scam alert


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 25, 2004
Tampa, FL
got this, today, from an "artists" old fraud in new clothes??? make of it what you will

This comes from Carolyn Sheffield of Maryland
State Ars Council in Baltimore, MD. Art Fraud Alert The Maryland State Arts Council Visual Artists’ Registry has recently received
numerous reports of potentially fraudulent offers to purchase artwork.
In particular, several artists have reported receiving fraudulent
checks from overseas, most notably from London and Wales. It is
important to note that these checks are often for more than the
amount due with the “buyer” requesting that a check for the
difference be sent along with the artwork. In response to this
situation, we have compiled a list of basic tips for conducting
artwork sales via email. Please feel free to share these guidelines,
listed below, with artists in your area. Best regards, Carolyn
Sheffield Registry Coordinator Maryland Art Place 8 Market Place,
Suite 100 Baltimore, MD 21202 410-962-8565 Tips for conducting artwork sales via email:
1. Never give out personal information such
as your social security number or bank account information.
2. If
someone contacts you inviting you to enter a call for entry for a fee,
verify that the institution they are representing actually exists. If
the institution has a website, try to find the name of the person who
contacted you on their staff list. To verify the call, use the
contact info for this person provided on the website as opposed to
what you received in the email.
3. Do not send funds to a potential
buyer (regardless of whether they are for shipping costs or other
4. Furthermore, be wary of requests for overpayment.
Check overpayment is when a buyer offers to send a check for more
than the amount due and asks you to write them a check for the
5. Do not ship artwork until your bank has confirmed
that the check has cleared. Be aware that international checks may
take two weeks or more to clear.
Oh, geez. It's bad enough when scammers prey on people with money, but on poor ARTISTS?

Good rule of business- Don't give change back on money orders. If someone wants to pay with a money order, they can get one for the correct amount.
Also, train your cashiers to be aware of another scam...Canadian or other foreign money orders. I once had a cashier give change for a small purchase which was paid for with a Canadian $ 100.00 money order.

You guessed it...they received back more money than the money order was worth due to the exchange rate. It was identical to an American money order except it said at the top in small print "Canadian Dollars".

Lessons in life and bad behaviour in human nature.

Dave Makielski
Photographers are being targeted with this same kind of scam for weddings. They send an email asking if they can book your studio to photograph their wedding overseas then send a check for more than the amount and have the photographer send the difference to "the minister" or "the caterer", who, of course, is actually their accomplise.
This scam was in a presentation by our local CofC about 2 years ago. It involved a purchase on the internet/ebay. Lady was selling car for $6,700. The "buyer" sent her a "cashier's check" (bogus) for $67,000. He had sent it via ups/fed ex and knew exactly when it was delivered and called the lady to say "oh, check was made out of wrong amount - just take it to your bank, deposit and send the difference". She did go to the bank. THe bank realized the check was bogus. Had she just deposited it and sent the difference - she would have been out alot of money. Not a bad days work for these creeps that con innocent and naive people.

Point being: even a cashiers check, although looks good, may not be. So if you sell anything privately - get cash!

Because of Attach-EZ I get calls from all over the world and have had a few which were questionable. My first rule of thumb is to never accept a check from an out of country source unless I know exactly who I am dealing with. When I accept checks at the shows for product, the merchandise is not shipped until the check clears the bank. With the world so full of scam artists no one can be to careful these days. Read on, this is a true story......

My friend was scammed by one of the most industrious scam artists I have ever heard of. She purchased a log home from a man she knew to be a wealthy attorney who owned a large equestrian center. As it turned out this man was not only not an attorney, he had purchased this 2 million dollar horse farm by way of a scam. He had business cards, legal stationary, contracts, and everything he needed to look legit. He was able to buy all sorts of machinery, trucks, horse trailers, and horses without paying more than a small deposit for any of it. He was even able to get one log home delivered to his farm without paying a cent for it. He then proceeded to sell this one log home to 20+ different people who paid him anywhere from $10-25,000 down. He had managed to get a copy of a video showing how the homes were constructed from the company who built the log homes which he used to sell the one log home to all of these unsuspecting people. He really looked like a legit business and very impressive to those he was scamming.

My friend, nor any of the other people who paid a deposit ever got their money back, but her parents were able to put the Scam Artist away for a long time because of some document that he had given them when they paid the deposit on the log home for their daughter. It was the only piece of evidence that held up in court.

You might think that this is the end of the story....not so! Mr. Scam Artist was pending appeal and convinced his cell mate, who was getting out to pose as a detective and go to my friends parents home to try to get the document that had convicted him back. The man had a badge and everything. Fortunately her parents weren't stupid and didn't keep the papers at home, but in a safety deposit box at their bank.

Having been scammed once before they were on alert and something didn't feel right about this situation, so while they were on their way to the bank they decided to stop by the police station to check the detective out.

End of story.....the police picked up the fake detective as he was waiting in a car, out in front of my friends parents house, for them to return with the papers. He was sent back to prison and Mr Scam Artist didn't win his appeal either.

Lesson learned by my friend;

Never buy anything that cost more than $100 without knowing who you are dealing with. Especially not a house, car, boat, computer, or expensive jewelry.

Never buy anything from a newspaper ad or on line that seems to good to be true. It usually is and more than likely it will be stolen.

Never give out any identifying information or buy anything over the phone unless you initiated the call and know exactly who you are giving the information to and who you are buying from.

When people want identifying information such as your mothers maiden name, your pets name, where you were born, or anything to identify you, make something up. Do not use the real names or places. If asked for a favorite hobby give them something that you don't like to do. This is how scam artists get information. My friends love of horses is what got her into the log house scam. She found out the hard way that the guy knew all about each and every one of the 20+ people he scammed and which buttons to push.

There are many more that could be added to this and I'm sorry it is so long, but if this post helps to keep only one person from falling into a situation like my friend it will be worth the time it took me to write. Have a great holiday weekend..
We stopped taking money orders or travelers checks 3 years ago and it has been wonderful. I am not anxious about fraud in that arena and one less thing to worry about. I am NOT the FRAMING BANK, the customer can go to the bank and cash out their left over vacation travelers checks.

Last week I was getting donuts for the staff at Krispy Kreme when the customer in front of me tried to pass a counterfeit $20.00 bill and got caught. The manager simply handed the currency back to the customer after marking it with the counterfeit pen and asked for a legit note. She did not even call the police and when I asked why, she said it wasn't worth it, the police can not do anything about it. The customer pulled out another $20, the mgr. checked it, it was ok, he got his donuts and left.

Not accepting travelers checks or money orders has not hurt our business one iota.
If only they would use their powers for good instead of evil.

Seriously, the same amount of effort could generate income in some legitimate way.

I guess I'd make a bad criminal (that's a good thing, right?) 'cause it would just never occur to me to try and scam someone.

Thanks for keeping us aware.
Meghan MacMillan, You are so right. The police told my friend that she shouldn't feel bad about being taken so easily because most scam artists are brilliant and if they would put as much energy into something legal they would all probably become millionaires. They also told her that most scam artists get high on trying to pull off the perfect scam and would rather work at the scam than at real work. Pretty sad.
I had this, someone emailed me and said they liked my work. We would like to buy sevral peices! So I asked were they had seen my work as it has not been on veiw to my knowledge in several months. They did not answer the question so I kept asking-nothing.

It was a hoax.