Please read and beware:
I experienced (actually for the second time, but this time the scammer was a bit more sophisticated) a weird experience and want to share so you don't have to go through the sam.
I was contacted by a person (said she was a woman), Jennifer Rudy (New York address) . . . she indicated that she saw two paintings on my website and wanted to buy them. I corresponded back and forth regarding price and shipping . . . I am naive, and asked for a cashier's check prior to shipping any of my paintings. To make it short, she is a scammer among a great many scammers who contact artist's websites and try to cheat legitimate artists.
I received a cashiers check (bogus) for a thousand dollars more than the amount agreed upon, $150. Of course, she wanted me to send the paintings and the $1000 change back. I had a fun time researching her fictitious bank (Good name, but in a fictitious town). I am not going to add more details which might assist scammers to polish their process. The scammer used some odd, but close, English grammar, sort of a first flag. read this advice online, "if your gut tells you something is strange, it is a scam 99.9% if the time.
She (scammer) indicated her husband would forward a check because she was traveling outside the country at the time, but wanted the paintings for the new home they were moving into. (I checked the address of the home and it is a house for sale on craigslist.)
Anyway, watch yourselves. Predators are perusing websites and working art scams right and left.
1. If it's too good to be true . . . probably ain't
2. Watch grammar in e-mails
3. Predators are printing pretty good cashier's checks and money orders...never send anything until to buyers until all clears your bank. You are responsible to return all money to the bank if you are scammed and if checks are bogus
4. The old trick, money coming from out of the country, or from a second party, is usually bogus
5. If they call in a huff, say: "I am supposed to record this call for the authorities, please wait just a second so I can turn on the recorder." They will drop right off the line.
6. Keep all your e-mail correspondence with the scammer and turn it into bloggers who are keeping track of names and e-mails for art scammers. I can help if you get approached. Spread the word.
It hurts, and we think, "Wow, somebody is actually interested in my productions." It almost makes one want to believe, beyond belief, and fall for their garbage.
Anyway, be very careful with whom you deal, and cover yourself in your sales to unknowns. The scammers are getting more clever at printing cashier's checks and money orders, so....