We artists work hard to eek out a living. It takes everything we have (and then some) just to survive. So when people try to scam us, it makes me angry.
Here’s the first email I received today via my Fine Art America site:
From: Thomas Sorensen firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Original Artwork – Heart of Gold 1 Message: Hello, I am interested in your paintings.I would like to know about the original of this very one, “Heart of Gold 1” if it is ready and available as i want to have it picked up as soon as possible at the price of $2,700.00. let me know regards, Sorensen
It contained red flags so I ignored it. What to look for? It was not addressed to me personally, the price was $200.00 more than the listed price and he wanted to have it picked up rather than shipped, yet he did not know where I was located.
Then I received this one:
From: Thomas Sorensen email@example.com Subject: Original Artwork – La Familia Message: Hello, I am interested in your paintings.I would like to know about the original of this very one, “La Familia” if it is ready and available as i want to have it picked up as soon as possible at the price of $5,100.00. – Hide quoted text – let me know regards, Sorensen
He had the price right on this one but there was still no name attached and it was as if he didn’t remember his earlier email. I responded to both emails just to see where he’d take it.
Here’s how he replied:
Thanks for the quick response.Your art works are really a beauty to behold. I will like to have Heart of Gold 3 and 4 at a total price of $5000 USD. How much is la Familia ? I also would like to know the weight of all when packed ready because i have a pickup agent coming for it after payment, so you do not have to worry about shipping.
Write me your location and paypal account email.
let me know this immediately…
The red flags continued.It’s as if “Thomas” was not connected to the last email where he clearly knew the price of La Familia. Again he offered an agent for pick up, and he wanted my paypal info. Further, this email was signed Thomas rather than Sorenson.
I sent a reply email blasting him for targeting artists. And then I thought, what if you are a new artist, and you don’t know what to look for? Here are some great resources that explain the details of the scams…
I received another email via my Fine Art America Site. Watch out for this one too…
Original Artwork – La Familia
I am interested in this magnificent and exquisite painting of yours, I would like to purchase its original which is placed at the price of $5100.
Let me know if its available and its weight so I can calculate pickup and delivery cost accurately at my expense.
I still love Fine Art America. They are a great company, excellent customer service and they pay on time! So if you are thinking of selling your images, it’s a great place to be. Don’t be afraid to sign up, just be cautious of emails from people who are trying to buy outside of the system.
I wish you inspiration… and real buyers!
One more email to watch out for…
My name is Lancaster Kris and i want to place an order of Cutting Oil. please i want you to get back to me with the types and sizes you have available with the prices quote as well. please i will also need your website so that i can go through and see the other product you have. thank you and don’t forget to let me know the types of credit cards you do accept for the payment.
kris lancaster firstname.lastname@example.org
And another… This time I got two emails on the same date from the same “person” with two different email addresses… be aware…
I am Mr John Roberson,a british oil Engineer.I am interested in buying an artwork from your art gallery as a wedding present for my daughter. Kindly provide me with catalogue and quotes of the available art designs and paintings in your gallery at the moment,please let me know:
Your FOB Prices and FOB Port.
Your estimated delivery time.
They keep coming…
I’m making an enquiry about your gallery, if you are currently ship out of your region? I am impressed by the wonderful pieces displayed on your website.
I will be pleased if you can send me an e-mail about your on-line portfolio or inventory where I could view more of your current work.
I will be looking forward for your quick response before I forget do you accept Master/Visa as a method of payment?
p.o.box 11 ras tanurah
Saudi Arabia 31941
Here’s a link to the FBI’s Internet Fraud Site:
Here’s another one to watch out for… I didn’t google him till he answered back…. somedays I’m a little slower than others…
Good day, hope you are good.
I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website (artwork in subject field above) on my laptop and i guess she likes that artwork, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that artwork.
I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Kindly email me if it is still available for immediate sales.
Thanks and God bless,
Steve Leavitt.Hi Steve,
Thanks for your kind words about my work, and for your wife’s visits! That piece is sold but I would be happy to paint a similar work for you both.
Here’s a little backstory on the inspiration… https://shannongrissom.info/
Wishing you both a wonderful weekend,
I am interested to buy your art paintings for Eight Million Euros.
I was at BOV bank in Valletta some months ago and inquired how best to move funds to Malta, they advised me to find an artist or property owner and make a confidential contract with the person to buy the person’s art work paintings or property for Eight Million Euros and by this method move these funds to Malta.
When the funds arrive Malta, I will give the person a 5% commission and use the balance of the funds for my on-going project in Gozo.
This is because it is easier to move funds to your island if paying for goods or services than for no tangible reason.
I have looked at your profile and I see you have a great talent.
I can buy your art work and make your work public by putting an 8 Million euro tag on your Painting and you can sale it in future for nothing less than this amount.
I have done this in the two years ago in Milan and now its your opportunity.
I wait for your quick response so that we can commence immediately.