15 January 2009

Art Scam Alert

I had a sobering experience this week with some "collector" from overseas that wanted to purchase a painting, or so he/she claimed. "She" signed under the name of lindas_maicon@yahoo.com , clearly and alias, and claimed to be convalescing in London or some such garbage. She sent me a fraudulent check for some outrageous amount of money and expected the "excess" to be sent back to her. While the original letter she sent sounded plausible, I quickly assessed it was a scam but decided to confirm it waiting for the check. Also she expected me to receive some "movers" at my house to collect the painting. Sure, I'll be waiting with my dial on 9-1-1.

# Never respond to scams. Of course the trick is sometimes to be able to distinguish.

# Do not let the "sale buzz" (greed, excitement) overwhelm your "scam alert" sense. Cool heads prevail.

# Never send a check of your hard earned cash, excess or otherwise.

# Avoid at all costs giving personal info. Including addresses, phone numbers.

# Bad English or strange syntax. Red flag.

# Email your friends when you suspect a scam. Email account providers like Yahoo at abuse@yahoo.com with the whole email the scammers sent you.

# Wait for checks clearance between committing your art to shippers, movers or anybody else.
This can take a while.

# Always talk to your clients , not just email. A phone call can save you money.

# It is OK to be wary and "drag things" as much as they need to be dragged.

# Use PayPal or other secure payment services.

Happy sales.

1 comment:

LSaeta said...

Jose,
I am so sorry to hear about this. I have heard this same scenario time after time and you are lucky that you decided to wait for the check to clear. I know some others who were not quite as fortunate. The saddest part is that the sale was not legitimate. I hope a lot of people see your very valuable post!