28 September, 2006
  • ArtWanted.com Staff

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.


  • 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.