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Scam and Hoax List
MesArt staff became aware of an ongoing scam scheme that may affect you as our member. As a general rule, please avoid any money transactions that involve things other than your art, beware of offers to send money by Western Union, and do not agree to be paid more than your price. Paying more with a fraudulent check and then requesting the difference is a popular scam scheme. The best practice is to instruct your buyer to order online through MesArt website.
'Christa Howell' from 'Greece'
Scam reported on 4/25/2017. MesArt artists are contacted by criminals pretending to be out of country in a scheme which involves stolen credit cards.
From: Christa Howell: "Christa H." <email@example.com> Dilmperaki 39, Rodos, Rhodes Island 851 00, Greece
The 'buyer' will use a legitimate online company to accept a credit card (which turns out to be stolen and will be contested) for you and put it through your bank. They will suggest a legitimate shipping company but set the pick up themselves, and will use a phony email for the shipping company.
Note that a legitimate shipping companies do not have the driver pick up money for the delivery when they pick up the package.
The scammer will want you to proceed quickly. A large shipping fee will be part of the scam - as if the package were going a long distance including import fees and escise taxes.
It is this fee that the scammer will be collecting along with your art. Check the shipping company out - find their actual email address. If you do want to try responding to a long distance buyer, be very slow about delivery.
Here is what a prudent artist says:
I did not lose any money but was lucky that I had not acted quickly. Note that just because a credit card has been used and money deposited into your account does not mean it can't be removed if it is challenged. What you lose is whatever you pay to the delivery people. DON'T.
'Mark Hallis' is 'currently out of country'
Scam reported on 11/3/2013. MesArt artists are contacted by someone 'out of country' in a scam scheme as the following:
From: Mark Hallins Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2013 12:28 PM Subject: Thanks for the details
Thanks for the message,i am very happy to know that the Artwork is still available for sale. i must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase and i am willing to pay the asking price.Will be paying you via check,this will not take time at all because the payment will be sent out immediately i read back from you.You don't have to worry about shipment, my shipper will handle it.This is because i am currently out of the country on a business proposal. So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment I:E :Full Name,Standard Mailing
Address,asking price reconfirmation so that i can proceed with the payment arrangement, consider it sold get back to me with the details.will await your message.
Here is what a prudent artist has answered to this request:
I have received this type of email in the past - the immediacy, and the out of the country at the moment, etc. So when you return, or from wherever you are, since access to the internet is worldwide, go to my website and click the "Buy" button and you will get your painting as soon as my web host has cleared your check. Thanks!
Fake library in Liechtenstein
Scam reported on 11/28/2011. MesArt artists are contacted with request to help purchasing art online for a fictitious library in Liechtenstein.
From: Shan Oakes <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Purchase of Art To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011, 11:56 AM
Good day, I am a librarian in a private library here in Liechtenstein and we are looking at equipping and beautifying our Library with artworks of diverse artist in order to lecture and broaden our students horizon on art and culture when they come to the library to study and read books on art and culture. We will be glad if you can assist us with how to purchase the artworks from your website and we shall make payment immediately with charge card (Visa or Master card)either one you prefer for the purchase before you send the artwork to us. We anticipate your kindness in assisting us with the purchase. Sincerely Shan Oakes
Fraudulent Publication Schemes
Scam reported on 7/28/2011. MesArt artists are contacted with "publication" invites by scammers such as the following: "International Contemporary Artists", "Another Vanity Book to Suck Money from Needy Artists", and others, that are targeting needy artists. Use at your own risk.
Here is what our fellow artist has to say:
It is being "published" by two women (i received my email from Julia Adison) who claim to be curators and collectors. They call themselves incoartists.com.
Their business plan is nothing new: put out a call for artists, claim to charge nothing to enter, but require a pre-publication purchase of the book to qualify for inclusion, in this case about $220 for two full-color copies. (Or about $90 for one black and white edition, but who would?) They of course hope each artist buys more than two books...
The judges ... are the publishers themselves.
Distribution, they claim, "is made internationally through large wholesalers and e-shops, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and more." Which means nothing. It means they are going to make the book available through those places, which virtually anyone can do. And they say nothing about shipping it to galleries, collectors and such ... The odds of the book selling more than 100 copies to people who are not connected with an artist in the book are extremely slim. The organizers say nothing about the retail cost of the book. If it is the same as the cost to the participating artist, I lower my estimate of total copies sold to outsiders to four. No one but a drunk or a fool would shell out that kind of money for a paperback book...
All of the above assumes the book actually gets published. If it doesn't get published it's a scam. If it does get published... it's anyway a bad investment...
Anita James, Anita Primoff
Scam reported on 3/10/2011. MesArt artists are contacted by 'Anita James'/'Anita Primoff' [email@example.com] with an attempt to enter a scheme involving fraudulent bank checks. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ENTER INTO ANY TRANSACTIONS WITH THESE PEOPLE. GOOGLE FOR "ANITA PRIMOFF" FOR MORE DETAILS. Sample letter:
Good day to you.
[SOME NAMES OF ARTWORKS FROM YOUR ONLINE PORTFOLIO]
Let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going to give?I will be happy to have these selected artworks hung in our new home in South Africa.As well,I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch
with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives.
I will await your advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day.
Take care, Anita James
Scam reported on 10/14/2009. MesArt artists are contacted by 'Lisa Robert' [firstname.lastname@example.org] with an attempt to lure them into a suspicious money transaction. Sample letter:
Message has been sent by lisa robert [email@example.com]
Hello, I'm Lisa Robert from Paris,France.during my search for a Art lesson teacher that would always take my son (Henry) and I found your advert..Your advert looks great and it is very okay to me since you specialize in the area i am seeking for him.
