Example of an Art Scammer (cockroach)

Here’s an example of a cockroach at work. This particular cockroach calls herself Janet Francis ( jan.fran001@yahoo.com ) See a list of cockroaches here.

Cockroach writes to artist..

Subject: Artworks Inquiry..
Happy New Year. Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives
works on your web site and i will like you to get back with more details
if they are still available for purchase.
“Palms at Sunset” and “Bella Vista”
I will appreciate an urgent reply.
Best Regards,

Artist writes back to the cockroach..

Hi Janet, Happy New Year to you, too. Yes, both of these paintings are still available. The “Palms at Sunset” is a 16 X 20 Gallery Wrap Oil painting. It is priced at $250 for a direct sale. The “Bella Vista” is also a 16 X 20 oil, done with a palette knife. This one is framed in a brushed gold frame. This is priced at $275 for a direct sale. I live in +++++, are you local?
Thanks for your interest in my work.

Cockroach writes back to the artist..

Hi +++++,

Good to hear back from you. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of both works. I think they are lovely works that will add alot of colours to our new wall. I hope to give them a good home.

I am presently away in London for my twin sister’s wedding even though it comes at a time when i was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days.

Meanwhile,i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband still shutling between our home in New Jersey and Jo’burg, SA on where to forward the payment . He has just been transfer to head the IT section of their head Office in Jo’burg.

I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange pick up FedEx pick up of the artworks from your studio.

I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed. Cheers.

Best Regards,Janet.

Artist writes back to the cockroach..

HI Janet, I will accept payment through Paypal, I will have to add the shipping and handling to your total price for the two paintings since they have to be shipped, Let me know where they need to be sent so I can get the price for shipping. Thanks, +++++

Cockroach thinks she has done the deal now..

Dear +++++,

Hope this message finds you well. I am very sorry that i have been unable to get in touch with you for some days now. I was hospitalised in London immediately after my twin sister’s wedding. I almost had miscarriage but thank God,i am now feeling better and can’t wait to have my baby and settle down.

The paintings will be shipped to our address in NJ. Regarding the payment , my husband said he will prefer a bank transfer, so i will like you to get back with wire transfer details so we can proceed with the payment.

Meanwhile, i will like you to have our both addresses ,you can add it in your mailing list. I will like to hear about your future works and art shows. Our address in the states is…

2451,Dunlop Circle,Trenton ,New Jersey

While our new address in SA is….

Nelson Mandela Resolt,
Railway Housing Ave,
BLK 25,15,
405LA,South Africa.

Try and get back as soon as possible so i can knw how best to proceed. Cheers.

Best Regards,
Janet. (the cockroach)

Update: See more of Janet Francis at work.

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. Hum, the story never changes.

  2. This probably sounds like a daft question, being new to all this, is Paypal safe? I have sold some of my work through Paypal, no problems, so is it foolproof and is this the best way to negotiate a sale?
    Thanks for any info from those of you who are more experienced in the sales on internet side.


  3. Donald Frazell says:

    Dion, dion, dion. Looks like you are to be threatened with litigation again. sorta like when I wrote the truth about your silly psycho medicatedt artiste girls supposed agent tried to scare me with a lible suit. Uh, yeah, right. She had already admitted it on her blog, which I found later and was quite obvioous to anyone who is mostly sane.

    You are quite the s#^& stirrer, arent you Dion? Great minds think alike. Or should I call it cloaca stirrer?

    As always, art collegia delenda est

    You should see the sewage I am swirling about at The Guardian and LA Times. Its about time to flush.

  4. I think PayPal is safe…when I have been approached I “insisted” on payment by them and the scammers have disappeared. I guess I am no longer on the “list”.

  5. Yeah I probably bring a lot of trouble on myself Donald, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Why should I treat these “people” like people when they’re not? They’re the lowest of the low and should be spoken of in that way.

    I’m tired of them ripping artists off and getting away with it. Authorities worldwide do NOTHING about these people.

    Paypal.com and Escrow.com work well, but yeah, the unfortunate thing about dealing with people online is that you have to treat everyone like theyre a thief and a scammer.

  6. It hasn’t changed. Even though I haven’t tried to sell anything in a while now, I still get those kinds of emails from time to time.

  7. Cockroaches are a much maligned and misunderstood part of our wonderful world. They are so good at scavenging they even eat their own dead. Without them and their many beatle like relatives we would be walking around knee deep in dead birds, dead mice, assorted excrement and improperly decomposed vegetation. Instead all that crap gets chewed up by cockroaches and their mates and turned into lovely compost which makes the roses grow and the apples and the spuds.

    We should be glad the scammers exist helping to lift the burden of excessive wealth from the shoulders of the gullable and passing on much needed funds to the developing world. We could begin to think of them as sort of charity workers helping not only the poor in Africa but also relieving often over weight americans of their excess calory buying power.

    Lets hear three cheers for the scammers and the cockroaches… it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

  8. Damn Janet. Giving us Janets a bad name.

  9. Donald Frazell says:

    I prefer tape worms myself. They used to sell sterilized onses for people to consume adn eat at their waistlines. Though money spent at grocery stores and not drive throughs works much better. Learning how to cook a lsot art, with more time on our hands, perhaps reding cookbooks and how to garden would do the trick. As I have often said, tend to our gardens, the Candides of our time msut grow up. Without tape worms or an avalanch of cockroaches.


