I received the email message below, ( starting with “good day to you”) a few days ago. My first reaction was excitement, but one friend (artist) tells me it is a fraud.
Have you experienced anything like this being fraudulent?
I am not sure how to proceed. Of course, I will not send her any money for shipping or anything else.
Thanks for any insights you have.
Thanks for the email, and yes, unfortunately, this is a classic fraud. If you Google the wording from the email I am willing to bet you will find other artists who have received the same email. We received a similar email several years ago and, though I suspected it was fraud, went far enough into the process to actually receive the cashier’s check. The amount was for more than the purchase price agreed upon, and, of course, when I checked with the bank, they assured me the check was a forgery. The “client” asked me to send the difference between the sale price and the check amount as a wire transfer, which, of course, I did not do.
This is a particularly cruel fraud because we all want so desperately to sell online, but the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true . . .” certainly would apply here.
We do make sales from the website all the time, and here is what I’ve observed about legitimate sales vs. fraud attempts:
- Legitimate clients will usually provide a telephone number and other contact info.
- Legitimate inquiries are usually brief – a request for one or two specific bits of information – availability or price, for example.
- Fruads seem to offer a lot of unnecessary explanations and stories.
- Fraudulent emails are usually rife with questionable grammar – the email you received is a classic example.
- Fraudulent emails will usually talk about shipping arrangements having already been made, etc.
- In a fraudulent situation the pieces they are interested in often change without any explanation. If you reply to an email, don’t send back the original email, and ask for them to confirm which pieces they are interested in. More likely than not, the pieces will changed. I suspect that these emails are perpetrated by someone who is sending out thousands of emails – they won’t have any idea which pieces they asked you about originally, and they won’t go to the trouble to go back and figure it out, they’ll just go back to your site and pick new ones.
Of course, you still would hate the idea of ignoring a legitimate collector. My solution is to email back and say you would be more than willing to discuss the purchase and ask for a phone number so you can talk about the pieces. I never hear back from the frauds when I ask for a phone number.
> Good day to you.
> I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search,I am interested in purchasing these creative artworks from you…………………
> Adam and Eve,Second Chance- A New Life,Alternate Dimension and Notice
> Let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going to give?I will be happy to have these selected artworks hung in our new home in South Africa.As well,I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives.
> We are traveling from our Seattle home to our new apartment as soon as possible.On Paying for the artworks,I will be glad to pay you with a Money Order or Cashier`s check in US funds that can be easily cashed at your local bank,please let me know on how to proceed for the payment of the creative artworks.
> I will await your advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day.
> Take care,
Have you experienced similar emails? Did you respond? What happened? Share your experiences in the comments below.
In his Amazon.com best-selling book, Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs shares insights gained over a life-time in the art business.