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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Scam Email: Michael Kleemann

Kathleen,

I have a website which I'm still working on, from which I sell the odd painting. While I do illustrate scientific journals, I also do "gallery art" or whatever you call it, but I keep it all simple.no galleries, no reproductions, low prices, direct transactions and so on.

Anyway, last October a "Michael Kleemann" contacted me, purporting to be a businessman in Texas, on the cusp of moving to Turkey.   He wondered if I had any other paintings to offer but the then relatively few for sale on my website (I still have only posted a fraction of what is available). Not knowing what his interest was, I just said that I did and sent him a few samples.

He choose the [name of piece], and the [name of piece]. The former is framed, so I told him the shipping would therefore be more expensive than if it weren't framed and made some sort of general conversation about my love of Texas, and southwestern birds.   But I admit alarm bells were already ringing in my head as most first-time buyers express their interest in birds or comment on art or whatever, and Michael Kleemann was very terse, polite, but nothing personal.

He said that because he was moving he was in a state of flux and would it be okay if me mailed me the money in advance, with enough to pay the shipper at the door.

I had explained that I normally use a specific courier because I it is a local family-run company that I've dealt with, favourably, for years.

He instead said that he'd have his movers in Canada do the actual shipping.

That seemed strange, but hey, maybe he was a wealthy Texas business guy with all kinds of flunkies working for him, and a finger in many different corporate pots.

So I said, well, okay, fine.

But nothing happened.

Then, last Monday, my stepdaughter said there was a folder leaning up against the front door.  It was from UPS.  It contained a single check (or "cheque" as we write it up here) and it was $3,599.00.   An odd sum.  I had no idea what it was for.  It was a company cheque, and the company was in Manitoba, as was the credit union it was drawn on.  Google showed both existed.but the company manufactures medical equipment.   I have only sold two or three paintings to Manitobans, none recently, no one there owes me anything and I don't produce a darn thing that would be of interest to a manufacturer of medical imaging equipment.

Then I remembered Michael Kleemann.  Could this be the money he had mentioned?   If so, it was way too much, approximately twice what would have been necessary for the arrangements we had made.

Sure enough, I got an e-mail from him after all that time, with an apology for the delay in getting back to me.

The next morning I phoned the company named on the cheque.  "It's fake," I was told by the guy before I had fully explained the situation.  "And I bet it's for more than had been agreed upon."  It was.  It turns out that a lot of these cheques were out there and the company quite annoyed, but helpless to do anything.

It took nearly two days to get a live person cop on the line, but I did this morning, and he opened a file, taking down all the particulars, which will then be distributed to fraud departments worldwide.  

Michael Kleemann (obviously an alias) could be anywhere.  He did write to me the name of the "shipper" (a "company" based in Alberta) and a "tracking number" and so on, but the cop also advised me not to open any more e-mails from Michael Kleemann, as they could include viruses (it appears not, thank goodness, but that could change), and certainly not to respond to him again (my last message was designed to keep him interested as I hoped the police might be able to find him by intercepting the shippers, and I'm more than happy to be part of a "sting" if we can catch this crook.  
But I will take his advice.   I do have a viewing pane so when Michael Kleemann wrote to me this morning that, okay, he'd wait until the new year (I told him I'd be away until then) I was able to read it even if I didn't open the message.  

But the other thing the cop told me was that by virtue of my having responded, this person, or one of his or her colleagues, may try another scam, so I am now more on guard than before.

Frankly, it was a rather clumsy effort, but I HAVE sold art (and developed online friendships) from "cold" contacts, usually word-of-mouth, but a few times via my website, and I have sent art off to first-time-buyers before receiving payment.  A sophisticated businessman I'm not.

I've never been cheated, but obviously I now will modify that practice for the first-time buyers.  

I don't know if any of this will help anyone avoid being taken, but I felt better to tell you all then not.

I will forward his e-mails to you one by one, under separate e-mails (I'm not very computer-adept so it's the only way I know to do it).  


