Some of the frauds that I have run into:
I received an email from one of the sites that my art is displayed on, which seemed so legitimate, since this is what they do, inform you when someone is interested in an artwork.
So, of course, I email the person, and they claim to be an art dealer, with a client who wants to buy a certain one of my works. Full price, too!!
After several emails, back and forth, I decide to call the phone number they have given me. It turns out the lady who answers never heard of the gallery I mention.
So now, I am getting a bit suspicious, but maybe she made a mistake or typo when she sent the email. The name she (or he) used was Edina Cole, the gallery was Art Garlerry in London.
Next, she tells me that her client had decided on another artist's work, but changed his mind when he saw mine. Unfortunately, he had already made out a cashier's cheque for $10,000.00 and since my painting was just $1,500.00, would it be acceptable to send it on to me (she would somehow have my name on it as the payee) and I can take out my money, and the shipping cost, and send the remainder back to the gallery.
BEWARE: These cashier's cheques are likely stolen. The only way to know if a cashier's cheque is legitimate is to contact the bank that it is to be drawn on, and check who that cheque number is made out to. Each cheque has a number, and the name of the payee. If it's not made out to you, then it's bogus.
If you deposit this cheque into your account and withdraw the extra money to return to the 'buyer', and the cheque was stolen, you will owe the bank the amount you withdrew when they try to get their money from the fraudulant cheque.
I have had two of these just lately, with a totally different story attached to them, one using the name Dennis Mills, the other Moore Smith.
Sometimes, I just get some saying that they want to buy something from 'your store', using a credit card. These are totally fraudulant. They haven't even been to your site, don't specify what they want to buy, just that they need the product quickly, They will usually have a Nigerian address.
Another one that I had lately was from what seemed to be a pretty good thing, telling me that I had been chosen to design ten image logos for an award ceremony to be held in August. They offered me a good remuneration for this, plus an all expense paid trip to Great Britain for the award ceremony.
Sounded pretty good, but when I questioned them about how I came to be chosen, and pointed out that I had not been able to get any information about what the awards were for, they backed off.
The contact names used here were St. Anne Jenkins and Robert Anderson.
I really don't know what the scam was, but I suspect that it was Indentity Theft. They were saying that they would transfer all the money to take care of the ceremony into my bank account.
Be very wary of any of these people who sound like they are too good to be true...They Are!
There are lots of frauds out there, but these are some that are particularly aimed at artists.
Another fraud that I have received over and over is an email that looks like it comes from PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, and you get an email saying that you have to update your information, be sure to type in the actual address for PayPal to answer, and Do Not click on any links in the email. These people are trying to get your PayPal password so they can empty your account. PayPal will always address you with your full name in the email, never "Dear PayPal Customer" or anything like that. If you think it's a fraud email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will send it to the proper authorities. They will also email you back to let you know if they sent the email or not.
If you deal with eBay, there are emails coming in like the PayPal ones, but seemingly from eBay. Again, they will use scare tactics, like if you don't update your information, they will suspend your account. You can delete them, or forward them on to email@example.com. Do not change or delete anything from these emails, just forward them exactly as they are received.
I'm sure many of you know all about these things, but for those of you who haven't been receiving these, it's just a warning. If anyone knows of any more, let me know.