Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beware the art scam!

I recently received two emails (below) directed to my website email address from "Joyce" who wanted to buy two paintings. I answered the first email with prices, but the 2nd email from "Joyce" sent up red flags. Misspelled words and "urgency" together with the fact that they will pay shipping, are all indicators that "Joyce" wanted to steal from me. Artists have to be very skeptical these days...sorry to say!
email #1:
Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives works on your web site and i will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase.
Water's Edge and Clouds
I will appreciate an urgent reply.
Best Regards,

Hi Celeste,
Good to hear back from you. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of both works. I think they are lovely work sthat will add alot of colours to our new wall and i hope to give them a good home.
I am presently away in London for my twin sister's wedding even though it comes at a time when i was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days.
 Meanwhile,i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband still shutling between our home in New Jersey and Jo'burg, SA on where to forward the payment . He has just been transfer to head the IT section of their head Office in Jo'burg.
I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange pick up FedEx pick up of the artworks from your studio.
I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed. Cheers.
Best Regards,

"Joyce" is likely a fat greasy man in a boiler room in India (apologies to India). This has been a public service announcement. Don't do business with people who need your art urgently and can't spell.


Mariano Zucchi said...

Hi Celeste,
Thank you for the head's up. These messages are very annoying and eventualy will bring the WWW down in a couple of years as they constitute about 75 % of the traffic. Sad but true. Happy painting

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Celeste, When I was new to being on the internet, I got one of these and was almost pulled in by it. These people are creepy, aren't they? Thanks for bringing this up for all to see!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Hi Celeste. Sadly this happens a lot. When I get 'cold calls' like these, I also investigate the urls to see who owns a domain if the return email has an actual domain name in it. Anytime someone is in a big are right about raising red flags. Thanks for this important post.

B Boylan said...

When I was first starting out as an artist and had my first website up and running, I was approached by my first "phisher". I went as as far as weighing my work to get a price for final costs. It became apparent when they asked me not to "share" their "info" with anyone. Nowadays if I get one of those emails, it goes straight into the trash!

L.Holm said...

It is sad when this happens. Thanks for posting the letters. A good reminder.