Cheers,
Barry

Friday, December 11, 2015

Scam Email: Holmes Raines

Hi Kathleen,

I'm an artist.
I received this email. I did not find anything about the person online, but it smells suspicious.
Thank you Kathleen,
Best regards,


holmesraines02@gmail.com

Wrote:

Hello,
Good day to you over there, My name is Holmes Raines I'm from Leipzig and i
hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes
caught The thinker 60x80cm Oil on canvas, i will like to have it for my new
apartment this Month. please let me know if the piece is available, if yes
let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be
waiting to read from you asap.

Holmes Raines.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Scam Email: Jonathan Hashri

It is interesting to me that I can dig through the some of the oldest messages on this blog and in my email and the below email template can be found, basically unchanged word for word, from years and years ago.

But really, that's bad news, because if the format and wording of some of these scam emails have basically not changed in so many years, it means it must work at attracting victims. Which of course, I hate.

Or this could just be a really lazy scammer who is using some basic old scam template to see how well it still can work.

In this case, they kind of make it generic enough that you'd want to write back to them to get a little more information and then they have collected their list of more "qualified" potential victims.

But us artists know real buyers do not ask their initial question this way if they are interested in buying a piece.

-----Original Message-----
From: jonathan hashri [mailto:jonathan59hash@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 12:18 PM
To:
Subject: info

Hello,

Saw images of your paintings online, which really caught my attention. I am interested in purchasing paintings from your collection, can you please get back to me with the price range, sizes of your paintings, so i know how to go about my purchase.

Await your prompt reply.

Regards.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Scam Email: Todd Rieck

Dear Kathleen,

Thanks for your awesome art-scammers blacklist.  Here's unfortunately another one for you. The bad english from someone with an ultra-american name, combined with the clumsy non-knowledge of art and the mention of a cashier's check, give me 100% certainty.  Won't be wasting any more time here!  The IP address from the initial incoming email is also included.

Thanks for all you do and wishing you great success and lots of REAL collectors.  Hope it's okay to send this to you here; I couldn't get onto the website for some reason.



Name: Todd Rieck
E-Mail: todrieck@gmail.com
Message:


Dear M___,

Thank you for your email and more information about "______(DRAWING) ".

I am purchasing this for myself and my family purpose, I know my wife
will definitely like it because she like everything about Art.  Please
email me more details I need to know about the pieces.

Concerning the payment. I based in Illinois and that's where it will
be ship too. The payment I am 100% sure about is to send you a
Cashier's Check or Bank Draft for the total cost.

I will be expecting your email concerning this.

Cheers,
Todd


Sender IP: 207.244.83.214

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scam Email: Valdmir and Rebecca

Kathleen,

trick? or real?  trick!!!!  ;) d

Begin forwarded message:

From: Valdmir And Rebecca [bc5820823@gmail.com]
Date: November 11, 2015 9:51:23 AM PST
To: 
Subject: Art Inquiry

Hi,
Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creative works on your
website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are
still available for purchase.

Blue Heaven            36”x36”
I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,
Rebeca

Never a good sign when they can't remember how to spell their fake name....

Scam Email: Michael Draxler

Kathleen,

I just received this email this morning and I knew it was a scam the moment I read it. I’ve seen a few similar to this one over the years.

No signature, bad English, certified check, and last but not least, they want to pick it up instead of having me ship it. 

Thought you might want to add the name to the list. 


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Michael Draxler" [micdrax@europe.com]
> Subject: Lovers
> Date: November 11, 2015 at 8:09:46 AM MST
> To: 
> Do you still have The Lovers available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept certified check as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scam Email: John Tiger

Here's another one to watch out for:

From: john tiger [tigerjohn654@gmail.com]Date: October 21, 2015 2:50:08 PM PDTTo: Subject: info @ artwork
--
--
Good to tell that i saw few picture of your work while browsing
through the internet, im John from California; I'm interested in
purchasing some of your artworks. Can I have have your main website so
as to see more of your  recent work.
John.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scam Email: Greg Hembree

This was an obvious miss on the scammer's part but they could care less - they play a numbers game. They send out thousands of these emails seeking that small percentage that reply so that they can funnel those people closer to the heart of the scam - stealing their money by pretending to overpay and asking the "extra" be sent via wire (either back to them or to some non-existent shipper).

