They are out there!! By the droves! Cons and Thieves - and we are so vulnerable! Kind, sweet, generous artists... happy whenever anyone pays us a compliment on our work- thrilled beyond words whenever anyone wants to pay us for a piece of it!
I recently got an email from a "woman" who wanted to purchase three of my paintings. She didn't seem to care what the price was and was pretty insistent that she would take care of payment with a cashiers check - even after I told her I only accept PayPal - she insisted she would also handle the shipping. As the emails went back and forth I became more and more suspicious. You see, she and her husband were here in Seattle, but were building a home in South Africa - her husband had some important job to go to there. Uh,hu - and they were buying lots of items in the US to furnish their new home with so that's why she would have her shipper contact me. The truck would just swing by and pick up the stuff. Sure. When the shipper contacted me wanting my address I told them I would not give it until I was paid for the art. More red flags went up when I noticed the name the shipper gave for the client was totally different from the woman I had been emailing with. Ooops... When I pointed this out, the story got even more dramatic. She was on bed rest because she's having a baby, and her auntie was helping her... must have accidentally put her name on the correspondence. Yeah. Right. Pretty convinced at this point that this was some kind of scam, I talked about it with some friends who also agreed it was way too suspicious. Still, I thought, this art was only worth about $300.00 - why would anyone bother to rip me off for so little? Well... here's the way it works - my next email had an explanation that the check was on the way, but sincere apologies... her husband made it out to include the shippers fee too, so would I be so kind as to cash the check at my bank, take my fee, and send the rest to the shipper? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, again... I say BEWARE. What happens here is they send you a check for way more than the price of your goods. If you do take their check to the bank, it looks very real and your bank will probably cash it and you won't find out until weeks later that the check was a forgery. Your bank will reverse these charges and you will be stuck for the amount.
Sometimes having a cynical side pays off. I was immediately suspicious of these people and with a little help from some friends, my suspicions were confirmed. Best advice I found is only accept PayPal as payment. Once I told them that, I never heard from them again.
Geez... like it's not hard enough for artists to make a living?!! ARRRRGGHHHH!!!
I found almost the exact scenario on this site:
Also, got information and the graphic above from here: http://www.artscams.com/