This is an ALERT to All Artists selling on the internet:
As Artists, we all wish for big orders and are so flattered when
they come out of the blue. But they are not always what they seem.
Unfortunately the tiny element of greed gets in our way, then we are
too embarrassed to tell any one we got scammed. I was scammed once
and now recognize the feeling that something is not quite right and
set off that red flag in me.
Well, I did not get scammed this time, but nearly. I sure could have
used $8,200.00 right now. So be very aware, any inkling of it not
feeling right, check it out. Send nothing without payment in full
cleared by the bank.
Hear is what transpired:
I got an email from a “woman” wanting to buy two of my sculptures
one was $6,300.00 and the other was $1,900.00.
BUT, her sentence structure was slightly off. She provided no
of where she had seen my work or if she had seen it on
I referred her to my website for on the pieces and for
her to get back to me with her
She emailed a reply with another woman’s name with an address in
Iowa, and a cell # (that was out of a suburb of Buffalo, New York). I
emailed her that I would ship the work after I got the payment in
I let it all hang as my intuition said this was bogus and I was busy
on my trip to California to some shows. Well, this week, after a
month of not hearing from the woman, I got an email that tells me
the USPS routing number of an Express Mailing of a check. I checked
it out, it was to arrive that day.
It arrived but not for the full amount. The return address on the
Express Mail was from a different name and from Indianapolis,
Indiana, mailed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The check was from a
bank in Massachusetts.
My warning buttons were going off. I took the check to my bank and
asked if it was real. It was not. The routing # was for a bank on
Oakland, California, not the same name as the bank that was
"printed" on the check. (I called the Massachusetts Bank, the cashier
Check # was bogus, and they confirmed the routing # was wrong).
The Bank Manager said that if I had deposited the check, when it
bounced, the bank would freeze my accounts and put me on a list for
suspicious activity with some governmental watch dog agency
investigating me for complicity.
Then I spoke with the Seattle FBI and they referred me to IC3.gov,
which is the Internet watch dog and fraud investigative branch of
the FBI. I filed the complaint today. I lost nothing but time.
If you want to contact me about this for any questions you have about
this sort of fraud, please feel free to e mail me offline. I hope
this is helps to stop anyone from getting scammed.