Article

Information & resources.
By Mn Artists
October 21, 2014

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 protected].

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:

Scam examples:

[First message]

Hello,

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.

Cheers,

Donna

[Second message]

Hi XXX,

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.

XXX [Address]

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. 

Cheers,

Donna

[Third message]

Hi XXX,

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

Thank you.

-----

HELLO SELLER

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.

WARMEST REGARD

DR CHARLE

-----

Hello (name),

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.

Cheers

Gregory

Dear (name),

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..

Cheers,

Gregory

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:

Full Address:

Phone Number:

Skype id:

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.

Best Regards,

Gregory

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.

Cheers

Gregory

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

2. Width

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

Regards.

Dave Johnson

Global Freight

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.

Surname: IBERL

Name: Monica

address: Fuencarral 113, 28010 

City: Madrid

Country: Spain

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.

Sender Name:

Amount sent:

Reference No:

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.

Regards

Dave Johnson

Global Freight

-----

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
Regards
Henry

-----

Hi there
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
regards
Pablo

-----

Sender;” henry Vosky”

Hello 
thanks so much for your email and quick response i really appreciate it,please i would so much interested in the work below

ATTACHED 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 NAMES

  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
regards
Henry

Henry pablo vosky
33 vassa avenue
newark NJ
07112

-----

Hello 
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
Regards
Henry

-----

Subject: Artwork
From: Eve Johnson <[email protected]>
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
New York
Beautiful
Colors
Work Boats

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.
Best Regards
Eve

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:

-----

Good Day,
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 ..........
City........
Zipcode.........
State..........
Country...........
Phone...........

-----

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. 
Mr.Howard Cecil 
President Britworks Art & Craft.

-----

Hi there 
  my name is cobi jones i would like to purchase your artwork,because i really appreciate your works,i just arrived west africa here on a business trip,i would like to know if you dont have any problems shipping out of the states to west africa,secondly do you by chance have an idea or estimate of how much shipping would cost through the USPS insured mail or couirier which ever is cheaper and also would payment by bank transfer be okay and fine by you,and also just incase of if you are curious as to how i saw you,i saw you online while i was looking for artowrk in MN,so thanks a lot for your patience and time taken to read this e-mail and really look forward to hearing from you asap,and also please can you send me a link to your website ot gallery again i would like to e-mail if to my distant half brother.
regards

cobi

 

Where We Differ (turban)
 
is it available and i would so much appreciate it if you could give me much more info  on the artwork,secondly when shipping it would it,i am just curious would be in a crate or rolled in a tube because i would like to have it packaged in a much more safer and lighter way and ofcourse cheaper way,as i said earlier i am currently on a  trip to west africa but i reside in newark NJ,so alternatively you may ship the artwork to my home in newark below is the shipping adress so its your call now so let me know how much it would cost plus shipping to the adress below my neigbhour would accept it on my behalf
 
cobi jones
44 vassar avenue
newark,NJ
07112 USA
 
Also as regards payment for the artwork, i would be needing an assitance from you which is that an associate of mine thats been owing me for a long time is ready to pay me and would like to make the payment in form of a transfer,as you know i just got here and am not set up here,so the help i need from you now is that i would like you to recieve the funds(payment would be made to you) so  once you have recieved the funds i would so much appreciate it if you deduct the funds for the artwork plus shipment charges and then please help send the remainder/balance of the funds back to me in west africa here via western union money transfer i intend to use it to take care of an urgent pressing need,so thanks a lot for your e-mail and help  once again and would really so much appreciate it if you could be of help and i really look forward to making more purchases in the nearest future,also i would need to know the name of the bank you bank with and do you by chance use any of these banks below Bank of America,wells fargo,suntrust or Wachovia please write back asap
regards
cobi
MN Artists