  10. Earl, I was hoping that a bug lover wouldnt read the post. Last time I criticised religion I offended an atheist..lol.. this time I criticize scammers and offend bugologists..lol. What do they call bug people anyway? In all seriousness though, it would be a different earth without them.

    Not too sure about the excessive wealth thing :-P

    Janet, you’ll have to take more control of your fellow Janets..lol.

    Donald, having your own (food) garden is the answer to so many of lifes problems. It’s also good for the health on a number of levels. After eating your own organic tomatoes, you wonder how supermarkets can get away with calling their red blobs tomatoes.

  11. Janet also has a pal named Esther Philips! Same story. We decided to string her along and had her overight me a check (they might as well have to pay out of pocket for SOMETHING!!). The check arrived for more than the asking price and, of course, they wanted me to PAY THEM back for the overage.

    Here is an important hugget of information: if you deposit a check into your bank account, you should wait 4 to 6 weeks before touching the $ (even though the bank releases the funds after a couple of days), because if the check turns out to be fraudulent, you have to reimburse the full amount back to the bank!!

    I contacted the FBI but there are so many of these vermin out there, they couldn’t/wouldn’t follow up on such a small amount ($5500). However, I also contacted the company that issued the ‘check’ – a real US company who’s name is being trodden into the mud. They were very interested and have more leverage in getting some action against these folk.

    So, I suggest getting some sort of money out of these guys (the cost of overnight mail delivery – cook up an emergency so they have to reply to quickly!), and be sure to follow up in any way you can with any company or bank that the crooks mention and send them copies of your emails, checks etc – it’s all we can do to try to hit these creeps.

    - Gail Sauter

  12. Thanks for sharing Gail. Sounds like contacting the company that issues the check might be a path worth taking. If they get enough complaints they might spend their own money tracking some of these vermin down.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I got scammed as well. Notice they are asking you to send it to South Africa. There they have the biggest scams and frauds you can run into. Ever heard of the Nigerian fraud? Do some research on that and you’ll be shocked on how many people (me being one of them) were scammed by them ‘cockroaches’. I didn’t get scammed in the same way, though. It was a camera I got scammed by. But that’s another story. Keep your eye out for them ‘cockroaches’!

  14. You pretty much just saved me a big ol’ headache. Good thing I googled the “mailers”…everything seemed suspect from the jump. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU.

    Any tips on how to proceed, or if I’ve already given her too much information?

  15. Entomology is the study of insects or bugs. There are an awful lot of insects even more than there are scammers.

  16. ah yes, thanks Helly.. I knew it was called something ;-)

  17. Anonymous says:


    I always find it most interesting and the fastiest way to smell out a scammer by simply stating you’ll accept payments only through PayPal.

    True people and dealers have no problem with PayPal.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Suzan Pizarro is the woman who contacted me. Total scam. Googled the supposed “Shipper” when his contact info came in, and after she dodged my Paypal payment request and indeed, the story doesn’t change too much. perhaps this is Janet’s “twin sister.” Feh.

  19. Hmm, Janet has a new name – Crystal Moll. Unfortunately, I think it’s been appropriated from a real person (and fellow artist).

    Same story about miscarriage in London, etc.


  20. Thanks for this. . . I heard from a “Janet Gillian”–otherwise the exact same story. Didn’t come up with anything clear just googling her, but when I heard from the movers, I did. Still, I’m a little confused how they ultimately end up scamming you–by getting bank account information?

  21. I had the same scam from a Jennifer Gillian at email address: jen.gill001@gmail.com

    They chose two obscure works from my website that were still available, contacted my agent and wanted to send money via UPS to my post office. That was the RED FLAG! That and the fact that payment was coming from somewhere on the west coast, while she’s living on the east coast, yet moving out of the country. UPS doesn’t deliver to PO Boxes either. Another RED FLAG. I actually tracked ‘something’ they sent but then it got sent back to them for the above reasons.

    They wanted me to ship the works to Lyndhurst, NJ. Same line about being pregnant, moving to South Africa, etc., etc. Funny thing is, I have family there, and have done print signings and appearances with my “Sopranos” pals in the nearby towns so I told them I’d hand deliver it and send a couple guys over to their address.

    This is when they disabled their email account. Pretty funny. Pretty pathetic too. Don’t let them scam you! Stay strong out there everyone.

    Michael Bell

  22. HI, Thank you so much for this blog. It came up as soon as I googled the address. I’m getting the same correspondence from “Melody Moore.” The story is the same, and the typing gets worse with each email. I’ve been playing along politely, and will stop now that this scam has been confirmed by your site. Kudos to you!!!

  23. Please add another cockroach email to your scammer list…SusanSanford[kat.ford01@mybestmail.com]. Same scenario-London, pregnant, moving to South Africa. After Kathy asked for my personal information, I replied that until I received her information and the artwork was paid for through my PayPal account, nothing would be given to her. Guess what, that was the last communication between the two of us.


  1. [...] write to me and thank me for helping them avoid being scammed. Just yesterday I mentioned the art scammer Janet Francis and today I received an email from an artist thanking me for [...]

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