post)
2/5/2010 looks fishy and has the makings of a scam...- sent from email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org - Dear Artist,
I am interested in purchasing your artworks.Please tell me about payment if payment with check or money order will be okay with you
and shipping methods. and copy your website link were your latest artwork can be view for further proceeding...
George (note that there is no personalization or reference to a particlar art work, also no contact info and asking to copy the website link??? weird request. Has the makings of a scam)
7/2/2009 Here's a good one... name on email address does not match name in email. Mispelling of Washington, and no contact info.. clearly a scam..- from email@example.com Hello, Am willing to purchase your artworks below for my new home in Washinton, could you please let me know if you still have them for sell and your last price offer shipping expenses will be taken care by me I await your reply soon. Cheers Joel. Note: Let me see the list and prices of th artwork you have for sell
6/25/2009 From firstname.lastname@example.org - clearly a scam, poorly written, fits all the same elements of all the previous scam solicitations that we have seen in the past. - Hello, Am Pablo Garcia of crossword inc, Residence in Kentucky Bowling i do buy used and new item around the world and later place it on Auction.I saw your item The Transmutation of Time, Reflex, and Observation and willing to buy off this from you.Kindly send me pics of this item and let me know it current condition and the last price you can let go of this item. Shipping will be taken care by me to make it easier for you. you can contact me with this email email@example.com hope to read from you soon. Pablo Awaiting your response. Thank you
2/6/2009 From firstname.lastname@example.org - clearly a scam, poorly written, fits all the same elements of all the previous scam solicitations that we have seen in the past. - Am willing to purchase this your Red American - hand-built ceramic sculpture - h-12" w-7" d-10" - $$4,000.00 could you please let me know if you are the real owner of this item ads and get back to me with the present condition,your location and your last price offer. Kindly let me know how much you can let go and send me pics.shipping expenses will be taken care by me .
Awaiting your response.
9/3/08 From Nydugo@gmail.com (Doug Rochelle) - not sure about this one but it does have some common elements of a scam. Looking for "present condition", moving overseas to "motherland japan" yet name is not japanese - beware of this one. I like your works Nice color and composition strong and dramatic ..very interesting..Keep it up! I Think i love ..... - silkscreen /arylic on paper - 8x10 inches - $400 and Oil on canvas - 24x24 inches Let me know if it still available for sale and it's present condition and the last price because am moving back to my mother land japan and i will need some for my new apartment. I really appreciate your work. I Shall look forward to your reply. Warm Regards, Doug Rochelle
8/25/08 From email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org (devon james) - both emails saying the same thing - standard phishing solicitation I saw your Advert on the http://www.artistsites.org site and i think i am interested in buying these Artworks from you...out of the black I love the artwork so much that i cant afford to miss it. I need to get it as soon as possible, so please i'll need to know the present condition of the item and i'll be happy if you could list out their prices respectively,and let me know if you still have all of them in store. I love artworks and i have a showroom where i display them for people to buy. i just decided to upgrade and reload my showrom, so i need some new artworks, i'll appreciate it if you could give me a good price as well. Please get back to me as soon as possible so i can reach you with the payment fast. Cheers Best Regards devon james
8/21/08 Strange solicitations to members coming from from tessy - email@example.com My name is tessy i saw your profile here (artistsites.org) today and became intrested in you,i will also like to know you the more,and i want you to send an email to my email address so i can give you my picture for you to know whom i am. Here is my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) I believe we can move from here! I am waiting for your mail to my email address above. tessy. (Remeber the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life)
8/12/08 Scam solicitation coming from from email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org...(both basically saying the same thing) I need this posted ads(Astoria Light - Acrylic on Canvas - 18x24 - $250) What is the final asking amount? What is the working condition?
Do you accept Cheque as means of payment? Get back to me as soon as possible for payment schedule. Thank you. Steven Email :email@example.com
8/4/08 Scam solicitation from creg martins...(notice the similarity to the one from desmond webb below) from firstname.lastname@example.org Waow you dont tell me you did that work, i do love them so much and i think they will do some beauty to my new home and my family will love you work them too.please i would not mind to purchase the proud eagle soaring my home is by the lake in paris .please let me know how i can purchase and make a payment for it .cant wait to own a pieace of its really lovely
7/28/08 Scam solicitation from desmond webb... from email@example.com hello , how are you doing .firstly let me commend your work i am really in love with them all and i will love to purchase them for my clients job.i am Mr,Desmond webb i run a modeling agency and a big interior decoration firm in the uk,and i need you work for a job work similar to the ones on your website but of diff size from 11x14.please get back to me so we can talk better about it
7/12/08 An email that has all the makings of a scam... from firstname.lastname@example.org (sert?) I will be happy to have these selected artworks stem - photography and ice out 2 in our new home. What are the prices? We are traveling from our USA home to our new apartment in Belgium ASAP. On Payment,I will like to pay you in US checks that can be easily cashed at your bank,Please let me know on how to pay for the artworks. I will be looking forward to your response on how to proceed. Take Care, Sert.
