Dr Dave Frank – Artist Scammer

Most artists know to avoid these emails, but I still get some people asking if I think the email is legitimate. So I thought I would post the latest request to purchase some of my paintings.

They vary slightly, with names, places, emails, and painting titles, but they’re usually pretty easy to spot.

Basically, if they look anything like this email below, just delete it.

My name is Dr Dave Frank from North Carolina ,I am interested in buying some of your art work, they are all beautiful. I want to use them as a decoratives in our new house in the South Africa. I am interested in buying these Art works from you.

t: fishing coop d: 2003 m: oil canvas board s: 35×25
t: beach houses d: 2002 m: oil canvas board s: 20×25 (private collection – australia)
t: ship coming in d: 2003 m: oil canvas s: 57x117cm (private collection – australia)

Kindly get back with the total price of the selected Title Art workS excluding shipping cost,I have informed a shipping company that will be shipping some of our other house decors.

I will be glad to pay you with a Travellers cheque or international Postal money order
I am looking forward to hearing from you on how to proceed.
Best Regards,
Dr Dave Frank

I also mentioned similar art scams here, art scams here, and art scams here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Sadly these abound. IF something seems a bit off, then it most likely is.

  2. It appears that the future of sales payment for buyer and seller may lie in third party systems, such as paypal or what paypal could become, in which one can check immediately on an independent, on-line source, whether or not the payment is from (to) a source that has been verified. Adds some cost to the transaction, probably in the long run for both buyer and seller. but must be considered to be the equivalent to insurance.
    I must admit that I am surprised, in thousands of on-line purchases how few have been subject to fraudulent sellers in payment or merchandise purchased.However, after reading this and the cited blogs, with the comments, that I would never again pay an unknown seller with a check.

  3. A shave and shower later, an even better model than paypal strikes me. It is already in use but not with the marketing skills and consumer base possible.
    As book buyers know, in defence against ABE, A Libris and other consortia of small (and large) independent booksellers, Amazon know not only lists books with their new book price but also carries a listing of “associated” or “affiliated” smaller independents,with their new and used books prices, on the very same listing. Amazon collects the money from the seller, allowing deductions of credit card and other premiums as if the item was sold by Amazon. They then pay the independent who does the shipping.
    Not having a problem with any of their sellers, I cannot say what mechanism they have to insure reliability equivalent to the (minimal though it is right now) insurance paypal has -I believe to $1000 US-for non-receipt of item from seller. No extra cost to buyer, probably paid out of sellers price for listing.
    Sotheby’s from which I bought most of my art when it had its internet operation (Christies has just gone into it but through the Live Auction of Ebay mechanism not on its own)I know screened the affiliated independent sellers rigorously before allowing them to list. I believe for some or many of the dealers listing, it was only dealers not independent artists, it was a way of creating a relationship with buyers which no longer relied on selling only through Sotheby’s.
    My point is that both sides in a transaction that might amount to 5 or 6000 (or more) US dollars, need some assurance that they are going to avoid the Dave Frank seller or buyer of art (or if it cannot be avoided, have reasonably priced insurance for both parties to limit possible losses).
    On that point, have you seen the story of the artist offered 50,000 dollars (he says) to paint a
    Diebencorn, for which the company making the offer had a buyer prepared to pay 100,000 U.S. I know that many artists do copies of “masters” to be sold as copies, but I have read most fakes of Old Masters today are done in China where artists still get classical training in skills many U.S. schools no longer “bother” with,like figurative drawing.


  4. I wonder why so many scams, art and others, seem to be coming from the African continent. I couldn’t tell you how many newly rich Nigerian or Liberian orphans have approached me in email about “helping” them with their little problem of claiming the money that their recently deceased father left them in an American bank account. It makes for entertaining reading, and some are more creative in their approach than others. The wording in the email you posted here reminds me of the ones I’ve received. Surely someone from North Carolina would have a better command of the English language than that. And it’s obvious the scams are working or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

  5. I got one of those several months ago – the so-called “buyer” was claiming to be somewhere in the UK on their way to Africa to decorate their new home.

    At first I considered if it might be legitimate … about 15 seconds probably. It just didn’t ring true for someone actually interested in art to me so I just deleted the email and forgot about it until reading your post and finding out it really was a scam of some kind.

  6. Irv, I have used Paypal to purchase and sell paintings with no problems. They have mostly been for purchases/sales for under $1000, so they’re not GIANT amounts.

    They have a disputes option, but thankfully I have not had to use it.

    Google also has a paypal-like payment system, but I have not used it yet. You would think that they would have improved the process in some way, as they always seem to be the best at what they do.

    I didnt hear anymore about the fake Diebenkorn either. Maybe it was a disgruntled employee spreading rumors.

  7. Have just begun using google for some small items (my first DVD’s to play on my computer, not having a TV). Did so, frankly, because buy.com was giving ( surely, it was Googles money) $20 off orders of $50 so it was worthwhile. All it amounted to was buying on the Buy.com website but checking out not with their regular system but with a google checkout on the same page. Aside from this expired offer, I can see no advantage as yet of the google system save that one need not (as with paypal and some of the others I use) give one’s credit card number to the merchant. They seem, as yet, to have few cooperating sites and I have no idea how an artist might use it for sales.
    I think what will happen, as with paypal which started as an independent company as have some of the google serices, someone will have a really good idea, it will outsell what ebay, google, microsoft now have, or be something none of them have, and one of them will buy it up as paypal was by ebay. When you are cash heavy, as I believe they say in the business world, you do not have to innovate, just buy the ideas, and then deliver reliable service with them. That was the secret of IBM in their great days. I was told by our business office that their machines weren’t better but they provided the best service available for them so that you could count on a minimum of lost time in your operatons.
    The bid delay in facilitating mass marketing of non-print pictures is,
    of course, the very thing which is their virtue, each is unique, and none really looks the same in any form of reproduction, whether the lithograph, etching, woodcut types or any of the modern computerized types. Of course, the biggest prospective threat to the unique hand-made picture will be the sophisticated utilization of computer techniques to capture every brush stroke, even the very surface, texture, impasto, thinning, and distinctive, private formula paint and paint effects, the exact color whatever it is, of masterpieces of the first order. Then like a composer today, Sam Smith in New York, Chicago, London or Paris, will be competing with every artist who ever worked for whom even one copy exists somewhere in the world that can be copied. That is what has happpened to books, outfits like University Microfilms in Ann Arbor (though not associated with the University there, guarantees to produce a copy of any book for fixed page fee whether they produce one or one thousand, if they can find a copy of it.
    Some very talented composers I know never stood a chance in getting their stuff played by top professionals whose audiences still wanted Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and company. Very tough competition.

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