I recently received a fake request to purchase a piece of artwork and I thought I would share to help educate others on how to tell when you are being scammed.
I saw your contact while surfing via the internet. I will like to know if you have any Naturescape/Landscape/Animal painting in stock of price range not exceeding $700. Get back to me if there is any available for sale.
There is nothing that odd about this first e-mail I received besides the "surfing via the internet" and is there such thing as a Naturescape? Figuring it was just a patron who did not know terms very well I sent him to my website and assuming he lived in the area invited him out to our monthly open studios. I received this in reply:
Thanks for your response to my request. I am interested in the one called: Aftermath:Leda and the Swan 2008 30 x 42 Inches Oil on Canvas price:$500 . As regards the payment I will give instruction to my clients there in the united states to send you a cheque in that amount. And I will be needing the address, the name to which the cheque will be issued to include your telephone number. So please get back to me soonest with all this information. Once i am in receipt of the nessesary infomation we can set up the transactions.
To let you know that I will be arranging for a pick up at your location as soon as the check cleared by your bank.
I await your response soonest.
The big give away here is the "give instruction to my clients there in the united states to send you a cheque in that amount" These overseas scams either never send a check or it is faulty, or they send you a check in a larger amount and ask that you return the excess money. They also like to use Western Union for scams. Another giveaway here is also the language used. the oddest one here is the use of the word "soonest", also the two different spellings of cheque and check.
There is very little that our government can do to stop these over seas scams and you will not ever get your money or artwork back. My advice is to not deal in overseas transaction unless you actually know the person.