If it is too good to be true, it most likely is not true.
Scams targeting artists on Mn Artists make the rounds from time to time. Most of the scams are of the advance fee fraud or 419 type scam. They will attempt what seems like a legitimate transaction, but then require you to send them money at some point.
The good thing is that the scammers do the same thing over and over, so doing a bit of research online usually will give you the information you need to recognize a scam and not fall for it.
How to keep yourself safe:
Always do a google search or other research before making a transaction, a little time spent will save you from many headaches.
In any case, if they send you a check or money order exceeding the agreed upon amount, DROP IT. Do not cash the check/money order and do not respond to any of their emails. Some banks charge you if you attempt to cash a bad check/money order, so do not attempt to cash it if it is suspect.
If you receive one of the emails or an email that you aren't sure of please email us at email@example.com.
Block the user from reaching you repeatedly by updating your email preferences/account setting to block their account.
Feel free to report the the email account to it's provider, e.g., gmail.com.
Overall the best thing you can do is to ignore senders like these, much as you would other incoming junkmail.
Web resources on scams:
I came across your page on MN
Artist, and i like your inspiration as an artist. Will you kindly
email me your recent work on sale for me to look through and see if
any interest me.
It's nice to hear back from you. I will like to proceed with the purchase of the piece (XXX Title of Artwork XXX). I think it is a lovely work and I hope to give it a good home. I am presently away on vacation but I should be back in few days. Pls confirm it's listed price.
Meanwhile, can you please confirm your mailing address and phone number so I can inform my husband on where to forward the payment. I can have him send the payment asap. About shipping, you can handle it from your side to my mailing address above or I can forward your contact info to the local cartage company handling my shipment. They can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the artwork from your studio.
I will look forward to hearing from you so I can know how best to proceed.
May I confirm if payment could be mailed to you by cheque to your address, Unfortunately I'm unable to complete this transaction by Paypal . If you can email me your full name,address for payment that will be helpful
I CHARLE SMITH BROWSE THROUGH YOUR ARTWORK AND AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE
LOVELY ONES FOR MY WIFE BIRTHDAY,WHICH IS GOING TO BE THE RANGE OF
$4,500 TO $5,000 WHICH AM IN URGENTLY NEEDED...
KINDLY GE BACK TO ME SOON.
How is everything going on with you? Please do you still have this your beautiful below work available for purchase? The work I am talking about are below..
(Titles of artwork taken from website)
If the work is still available for purchase, please email me more details about it, the price and the availability.
Thank you for your email and more information about (artwork title).
I am purchasing this for my self and my family purpose, I know my wife will definitely like it because she like everything about Art.. Please email me more details I need to know about the pieces.
Concerning the payment. I am based in New Jersey.. The payment I am 100% sure about is to send you a Cashiers check or Bank draft for the total cost..
I will be expecting your email concerning this..
After artist sent cost quotes for shipping:
Dear (artist name),
Now concerning the payment, I want you to understand the easy and safe payment I can provide to make everything more quick and smooth because I want it to be delivered in my destination in time.
Concerning the shipping and delivery I will handle the delivery and pay the delivery fees by adding it on the same check which am going to issue, You don't need to stress your self concerning running here and there for the shipment purpose.
My concern about appointing a good secure shipping company for the delivery is because I want the delivery to be safe to my destination without any damages or lost which has already happen in the past using FedEx and UPS.
My Skype id is gregoryglasson1 add me on your Skype list or send me your Skype id and I will add you.
Please email me back with the below information for the check to be issue because I need to pay you quick due to how urgent I want it.
Name on check:
If you don't have Skype id kindly go to www.skype.com and register with Skype and download it.
Note: I will appoint a good secure shipping company that will come for the pickup and the shipping fees will be added on the check, remember when the check arrives contact the shipping company I appoint for the pickup and arrange the shipment with them.
Check arrived in an envelope with a stamp from Spain. Stamp was not cancelled.
Good morning (artists name),
Good to hear the news that check finally deliver.
Concerning your question, I am purchasing (title of art), now that the check has arrives please finalize with the shipping company for the pickup to take place on Monday because I have waited and you know that there is a time frame for the delivery base on the purpose of what it's needed for.
I will be expecting your email.
From bogus shipping company:
Hello (artist name),
I will need more information about the art you want to ship. you need to be more specific by giving more details, this wiill give us an idea of the crate or box unit we need to create. Yes we have being informed by Mr. Glasson concerning the pickup
Please supply us with the following details, then we can calculate your shipping costs.
1. Length of the artwork
3. Weight in KG
4. Content of the package
These may be rough calculations just to give us an idea of what to be expecting, it doesn't need to be accurate. Do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any further question, I will be more than happy to help
From bogus shipping company:
Dear (artist name)
Please pay $2,068.73. to our company's account details using MoneyGram Transfer, go to any MoneyGram Transfer outlet location that is close to you and send the money direct to our company accountant details below.
address: Fuencarral 113, 28010
Write down the information and go to any of their outlet location close to you and the money can be sent in a minute and we will received it and the pickup arrangement will follow immediately.
