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Annie Steiner Art Blog


ALERT TO ALL ARTISTS; WATCH OUT FOR EXTORTION SCHEMES

by AnnieSteiner , July 8, 2008—12:47 PM

Topics: Blog

An artist is always excited about selling some artwork. About one month ago, a person wrote to me, saying that he was very interested in buying a painting of mine, that he had seen in a juried exhibition. He promised that a check was on its way, and that he would take care of the wrapping and shipping costs. I received several Emails from that person, renewing his intent on buying my painting ___for his wife__™s birthday___. One month after the first contact, I received, sent through UPS, a check that was almost 5 times the value of the painting. The buyer wanted me to send the balance between the value of the painting + handling and shipping to a third party in an other state. I thought the request was bizarre, and did not feel comfortable about the whole transaction. The check was signed by, again, another person than the buyer. I took the check and copies of the Emails I had received to the local police station. They investigated the origins of the check, and discovered it was not from a real bank. It was worthless. Unfortunately, the police could not take any legal action, as I had not shipped the painting, nor any money. No victim, no crime, they said. It was close, though! I am glad I could smell the rat in time! Please warn all your friends!


 

COMMENTS

 
1

  Sue ( homepage )

02/24/2011 * 17:14:13

This same thing has happened to me on my Etsy site. It has happened twice now. It is very disturbing and I pity anyone who falls for it. How do we stop this?

 
2

  Nancy McNeal

01/24/2011 * 11:48:52

The person that contacted me was Anna Smerthon. The scenario was about the same!!! I would like to be able to stop these people. Is there a way?

 
3

  Irving Moses

01/17/2011 * 16:17:48

I too received a request for one of my paintings.
I ignored it after reading about this scam.
It's too bad that there are such scam artists in the world.

 
4

  tanya Lewis

10/27/2009 * 12:31:43

If they used the United States Postal Service bring all correspondance as well as the check or money order and the envelop to the postmaster of your post office and tell them whats going on. They should contact the Postal Service inspectors because using the USPS for fraud is a felony. They can investigate this and possibly have something done.

 
5

  Jb Beaudet

09/20/2008 * 00:26:19

I had the same experience, I did not send the work and never heard from them again.

 
6

  Caroline Henry ( homepage )

07/10/2008 * 15:22:57

This is definitely a scam that artists and others must look out for. I have not had this happen to me, but others close to me have. Fortunately they were alert enough to avoid being caught by it, too. It must work for these people in some cases or they would not keep doing it. It's not just a buyer beware world. I like you "smelling the rat" image.

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