Scam Artists

Vu en ville has shared an example of an email from a scam artist trying to scam artists in the comments of the art scammers post here.

The emails were from a “Lisa Benson” using this email

Here’s the first scam email:

Hope this message finds you well
I came across your web page while searching for good artworks and I will like to buy some of these creative artworks directly from you which i think will be great for my walls
Alreay-made – Pantin, In between spaces.
Leisure disaffection

I will be happy to have these selected artworks in our new home. What are their prices exclusive of shipping cost? We are travelling from our Alabama home to our new apartment in London, I will appreciate an earlier reply. Thanks.
Best Regards

The second message was as follows:

Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creatives works. .
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 back in some few days.

Yes, i will like to proceed with the purchase of the all the present avalible artworks .
I think they are lovely works that will add alot of colours to our new wall.

Meanwhile, i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband to send you payment by a cashier check asap for the payment for those creative artworks.

And also 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 gallery.

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

Best Re gards

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. This is a useful example of the intitial approach by a fraudster. Unfortunately it stops before the punchline, something like “Is it okay if I send you a cheque or bankers order from a guy who owes me money? Will you refund the overpayment?”

    No way!

    London’s Metropolitan Police call this type of scam “criminal cashback”, a specific crime under the heading “Money Transfer – High Volume Fraud”. It is attempted fraud; it is a crime; and it should be reported to your local police.

    Today I found an excellent Met. Police webpage on this crime, with all the warning signs and some examples:

    It’s so good I might do another blog on this myself.

    P.S. I wish Blogger would figure out how to break up long URL’s so they don’t mess up a page. The above link messed up in PREVIEW, so I broke it into 3 lines. You need to remove the line breaks to use it.

  2. Here’s the Met Police page in a link that is click-able.

    And yeah, I don’t mind mentioning the scams every few months as the posts really do help people from getting conned by them. I get an email occasionally saying thanks, which makes it all worth it ;-)

  3. I was just contacted by the same Lisa Bensen using the same message.

    This must work a certain percentage of the time – else why would she/he keep trying?

  4. Thank you for posting this. I’ve received nearly the identical scamm-emails. This one was from I have been awaiting her payment and was going to wait until it cleared the bank before sending any art. I’m so glad to know all about this now.

    She went further, including her addresses in Alabama and London:
    Thanks so much for your concern and patient regarding the whole transaction. It has been a very difficult time with a lot of things on the plate.
    Meanwhile, I will like to inform you that the payment for the artwork has been sent to you by my husband via Royal mail from London and he was advised that you will receive the payment in THREE TO FIVE working days. He told me that he included the shipping fee to the payment he sent to you. Try and be on the look out for the payment.

    Therefore, the favour I will like you to do for me is to give the shipping fees to the Movers after you might have remove your asking price for the creative artworks when they come for the pickup. I have informed the movers and they promise to get in touch with you later in the week ahead.
    I will call you later today for more details. Advise on the best time to call.
    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…

    2429 Dunlop Circle,
    Opelika, Alabama

    While our new address in London is…
    68 Wroughton Road
    Battersea London
    Sw11 6AS
    United Kingdom

    Try and get back as soon as you see this email so I can be sure that you are aware the payment is in transit. Cheers.

    Best Regards,
    Janet Rumsey

    Cara Brown

  5. I have also recieved emails from “Sandra Haddock” with the exact (word for word) content, and same addresses in USA and UK!
    Thanks for the warning.
    Najmee Khan

  6. AnnieLaurie says:

    Hello, Fellow Artists,

    It is sad to find that, if your work is displayed online, there are scammers who will try to steal both your art and your money (via the “cartage company” payment scheme). The tip-off is that they are too lazy to write an original communication about your work. They use the same e-mail, including the exact grammatical and punctuation errors, and same current and new move addresses, each time.

    The thing that made me most suspicious of the buyer who contacted me, who identified herself as “Joy Brown”, was the utter lack of any reference in her communications to the content or medium of my specific artwork. I sent her information on the creation of the pieces, the awards they had received, and similar information that always results in a lively dialogue with a legitimate art buyer. Since I work in an unusual medium, her lack of reference to the work itself seemed strange. I had also suggested in my initial reply to her that we conduct the transaction by PayPal. Her reply didn’t even reference that suggestion.

    So, beware if communications with a potential buyer seem too dry and non-specific.