When you are through using MoneyGram Transfer sending the shipping fees, email us back with the below information.
Address of the sender:
Phone number of the sender:
Mr. Glasson Intended to ship with our next freight which is Today or Tuesday. Please make this transaction a priority as I'm aiming to meet his request.
We also don't accept cash at pickup as it's not safe for our drivers to collect cash at hand. Here is Mr Andrew (pickup driver) Personal Number 424-465-8425.
Should you need more information do not hesitate to write back.
Hello and gooday
I just took a look at some of your works and i love them because
they are attractive,so i would be more pleased if you could email me
an online portfolio or catalogue where i could view some of your new
works,also please i would like to know if payment via a check or money
order drawn in USD funds is okay and fine by you.
Thanks so much and hope to hear from you soon
my name is pablo i am really interested in the purchase of your works and i need it for my personal use because i just aquired a new apartment here and i am currently doing some decorations and also just to let you know i saw you online while i was looking for a digital artist in MN,so please let me know if i may make a purchase from you,so thanks so much and patiently await your response asap,also please do you have any new works if you do,pleease can you email me a link to it
Sender;” henry Vosky”
thanks so much for your email and quick response i really appreciate it,please i would so much interested in the work below
so please let me know how much they cost totally,also as regards shipping you dont have to worry your self about that because my daughter has a fedex account which she would use so as to effect the pick up of the works,so just let me have the price of the works,also payment would be remmited to you via a check,so in order for payment to to be remmited to you and for the works to be picked up from you i would be needing the following informations from you asap,i reside in newak NJ but i am currently out of the states on official assignment but would be back soon.
FULL MAILING ADRESS(NEEDED FOR SHIPPING AND PAYMENT)
PHONE NUMBERS INCLUSIVE OF MOBILE
So thanks a lot and look forward to hearing from you asap
Henry pablo vosky
33 vassa avenue
how do you do today fine i guess and i hope you are fine and alright. i am sorry for the late response its because I have been busy myself but i am doing great.and my mum is seriously ill and i have to make sure that she lives.Well there is something i think i must bring to your notice. After a reconciliation of my account lastnight, i discovered that some how my assistant that issued the payment must have over paid you. The payment that was meant for another transaction was sent to you and the one meant for you was sent to another, however i want to believe i wont have a problem with you.
Please once you have recieved the check, i will like you to take it to your bank and as soon as it has been cleared and funds have been made available to you i would like you to deduct your money for the art and then please help send the remainder of the funds via western union to my daughter so that she can help me reactivate my fedex account that i intend to use for the pick-up of the piece so please let me know as soon as you get this email and the most especially the payment
From: Eve Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 15:41:35 +0000 (GMT)
To:your email here
Hope this message finds you well ,I came across your web page while searching for good artworks and I will like to buy some of these creative artworks directly from you,which are
A Vetreran Remembers September 11th
I will be happy to have these selected artworks in our new home.
What are their prices exclusive of shipping cost? My family are moving from our Alabama home to our new apartment in London, UK.
I will appreciate an earlier reply. Thanks.
Example of a 419 scam:
This is a 419 style, or referred to as advanced fee fraud, scam, they send you a bad check of a huge amount & want you to mail them a check of what they "overpaid".
Below is an example of the 419 scam, including the initial email as well as the reply when you have replied:
I came across your work on the internet and i really like it alot and am intrested in buying it from you,Your work of ( title of work ) so i will want you to get back to me with the price and also with any other information such as the condition and other things,
Thanks i will be willing to read from you.....
Subsequent message(bold text added to emphasise what gives the scam away) :
Thanks alot for the response and am really happy to read from you,So regarding the payment am sending you the payment through check which am going to send to you in your name.So am sending you $4,000 for the payment of (title of work ) i will buy the 2 pieces which will be $950.
The reason why the payment is so high like that is due to, i have a shipping company who is going to come for the pick up at your location, and the shipper instructed me that they want their shippment fees to be send to them through the saler so there wont be any problem regarding the pickup thats why they bring out this policy and i do hope you understand it.After you would have recieve the check from me, I will want you to transfer the remaining funds back to the shipping company through WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER. Meanwhile get back to me with
this below information in other for me to send the check to you.
Your Full name that will be written on the check:
Full Address ..........
I am Mr. Howard Cecil, President of Brit-works Art and Craft, located in London, united Kingdom. Britworks is an on line gallery and publisher specializing in the mythopoetic arts. The gallery features original paintings and sculpture along with prints, giclees,and collectibles from visionary artists with a flair for fantasy and fairy tale art.
We want to expand our business into Canada, United States, the Middle and Far East and the rest of the world. We are searching for reliable representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our customers in your respective country as well as making payments through you to us.
Please contact us for more information,Subject to your satisfaction you will be given the opportunity to negotiate your mode of which we will pay for your services as our representative.if you are interested,kindly get back to us for more details as we will be pleased to do business with you.
Thanks in advance.
President Britworks Art & Craft.
44 vassar avenue