ARTISTS UNITE! – Stop the scammers
Just a few days ago, a close friend called me about a suspicious email. Someone from Toronto had contacted her to purchase one of her paintings. He claimed it was for his office. After providing an address, my friend did a search on Google Maps and located a low income apartment building in Toronto, not an office! The script in the email was similar to ones in received in 2014 and 2015.
This is most recent one I received:
|From: Brown White <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: August 28, 2015 at 7:01:01 AM EDT
Hope this message finds you well,im Brown from North Carolina,was
This is definitely a scammer using a script. First clue? If he or she caught sight of my work on line, they would have my website address. So why ask for it? All of my painting images that appear through an intentional or accidental internet search under my name or a painting subject tag, have the website URL displayed.
Second clue? the English grammar reflects someone whose first language is not English. This might not be a red flag but usually is. These people aren’t too creative. They use the same script over and over to hundreds of artists who are only hoping to sell their work. You’d think they would get an English speaking person to draft them a proper message and have a few variations. Not too bright.
I decided to do an online search of this ‘person’s’ name and email. What I found was article at http://painting.about.com/od/careerdevelopment/fl/Learn-About-Internet-Art-Scams.htm by artist Lisa Marder. She had received the identical email and provides some useful links.
If you are contacted, send the information to the RCMP Anti-Fraud Dept http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm for their information and perhaps the possibility of tracking down the con artist(s). The chances of this are slim but at least they will have another report on file. In addition, I filed a report at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx? – the FBI’s Internet Complaint Centre.
So artists, PLEASE BEWARE!!! If it sounds too good, it probably is. Protect yourself and your work.
Do a search on the internet to check out your potential buyer and their address. If something seems fishy, report the incident to the RCMP and FBI.
Check out this artist’s blog as well: ANOTHER ART SCAM – THIS HAS TO STOP!
- Posted in: Creativity