  7. Anonymous says:

    I have been corresponding with the same SANDRA HADDOCK these last 2 days and the composition of her letters are almost word for word the same as those posted by the other folks who submitted comments. The same addresses were used in Alabama and London. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS WEBSITE!! I became suspicious yesterday . This morning I googled the address and found the Art News Blog article about the scam which astounded me! I am having difficulty finding a way to report this scam experience but I think it is important to do so.

  8. Oh it gets more interesting, I am playing along! I have even recieved a cashiers, with about $2500 as the “extra” shipping payment which I have to give to the shipper!! The check was mailed from London South, drawn on Chase Bank Chicago, by Bruce Haugh, dated “01-07-2007″!!! sent on Jan 08 08!!! So I emailed her to ask the shipping company contact me. Once he/she does that, they will be in for a very unpleasent surprise awaiting them with handcuffs!!
    Beware, and keep all of us posted with all new scams. I will update once someone contacts me.

  9. I forgot to add, the cashiers check is an obvious forgery, I am sure Chase Bank’s security department would also love to get their hands on them.

  10. The latest email:
    “Dear Sir/Ma,

    Good day, sorry it took us sometime to get in touch.It is because we are presently on pick up/shipping tour. We will be handling the packaging/shipping of all the artworks for Mrs. Sandra Haddock and It will be shipped insured. She advised we will be picking up the works from your address.

    I also received communication from Mrs. Sandra Haddock that you have received payment for the artworks we are picking up from you and shipping on board with some other items to London as shipment has been scheduled for Wednesday, 16-01-2008, (Noon). She also advised us that you will be forwarding to us our own payment as soon as possible. It’s our house style to always receive our payment ahead of shipment whenever we are on pick up tour. Therefore, we will receive our payment via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER as we have discuss with Sandra Haddock.

    Therefore, you will have to forward to us the freight cost from which the western union charges will be deducted, so we can proceed with the shipment to

    Sandra Haddock
    68 Wroughton London
    SW11 6AS
    United Kingdom

    Here is the information you will need to get the money transferred to us today. Payment has to be transferred to the chief accountant of our company in the person of;

    Allison Hinley
    Bussiness Post,
    464, Berkshire Avenue,
    Slough, United Kingdom,
    SL1 4PL
    You will need to get back to us with all the necessary receiver’s information, such as the following;
    1.Western union control number
    2.Total amount sent, after deducting the western union charges
    3. Name and address of sender We will be looking forward to receiving the receiver’s information as soon as possible so we can make all necessary arrangement for the PICK UP on Wednesday. I will like you to confirm the PICK UP ADDRESS again so I can besure of where the agent will be coming for the pick up.

    Najmee Khan

    Many thanks,
    Janet Wallstrom
    Bussiness Post
    464, Berkshire Avenue,
    Slough, United Kingdom,
    SL1 4PL

    All corresponded will be cc to Mrs Sandra Haddock

  11. 2 15 2008

    I have been communicating with the alias “Sandra Haddock” also pertaining to buying a few of my paintings that she suppossedly found on my website. I bacame suspicous so I typed in her name and Alabama address and your Blog came up! Thank goodness for your Art News Blog that I discovered today! The emails directed to me even had the same wording that I found in the exposure material on your Blog. Your blog does a terrific service. Many thanks.


  12. Hi,

    I am in the midst of the exact negotiations – I have actually received the certified check in the mail, from a person calling herself Nicole Roane. All the other details are the same, except that she says she is relocating to Johannesburg from the Georgia address. I also have a cell phone number for her.

    I want to un-earth something beneficial from this otherwise shitty experience.

    It would be interesting to create an exhibit of “stolen” works – posting calls online through craigslist and other free ad spaces to see if we could get a solid group of us who have interacted with this same scam. I wonder if there is any thread between the artists’ whose work has been chosen within the scam. She chose “Think about that while I am gone”, from my “collage” section, and “Untitled 7″ from the color paintings section. I’d love links to people whose work has been scammed – to the specific pieces, when possible – just out of artistic curiosity.

    My local law enforcement will do nothing – they say it happens too often for them to care.

    Thank you for the blog!

    Best wishes,
    Sarah Boss

  13. Sarah, I replied to your comment on art scammers here.

  14. Good blog. I agree. The scammers are definitely out there. I found to be a helpful tool in checking history on scammers, rip-off, complaints, and the like. It browses all the rip-off/complaint sites for you.


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