Heartbreaking and annoying for this husband, though.

Hey Kathleen....my name is Craig. My late wife was a very accomplished artist before cancer took her at a young age. This person below is clearly a scammer. He emailed her account. It's clearly a scam. I did not email back. Thanks for your blog post on the topic of scammers. Feel free to add this scum bag to your list.
Thanks...you have a great site and blog....
Craig 

Sent from my iPad
> On Oct 14, 2015, at 5:43 PM, Greg Hembree [greghembree01111@gmail.com] wrote:
>
> Hello,
>  I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website (piece in subject field above) on my laptop and i guess she likes that piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work. I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
>
>  Peace and blessings,
>  Greg

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scam Email: James Chavez

Yes, even someone who hosts a blog and Facebook page about scammers, warning people how not to fall victim, receives these stupid emails as well.

To entertain myself, I removed the name of my art piece from the subject line and replied and asked which piece they were interested in. Now they won't be able to match what they said before. They may decide who cares and just pick another piece and see if I fall for it. Obviously I won't.

So I wonder to myself - are we all getting smarter? Are we googling names and emails before we send anyone money for any reason (particularly when WE are the seller!)? Are we making the scammer's life a harder one?

While I ponder this, here is the email I just received:

From: james chavez (jameschavez@gmail.com)
Subject: [Name of Piece] 
Greetings!
My name is James chavaz from south carolina. I actually observed my wife
has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece
of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,
: )  You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information
about your piece of work and what inspires you.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate
sales.
Thanks and best regards,
James.
In so many ways these emails haven't change over the years. Lately, it's a little less about them moving to some obscure country or that they are out of the country on "assignment" but you'll always know it's a scam if they overpay the amount (saying some scenario about a shipper) and ask the "difference" be sent via wire transfer. Your transferred money will be good but their money will be a counterfeit check or stolen credit card. That's the crux of the scam. They could care less about your art and they disappear with your money long before it even gets to the shipping stage.

So never accept over-payments, no matter what and NEVER ever ever wire money to anyone when you are the seller. No matter what their story is.




'Nuff said.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scam Email: Steve Wood

Yup, Tom - it's a scam. Delete it and do not respond.


Hi Kathleen,

Its been 2 years since my last email about the scam I was in the middle of – and got out of with your help. I received another email yesterday from 'Steve Wood'. The punctuation in his message is strange, and he only
answered one of two questions I first asked him, in his response. He didn't tell me how he ran across my work:

*I want to have the beautiful painting ("name here") purchased immediately for my wife as a gift for our anniversary.I'm presently on deployment in Afghanistan,so i have limited access to communication,i will only be able to respond through email at the moment. I would have personally appreciate to have it purchased in person and to meet with you could have also been a great privilege The price is totally acceptable by me $2,000  i'm sure its framed? i will authorized a check payment to you immediately i can get hold of your information,and i want it to be delivered as a surprise to our new home.Please consider the beautiful piece of the artwork sold to me.

However,you don't have to worry about shipment,my shipper will handle it.I'll notify my shipping agent who's moving my belongings from our old home in Florida to get ready for the pickup of the artwork from your
address. I will appreciate if you can forward to me your Full details,(which you want the check payable to ) such as your Full name,contact address and mobile number.The payment will be sent to the address provided,i will not want any delay due to my inability to access to easy communication.I expect your prompt response.Thank you
Best Regards*

I'm not going to respond as I think its a scam. Two years ago, the other scammer spoke in an inflated way about my work, was unavailable to talk by phone, was 'in transition' between homes, has a 'shipper' who would handle delivery, and asking me for too much info... (who asks for a mobile number?). And the interest sounds 'urgent' and he doesn't want 'any delay'.

