Recently an artist (Sarah) posted the comment below on this scam artists post from last year.
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.
In Reply to the Comment..
I don’t know how the art scammers operate (or why they have to exist on the same earth as us!), but they are generally easy to notice, so I wouldn’t bother wasting time or energy on them. The important thing is that artists are aware of these cockroaches and the tactics that they use.
Their main objective seems to be the money from the artist (don’t cash their check/cheque), rather than amassing a booty of hot art. Listing the titles of your artwork is just a way of making them look genuine. Their most common tactic is to send their scams to a list of artist emails, asking them for their website address and the price of their works. Here’s a really crude art scam that I received recently from Maxwells Brown.
I have never had a genuine request from a buyer that insists on using their own courier and using a check/cheque or money order (that is always more than the agreed amount).
Just don’t send any art until the cash is physically sitting in front of you. Go and buy a coffee with their money before you even think about wrapping a painting to send. The buyer will understand if they are genuinely interested in your art.
I have used Paypal, Escrow.com, and bank to bank transfers with no problems at all. I wouldn’t accept a check or money order as it just isn’t worth the risk. Genuine buyers are flexible with their payment methods.
Don’t go bothering law enforcement either as I have heard from people in the UK, USA and Australia that have tried to do something about these people, and none of them will do anything about it. I would love to hear from people that have had more luck with prosecuting the scammers.