Daryl-Ann Dartt Hurst Art Blog
As we rapidly approach the holiday season, two rather oddly juxtaposed things happen:(1)people become more generous and buy gifts, (2)people become thieves. I always enjoy this time of year because I do work on commission, so I can create work that can't be -manufactured. I also really enjoy having painted, or drawn or beaded the "perfect" such-and-such for somebody's Aunt Ruby. Of course, let's be real, I also enjoy the influx of income.
In retail, I learned that this is also a greatly heightened period for scams of all kinds. This is also a higher shoplifting, wallet-snatching, etc. season. I experienced a personal "first" this week with Mr. Stanley Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org). I was approached through this site about a possible sale of THE most expensive piece in my "gallery". The person was very cordial and polite, and though the grammar was not perfect, it was better than in later communications.
But, "red flags" immediately started flying. Sight-unseen and willing to part with $3500 USD is always a "huh?" for me. The old adage "too good to be true" screamed in my head. And, so did the idea of a new DSLR camera. Yesterday, I was told that he (Mr. Jackson) was out to sea (I was informed early that he's an oceanographer), and could not get to a Western Union office and his shipping company of choice would need pre-payment of the $1500. Now, if I can make a Western Union payment from my desk at work...
I convinced one of the "bad guys" (because, the emails did not come from one author-I don't think), that I should arrange the shipping. This morning I got an email addressed to "Hello seller". I played this morning, I guess hoping that I was wrong. When I got home and saw the post on the ArtID blogspot, I knew I wasn't. So, I guess the best pieces of advise I can give here are (1)follow your gut, (2)too good to be true usually is, (3) and the magic number for Nigerian scammers, mail and online alike seems to be $1500-the shipping company he wanted to use was in...Nigeria. Happy Holidays. And, this was the first email: Hello, Good day, My name is Stanley Jackson and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught your very first work in your portfolio which is [Too Silent to be Real, 2003]. I am interested in purchasing this work for my new resident. Kindly get back to me with the detailed price, availability and more information of the piece to my private email address (email@example.com). I hope to read back from you as soon as possible. Kind regards.
And, I hope that Stanley Jackson does not have a happy holiday at someone else's expense.