Ug, online art scammers.
It it is hard enough being an artist who represents yourself. I run my own website and have now had to deal with two different art scams. Let me copy and past the details of the most recent one:
How are you doing today trust good. I hope this mail meet you well, I am doctor Oswald. I was at my moms house few days past and saw this lovely artwork on the wall, she’s a lover of art “smiles” so I asked if she can help me search for some beautiful artwork, and she came across your work and sent me your contact. So pls let me know if I can still purchase from you, because I know Christmas is just a few days you might be busy.
This was not my first time to deal with this type of thing so I first asked who his mom was, what painting of mine did she have on her walls. I know where all my paintings are and who has them, give or take maybe two. If you have a piece of mine, chances are I sold it to you myself. The computer did not replay to this. It asked for three paintings off my site. This is standard, three paintings. “Doctor Oswald Dornelly” then offered to pay through a certified cheque and have his own shippers come to pick up the pieces after the cheque has cleared.
Things to look for:
– poor use of the English language/grammar. I get that we all abuse our language so this is just sign number one.
– they are interested in three paintings
– they have some big story about a complicated move or distant shipping destination.
– they will want to use their own shipping company
– they absolutely will not pay through PayPal. This is actually your way to end this whole thing without damaging your chance of scaring off a honest to goodness patron. PayPal protects everyone.
The best thing to do if you are unsure is to Google Search lines from the email or the name of the buyer. Just see what you find. The Internet connects us all and chances are you are not the first or last to see this scam. For this particular scam I found Agora-gallery.com. They have a section dedicated to “How To’s”, one of which was a “how to recognize and art scam” that was published in 2014. I found this particular scam repeated over and over by other artists dealing with a Doctor Oswald from New Brunswick and other variations.
Be informed my friends.