Your thoughts?

thanks, Tom

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Scam Email: Carolyn Jovanni

To Kathleen or whom it may concern:

I was almost caught up in this scam, until a red flag went up. The series of emails as follows:

Received an email yesterday reading:

Congratulations! Someone expressed interest in buying your work,
[name of piece], at the url: [website url]

The intested party listed their name and email address as:
carolyn (carolynjovanni@collector.org)

Message from buyer:
Hello Seller I came accross your Painting posted on the site and am really intersting in purchase it and i will like to ask the question below.
1.How long have you own it?
2.it's new or used?
3.what is the final asking price?
4.did you accept Paypal as mode of my Payment?
Get back to me asap.
Carolyn
Response from so called Collector:

Thank so much for your response am okay with your final asking price but the problem is that i have a private shipping company that will come for the pick up in your location because i have some item that i want to ship along with the paiting so i don't want you to bother yourself about the shipment am going to handle that on my own if you agree my terms let me know and get back to me.
Carolyn.



Response from Collector:

You don't have  to worry yourself about i saw i want on the site so get back to me with your Paypal account

*Action:*


*I send the Collector a Paypal Invoice for $500*


*That also lets them know to schedule the pick up from who ever they are using for as their shipment company to pick up after the 27th of August.*


*I get a response about an hour after I sent out the invoice....this is when the red flag goes up.*


*RESPONSE from Collector:*
Hello ,
  I was just about to book the pick up schedule with the pick up agent when i had a problem about their payment method.They are only accepting payment through western union money transfer but i am currently on sea due to my status of work,so i want to add the pick up agent  fee to your item cost price credited to your paypal account and he pick up fee is ($400.00) so i will be crediting the total amount of ($1,000.00),the extra ($50.00) is for the western union transfer fee for you to transfer the pick up agent fee
through western union.extra($50.00)for compensation.Once i have these done and you have pick up agent fee sent to them,the pick up arrangement will be scheduled,just wanted to let you know before i proceed with the payment, please advice and i will be looking forward to read from you.get back to me
with your Paypal invoice
Carolyn

My Response to collector after I research scams directed towards artists on the internet:

 I am Sorry. I can not adjust the invoice to increase the amount for any reason. The payment reflects the price of the artwork, which is a taxable income that I need to claim.  I also am too busy to make arrangements through Western Union for your shipping needs. I am very sorry, the request seems very difficult to handle. I am sorry we could not make a deal.

This morning I received another email...not in response from the series of emails talking with this collector but again from the site where the name originally generated:

Congratulations! Someone expressed interest in buying your work,
[name of piece], at the url: [website url]

The intested party listed their name and email address as:
carolyn (carolynjovanni@collector.org)

Message from buyer:
Hello Seller I came accross your Painting posted on the site and am really intersting in purchase it and i will like to ask the question below.
1.How long have you own it?
2.it's new or used?
3.what is the final asking price?
4.did you accept Paypal as mode of my Payment?
Get back to me asap.
Carolyn

Anyways,

That is all the information I have. Although I did not get scammed, I feel like the time and effort I went through I can empathize with those who have. I really hope that this is something that can be stopped before it really becomes a major issue, before it becomes an issue of artists not wanting to trust such a great means of being able to sell, trade, or promote their works. We should not be afraid of such a powerful tool because of a few that misuse, redirect, or take advantage of our standard practices. Thank you for helping in the fight to protect our daily rights as artists!

Shawn

Monday, August 11, 2014

Scam Email: Curtis Butler

My mom was the recipient of an attempted scam - luckily she asked for my help in processing a credit card and so I was able to stop it before she actually lost any real money!