My Son would be coming to U.S(your city) Before the end of this month for a period of time and with his friend for 4 Months.he is just a beginner i want you to help me teach lesson during his stay.he's 16yrs Old
So, kindly let me know your charges cost per week's ,in order for me to arrange for his payment before he travels down to your side.
I have also made preparation for his personal equipment he will be using privately at home after the lesson during his stay.
Please Advise back on; (1). your charges per 1 hour twice a week for 4 Months? (2).The Day and time you will be available to teach him During the week? (3).Tuition address?
I will be looking forward to read from you soonest.
Scam reported 5/3/2009. MesArt artists get contacted from these address:
From: Rolano [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with a request to share personal information:
How are you doing today...am art lover and i wish to get a very good work from you to for my new Appartment...I read your Ad and i am interested in buying your (painting work,) you still have for sale.Send me recent paintwork you have with there price list and let me know your last asking price on each if you will accept Bankers draft or money order as means of payment.Get back to me with the request information and kindly call me phone +447760237989 asap if there is any question to ask and have a wonderful day.
MesArt artists get contacted from these address:
From: Steve Adams [email@example.com]
with requests and proposition to enter an obscure deal:
Hello to you out there. I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search,I am interested in purchasing some creative artworks from you let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going to give? I will be happy to have these selected artworks hanged in our new home in South Africa. As well, I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives, We are travelling from our Alberta Canada home to our new apartment as soon as possible.On Paying for the artworks,I will be glad to pay you with a Cashier check or Money order from the U.S Bank that can be easily cashed at your local bank,please let me know on how to proceed, Have a wonderful day. Take Care, Mr Steve Adams....
MesArt artists get contacted from these addresses:
roy james [firstname.lastname@example.org] mary susan [email@example.com] auren john [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with a request to send personal information such as name, address, phone and country. They are then being sent checks for an amount of $3500, signed by a person other than the name printed on the check. Consequently, they are being sent a letter stating that there was a mistake in the amount on the check, and requesting the difference, such as $2500 to be sent to a specific address in Nigeria. Please be aware that this is a SCAM. These people are not real, and they have contacted about 300 MesArt artists trying to pull the same scenario.
Below is the example of scam letters requesting information and then asking for money back:
Email has been send by roy james [email@example.com]
Good Day to you,My name is roy james i have just concluded my house, i need art works to beatify the house,i came across your advert,.i will like to know if this product of yours is still for sale and to know the least price.However, i will make my payment of the product order from you in check.my personal assistance will issue the amount of the product.so i will like you to provide me your contact details in the manner below.. FULL NAME................ ADDRESS.................. ZIP CODE.................. PHONE NUMBER....... COUNTRY.................. I will be looking forward to read from you soon. james
Hello >name<, ...i guess you now understand the mix up in the amount the check was drawn for.It was as a result of assistant's mistake,please deduct $1,500 payment for the painting from the check and help transfer the remaining money $2,500 minus the transfer charges to Mr Adewole Cole my assistant via western union money transfer.
Please transfer the balance of $2,500 minus the transfer charges to Mr Adewole Cole via western union money transfer in the details below.
MR ADEWOLE COLE 45,BODE THOMAS ROAD, SURULERE,LAGOS. NIGERIA.
Please get back to me with the transfer details in the manner below:
1,Sender's name and address 2,Receiver's name and address 3,Amount sent 4,Test question/Code word (You can use what's Mr Cole's drivers licence number as the test question for the transfer,and the answer is LND3410AA1 ) 5,The control number/MTCN. Waiting to read from you soon. Roy.
A person who calls herself Elizabeth Smith is contacting artists who list on MesArt site for the purpose of scamming money. She pretends to be an art consultant based out of Seattle. She informs you she has a client who would like to buy several of your paintings. When it comes to the money part this is what she writes:
"From: Elizabeth Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for getting back at me.Hope you are good today? I called my client as soon as i read your mail to inform him and arrange for the shipping/payment. My client would be traveling out of town in the next four days for the 1st International Gas Conference in Chad, Africa.He has also informed me that he is expecting a refund bank payment from a company that goods were ordered from but unfortunately were out of stock. So you advised to remove the ads from the net.
He has instructed that the check payment be made to you Due to company policy on book keeping we can't raise more than one bank check for a client that has outstanding payment.So your payment would be coming in a cashier check.
The total amount on the check is 17,527.50 USD. So when you must have recieved /cleared the check you are expected to take your cost of the art works 10,300 USD, send the balance of 7,227.50 USD to my client to offset shipping charges,commission charges etc. After payment must have reached you and balance sent to my client our Pick-up outlet would come for pick-up art work.While all Title papers would be sent to my client via courier.
Payment information is required (i)Full Name (ii)Postal Address (iii)Contact phone number. Have a splendid day... Respectfully, Lizzy
From: Ashley Young <email@example.com> Subject: Your Artpieces To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sunday, April 26, 2009, 1:04 PM
My name is Ashley, I am an individual art agent and interior decorator from Glasgow, Scotland. I got an order for the supply of some artworks from a group of clients, and when i came across your portfolio on your site while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to interest me and fit what i am looking for, and I intend to market these items to my client and also earn a commission/profit for my effort either by negotiating a price that will include your price (i.e
your selling price),shipping, handling and other cost: and a mark-up as my profit/commission.
Payment will be made directly to you at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship after payment clears and send me my commission/margin afterward.
My client prefers to make payment by phone using a credit card as this is much easier and cost effective for an international transaction thus will provide you directly their credit card for payment.
Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept master card payment or if you can arrange for a credit card machine or a merchant account, after which I will let you know the items we are interested in,and we can proceed with the order.
I am looking forward to a long term working relationship beyond this order.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Please beware and if contacted by this person or any similar e-mailer, let us know. These are not a real dealers, and they should not be trusted.