Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beware: Art Buying Scam! UPDATED

I got an email today that had me very excited. It was an email that asked about two paintings of mine. I was busy, read it quickly and just got the fact that someone was interested. Then when I sat down to answer the email I figured out it was a scam. Still hopeful, I googled the address and found a blog post with a discussion of this very thing. So I thought I would post here to help get the word out.
We rent rooms in our house, and my wife gets similar scams like this all the time, asking about the room and and wanting to send a check right away. Usually the English is not so good, they are short and impersonal, or long and too personal.
The scam is that they send a check for more than the amount and ask that you send them the difference. I doubt many people fall for this, but either way, I can see it wasting a lot of time.
Here is the email I received.

Dear Seller

My name is Brian,I reside at 144 broad street,cumber land,R.I. 02864,
USA? I got your Tired Painter | Oil on Linen | 18 x 14 and Dental
Impressionism | Oil on Panel | 9 x 13
the ad site and i' am willing to purchase it, i want you to please
get back to me with the


As for the Shipping i will take care of that through pick up .
Best of regards

There are sentences in there that don't even make sense, and one isn't even finished. I initially thought he was so excited about my work, he was typing with a frenzy. Just a foreign scammer.
Also, who the hell says "Best of Regards?"
Just so you know, I answered with this:

Painter is $15,000 and Dental Impressionism is $12,000.
Before this goes any further, could you please write at length why you like each of the paintings. I like to know what it is people enjoy about them before I sent them art work. Your email was short and I would like a lot more information about your art collecting past and the kind of work you like. I would love to see some photos of work you have in your collection or at least to know some painters that you collect.

The Seller

If you are interested in those paintings, they are available for a much cheaper price than that. I hope this helps and keeps folks out there from wasting their time.
Best of Regards

Update to my scam buyer. He replied to my email and has said he will buy them. Here is his reply:

Thanks for the mail am still interested in purchasing the ( Tired
Painter | Oil on Linen | 18 x 14 and Dental Impressionism | Oil on
Panel | 9 x 13. ),as for the price i will go for $27,500 to keep away
any interested buyer from buying and please kindly remove it from the
site and count it sold to me,cos presently am off the shores of
Norway for my honeymoon.

So i will have to instruct my colleague in USA to send you a check
drawn from a US bank via a courier service, since that is the only
means of payment I can offer now due to my present location

So kindly send me this information so that you can get the payment

Full Name To Be Written On The Check

Full Contact Address,City,State And Cod

Home Or Mobile Phone #

Permanent Email Address

So that I can instruct my colleague to send you the check to enable me
get it on time. Never bother about the shipping I will handle it
myself. I look forward to hear from you as soon as possible and please
note that the shipping company advice me to include the shipping
funds together in the same check
Many Thanks


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I got the exact same email the other day and was suspicious. It took some googling before your post came up, but it's definite confirmation that it is a scam.

Dave said...

Check out the practice of scambaiting.

Richard J. Luschek II said...

Here's some particular links about the scam baiters. Hilarious stuff.