Occasionally I receive an email stating a desire to do business with me. To date none of them have been legitimate. Scams abound in the art world. Most are easily recognizable.
First of all, the language scams. The name of the sender is usually of British origin. One would think the message would be written in the language of the sender. Indeed, the attempt has been made, however, the turn of phrase, spelling or flow of the paragraph contains certain jarring elements. A good attempt, evidently the first language is not English.
The second tell-tale indication is the content. Usually with these scams there is a long explanation about a surprise birthday or wedding anniversary. The fellow would like to delight his wife with one of my pieces because she discovered me on the internet. How lovely. Then comes the dissertation on how, although they live in Texas at the moment, they will be moving to Guam or some other place requiring shipping costs for which I will be reimbursed. Dream on.
Scams: the cheque
Then the cheque story scams. The potential customers would like to pay by company cheque to cover the costs of not only the paintings but the shipping as well. Unfortunately, the amount on the cheque does exceed the sum required to do the same and they would like the artist to forward the change to such and such address. This is annoying to the banking institutions as well as to the artist as by the time the cheque bounces, for it is always bogus, the change and the paintings may have already been sent. Not a great outcome.
Scammers make errors too
Every once in a while, I receive one that inspires a belly laugh. Again, the fellow was British, William, I think. The content rattled on about a new company investing in art for somewhere in Africa. The English was not perfect but much better than usual. Signed Robert. Scams like these are amusing. I might wear out my delete button one day.
A business proposition
The latest missal has to do with a business deal the sender would very much like to discuss with me. There is no mention as to purchasing any paintings. I suspect he wants to sell me something like website services or advertising in a book or brochure. Scams have one thing in common with this proposal, the artist pays. I must admit some tardiness in answering. When the premise involves purchase of paintings, I refer them to a gallery which would love to handle the details. It ends the discussion forthwith. This time I will answer directly to verify my suspicions. I can always say no.
More pleasant affairs
On a brighter note, do drop in on one of the four venues showing my work at the moment. Check out the details here.