7/1/08 Scammer Mike Lampard is back phishing for artists to scam!: I got the scam email from Mike Lampard, too. here it is "My name is Mike, I am an individual art agent and interior decorator from Glasgow, scotland. I got an order for the supply of some artworks from a client, and when i came across your portfolio on your site, while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to interest me and fit what i am looking for, and I intend to market these items to my client and also negotiate a price that will include your price (i.e your selling price) and a mark-up as a profit for my effort. Payment will be made directly to you at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship and send me my commission /margin afterwards. My client will provide you directly their credit card for payment.I am looking forward to a long term working relationship beyond this order.Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept master card payment after which I will let you know the items we are interested in, and we can proceed with the order.
Hope to hear from you soon.
3/30/2008 - From Mike Lampard, My name is Mike, I am an individual art agent and interior decorator from glasgow, scotland.I got an order for the supply of some artworks from a client, and when i came across your portfolio while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to fit what i am looking for and great for walls, My client would like to make payment to you by credit card at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship and send me my commission /margin afterwards.I am looking forward to a long term working relationship. Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept credit card payment before we place orders ,and if you have questions please feel free to ask. Hope to hear from you soon. Best Regards. Mike Lampard email@example.com
3/5/2008 - From "firstname.lastname@example.org, the individual is sending emails under the addy: email@example.com the checks are fake cashiers coming from "chase" bank
3/5/2008 - From "Anderson Lewis" firstname.lastname@example.org, also signs name as Alex, or Lewis. Sent UK address and emails with poor english and same spammy verbage.. See below.
Below are some examples of art email scams:
4/14/2008 email from an ArtistSites member: "There is a fake buyer going through your website and proposing purchases to young artists. I am a young artist and I got scammed over $2500. This is a very serious issue as the buyer claims to love your work and wants to purchase it. If any of the buyers are going through the UK, be very skeptical and send no money. I was naive because someone liked my artwork and therefore have lost my life savings. I am only a poor artist and now cannot even afford materials. Please forward this information on to your other artists, the contacts name is Lewis Anderson and he is a fraud. Thank you so much and best of luck with everyone else's portfolios, I just pray this doesn't happen to anyone else. Thanks.."
3/5/2008 - "I saw your Advert on the http://www.artistsites.org site and i think i am interested in buying these Artworks from you.(winter sun - photography - 8x10) and any other ones you are willing to sell. I love the artwork so much that i cant afford to miss it. I need to get it as soon as possible, so please i'll need to know the present condition of the item and i'll be happy if you could list out their prices respectively,and let me know if you still have all of them in store. I love artworks and i have a showroom where i display them for people to buy. i just decided to upgrade and reload my showrom, so i need some new artworks, i'll appreciate it if you could give me a good price as well. Please get back to me as soon as possible so i can reach you with the payment fast. Cheers Best Regards Alex"
"My name is Robert from Glasgow,Scotland. I got an order for the supply of some artworks from my employer, and when i came across your works while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to fit what i am looking for and great for walls,My client(the organization i work for) will be making payment to you by credit card (we can't make use of our paypal account for now because its not properly set up and we exceeded our spending limit) at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship and send me my commision/margin afterwards.I am looking forward for a long term working relationship. Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept credit card payment before we place orders ,and if you have questions,you can contact me at email@example.com
"Hello Steve, Am GarY CURTIS of image ARTROCK, Residence in Kentucky Bowling i do buy OLD and NEW ART COLLECTONS property around the world and later place it on Auction.I saw your Old Farmhouse" - Pastel - 12X18 and willing to buy off this item from you.Kindly send me pics of this item and let me know it current condition and the last price you can let go of this item.Shipping will be taken care by me to make it easier for you. GarY"
Other Names and email addresses from scammers that we have collected:
Austin Blake, and Gary Curtis who claims to be from "Art Rock"
Mike Jacob, Dillon Martin, Danny Dunn, Brandon Cruse and Brandon Stafford, claiming to want to purchase pieces of art.
Some of the emails claim to be from a missionary based in london.
"I saw that others have been victimized by art scams. A man named Gary Curtis (firstname.lastname@example.org) wanted to buy a piece for 900.He sent a check for $2500 and It bounced. He wanted me to send $1500 to a Kim James who was the supposed shipper. He was going to pick up the money western union. THe shippers email was YETUNDE ELUKU (email@example.com). I never sent the money,so only lost ten dollars in a bank penalty. Just thought you might want to add these names to your scam artists that are currently trying to screw people on artistsites.org."
These are mostly phishing scams trying to get you to send art that was paid with a fake check or trying to get you to send back a check for the overage amount. However, we urge you to use caution with all solicitations and not to provide any personal information or proceed with any transaction without first verifying that the buyer is real.
For more information on art scams and pretecting yourself online, please visit: http://www.artscams.com/