3.02.2015

Class Notes: Art Scam Emails

I just spent the morning amusing myself researching Art Scams on the internet.
Though I wrote on the topic of Art Scams a few years back - (see Art Scams under Labels - to the right on this blog),  the fact that these annoying emails keep coming, says that the topic is still relevant.
It started with this email:

Enquiries Department <enquiries_department@outlook.com>



to
Hello Artiste,
  My name is Michael……Am interested in your artworks, am so excited to search through your artworks online, it really attract my attention and am willing to purchase from you directly. I will appreciate your
response for availability with total cost.

Best Regard

Michael

Gee - if this person was SO interested in my work they could have at least addressed me by name. That's Red flag #1
Red flag #2 - bad grammar. You would think that internet fraud alone would raise the call for better grammar in emails. Why is it that scammers can’t seem to get it?  Good Grammar counts.
Red flag #3 - specific works are not mentioned. This scammer has never seen my website.
This is a template letter and when an artist responds with available art titles and prices - the scammer has the info needed to engage in a supposed sale which always involves a 3rd party shipper,
and a money wire transfer or certified check for MORE than the amount. In which case the seller (me) cashes the check and sends back the difference. It is a way to steal!
Classic scam stuff!

Artists always perk up when someone comments on their work. We are by nature a needy lot - wanting to be seen, appreciated, relevant. It all comes with the territory but let's not be foolish as well.
And I'm not immune;  my heart skips a beat when someone makes an inquiry, but I have also become actively skeptical.
If you get a suspicious email about your work, Google the name or the email address. Chances are someone else has received the same email.  The link to the right on this blog Stop Art Scams is a great site for more information about Art Scams and a list of names often used.

I have gotten so many Scamming emails that I seldom respond. Like the one above - I will simply hit delete- or better yet - hit SPAM.
That's not to say that I won't sell on-line. If an email inquiry comes to MY name asking about specific work, uses correct English grammar, is not in a hurry and is willing to work through my process in a professional way; Great!
Legitimate buyers, or even just shoppers, usually see this as a safe and careful way to do business.

2 comments:

Dave Casey said...

One thing I do when I receive one of these is NOT to hit Delete. I hit Junk Mail. That way any other emails coming from the same address go straight to my junk mail folder and I never see them.

Coni Grant said...

Smart idea. Thanks Dave!