28 September, 2006
  • ArtWanted.com Staff
  • 7,689 Views

Beware of Art Scams!

We have seen a big increase in the number of art scams going on recently. We wanted to warn all our members about possible art scams you may be e-mailed about.

First off, you can never be 100% sure something is, or is not a scam, until it's too late. All you can really do is review the context of the e-mail and look for signs of a scam. I you suspect a scam, alert us about it and DO NOT RESPOND to the e-mail. If you don't respond, they do not know your e-mail address or even if you got the e-mail. If you do respond, you open the door to be a victim.

Below are a few signs of a scam that should raise 'red flags' for you.

ART SCAM SIGNS:

  • The buyer is usually outside the US.
  • The buyer is vague on the exact artwork they want to buy.
  • The wording of the e-mail is strange or not proper English.
  • They mention they will have their shipper contact you.
  • They ask for your home address.
  • They offer payment via cashiers check (which are easy to counterfeit).
  • The payment amount is usually higher than the amount of purchase.
  • You may be asked to purchase other items, non-artwork related.
  • The same e-mail is sent to many members on our site in a short period of time.

    HOW MOST SCAMS WORK:

    Normally a group of e-mails is sent out to many unsuspecting artists. Those that reply will be asked for additional details on the artwork such as the price. Terms are agreed to and a counterfeit check is sent to the artist. The artist sends out the artwork. Artist tries to cash check and told it's a fake or weeks later they are notified that it bounced. Artist loses artwork and money.

    HOW TO AVOID AN ART SCAM:

    The best way to avoid scams is to not reply to inquiries that contain some of the common scam signs mentioned above. If you do reply and think it's a real buyer, we suggest that you simply tell them to purchase your artwork online with a credit card. Credit cards can be stolen, but it's easier to catch them and track payments than a cashiers check. When in doubt, don't fall into the trap. It's better to say 'no' to a suspicious buyer, then to get involved in a scam.

    WHAT ARTWANTED IS DOING ABOUT SCAMS?

    We are always watching our e-mails for possible art scams and updating our e-mail system to block known scammers.

    If you suspect a scam, please report it to us immediately. If we feel it's a scam, we will block that person from sending any new e-mails to other members. If that person has sent e-mails to many members, we will let those members know about the potential scam.

    We hope this knowledge has been helpful to everyone. Please use caution responding to any e-mails with signs of a scam/fraud.

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