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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Art Buyer Scam

Check from Florida sent from Utah ... 
A few weeks ago, a woman emailed me saying she wanted to purchase two of my paintings. I said they were available. She seemed to be in a hurry to get them, right from the start, and she had a good backstory, sounding like a nice woman setting up a new house.

Then I got this email: 

Dear Ellen, Happy to read from you. I am purchasing the Whirling Peppers and Yellowstone Falls only. As for the shippers,they will come around and package the artworks. So you don't need to worry your self. Mode of payment will be via money order or cashiers check. As soon as the check clears your bank,the shippers will come for the pickup. Let me have your address for payment to proceed. Betty. 

I agreed to sell her the paintings although I did not see the point of hiring a shipper when I could have packed and sent them quickly and easily myself. 

Then this email arrived: 
 Dear Ellen, 
 Hope this message finds you well. I am very sorry for not getting in touch earlier.I have not recovered fully, i just gave birth to a new baby boy. We named him Charles, he cries so much and doesn't like sleeping. Nursing a new baby is not easy and i guess you know how it feels when nursing a new baby. Charles takes most of my times all day long. Anyway, i saw the mail from the shipping agent that they are ready to work with you to ship the artworks with my other home decors. Regarding the payment of the artwork, i want to inform you that the payment has just been sent to you via USPS tracking number(9101969010386860035894) and i guess it will deliver to your address today or tomorrow. Please as soon as you receive the payment,kindly have it cash and deduct the payment of the artwork from the payment sent and forward the leftovers to the shipping agent that will be handling the pickup of the artwork from your place and the shipment of our other home decors. I will inform them to get in contact with you via the pickup of the item today. Kindly let me read from you as soon as you have the payment with you, can't wait to have to artwork on our walls here. As soon as i have the artwork here, i will call you to discuss about the commission work i want to do for my little baby. Am wishing you the best of today. I will be looking forward to read from you as soon. Warmest regards, Betty. 

The check arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, it was not a cashier's check nor was it a mail order. She (or he) began sending texts saying I had to send cash via Western Union to the shipper in Missouri so that he would come pick it up today. I was so rattled, I nearly fell for one of the classic scams ... have the mark send real money in order to get the fake money.

They were texting me from VT, pretending to be in OR, sending the check from UT, which was from a business in FL using a closed bank. Also, there IS no Betty Jean Clark in Redmond, OR


I am embarrassed to post this, but I hope it will help someone see through this sort of thing more quickly.

1 comment:

lucy t said...

unbelievable. remember when we all got emails that you were stuck in europe and needed money?