Curtis Butler was the name used in these scam - 2 different email addresses
(see below)

Here is the original email:

Received: by 10.96.25.9 with HTTP; Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:14:48 -0700 (PDT)
Reply-To: curbutler@gmail.com
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:14:48 +0100
Subject: Order enquiry
From: Curtis BUTLER [pete11cooper@gmail.com]

Hello,
I am emailing to inquire about availability of artwork for sale in
your gallery, if you can ship international and also if you are able
 to process Electronically Visa and Master Card Number/Expiry date/Cvv
as payment. Let me know so that i can communicate with you on the
artworks that interest me,you can also indicate to me which of the
arts are sold and which are available on your website.
I will be looking forward to reading from you.
Sincerely

Curtis Butler


During their conversations he also changed his email address (my mom
didn't even notice because GMail just showed his name) - here is a
follow up email:

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:31:08 +0100
Subject: Re: Order enquiry
From: Curtis Butler [curbutler@gmail.com>]

Hello,
Good to hear from you,
Below are the artworks that interest me so i want you to get back to
me with the cost price of each so that i can give you the  payment

[name of each piece]

I want you to get back to me with the cost of  the above so that you
can have the payment .
I will be looking forward to hear from you asap.
Thanks
>
> On Jul 25, 2014, at 6:14 PM, Curtis BUTLER [pete11cooper@gmail.com] wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>> I am emailing to inquire about availability of artwork for sale in
>> your gallery, if you can ship international and also if you are able
>> to process Electronically Visa and Master Card Number/Expiry date/Cvv
>> as payment. Let me know so that i can communicate with you on the
>> artworks that interest me,you can also indicate to me which of the
>> arts are sold and which are available on your website.
>> I will be looking forward to reading from you.
>> Sincerely
>>
>> Curtis Butler
>>
>

Friday, August 1, 2014

Scam Email: Raymond Velluci

Dear Kathleen,

I could not find a way to reach you through your Art Scam Blog, so I hope this is an appropriate channel. I wanted to thank you for being instrumental in helping me to prevent being scammed. When I received a $3,800 check in the mail yesterday for an $850.00 purchase, I got suspicious and found your blog right away. It really helped me to quickly clear my confusion and report to the authorities (Wells fargo Bank). Below is the whole affair (sorry, a bit lengthy) if you care to read it, but it seems like all the others.

My point is, please add Raymond Vellucci [raymondvelluci@hotmail.com] to your list of names and e-mails to be wary of. I'd hate to see other artists become victims as well as individuals with potentially stolen checks / accounts, etc.

Sincerely - Sean


To Whom It May Concern,

   I am a professional artist and someone is attempting to defraud me of funds using a Wells Fargo account. I do not know if the account holders are complicit or are also potential victims. On August 1, I phoned the Wells Fargo Fraud Reporting Service: Suspicious activity with an online service at 1-866-867-5568 and spoke with Laura. She asked me to send you all pertinent information. I'm also attaching an image of the Wells Fargo check being used in connection with the fraud.

   The following is a chronological listing of e-mails and events:

-July 21, 2014 - I receive the following e-mail from Raymond Vellucci [raymondvelluci@hotmail.com]

Dear Artist

My name is Raymond Velluci,I reside at 600 N 5th Street Opelika, AL 36801,I Came across some of your artworks and am interested in buying your ( torm and Abyss Watercolor on 300lb Arches 5.5 x 9 inches  )

Please let me know if you still have it available for sale or get back to me with the available work you have at the moment as i will be happy to have it in our new home and also get back to me with your least asking price and don't bother to include the shipping cost because i will arrange for the pick up of the artwork

Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 23, 2014 11:33:05 PM CDT     I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

Thank you for your interest in my work. The price for this watercolor is $600.00 unframed. I am happy to professionally frame it for $150.00 additional. Where did you come across my artwork?

Sincerely - Sean
__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 24, 2014 12:44:57 PM CDT    the recipient responded:

Sean
Thanks for the mail,I'm okay with the condition and as for the price i will offer you $850 to keep away any other buyers from buying it and count it sold to me

I will be leaving my home town state tomorrow for my honeymoon,but that will not be a problem,as per payment  i will have to instruct my client to send you a check via UPS or USPS courier service which will take only 2-4 days to get to you. cos this is the only  means of payment I can offer you now due to my present departing And you should not worry about the shipping, i have my shipper that will come down to your house for the pick up as soon as payment is done.

So to make payment out to you, you'll have to email me:

1,Name to be written on check........
2,Address to send the check,City,State And  Code..........
3,Your contact telephone number..........

Awaiting to read from you..

Sincerely
Raymond Vellucci
__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 25, 2014 1:16:46 PM CDT    I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

I will accept your price of $850.00.

I am unclear if you want me to frame this for you or not. If so, there are a few styles I would like to offer you. It will take a few weeks to order materials and assemble the frame. Will you please clarify your intention concerning the framing?

Make your check out to :

[info was inserted here]

Also, you did not respond to my question; where did you come across my work? I'd also like to know if my work will be in your privater collection or another collection. Can you answer these questions for me.

Sincerely - Sean
__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 28, 2014 7:37:51 AM CDT       the recipient responded:  

Sean


Good Morning to you,how was your weekend,just wanted to let you know that the payment has been mail out to you via a regular mail and it will deliver to you by today or mid-week

kindly deposit the Check in your account and then you email me as soon as it clears your bank for further instruction on how my shipping agent will come for the pickup at your location

Regards,
Raymond Velluci

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 28, 2014 11:11:50 AM CDT     I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

While I am happy to sell you my work of art, I am distressed at our apparent communication problems. I have asked you some questions regarding how you found my work and , more importantly, about framing the work. Please do not send for the artwork until we have resolved the framing issue.

Kindly re-read the e-mail I have sent you (below) and respond.

Sincerely - Sean

I am unclear if you want me to frame this for you or not. If so, there are a few styles I would like to offer you. It will take a few weeks to order materials and assemble the frame. Will you please clarify your intention concerning the framing?

Also, you did not respond to my question; where did you come across my work? I'd also like to know if my work will be in your privater collection or another collection. Can you answer these questions for me.

Sean
__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 29, 2014 8:38:47 AM CDT     the recipient responded:  

Thanks for the mail and am sorry for not answering your questions,Yes you can frame it for me and let me know the styles you are going to offer me and Yes i came across your work via your website on and its going to my new home not any other place

Thanks and please kindly let me know when you get the payment as soon as possible

Raymond Velluci

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 30, 2014 12:02:58 AM CDT     I respond with four e-mails, each one with an attached image describing and showing the framing options.

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 30, 2014 12:24:36 PM CDT    the recipient responded:  

Thanks for the mail and am really happy to see the work so great,yes i think i will go for the Framing Option A (1 of 4)‏ because even my wife made comment of the Framing Option A (1 of 4)‏

So kindly go ahead and start the preparation and also let me know if the payment has been deliver to you and also i will like to inform you once again that you don't have to bother about the shipping cos as i told you before my shippers will come for the pickup once they have there funds sent to them as soon as possible

Thanks and kindly notify my if the payment has arrive your location


Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 30, 2014 9:51:07 PM CDT   I responded:

Dear Raymond,

OK, great. Please allow me about 2 weeks to order and assemble the frame. I will contact you when your funds clear and I will contact you when the framing is complete.

Sincerely - Sean Culver

__________________________________________________________________________________
-July 31, 2014 9:15:24 AM CDT   the recipient responded:

Thanks for the update kindly let me know when exactly the check is going to clear your bank so that i can forward the shippers information to you on where to send there funds to so that they can start arranging for the other items that are going to ship for me together with the artwork am buying from you before you are through with the framing

Thanks and please make sure you get back to me as soon as possible

__________________________________________________________________________________

Later that day I received a Wells Fargo check for $3,800.00 drawn on the account of [Name inserted here], [address inserted here]  Dated: 07-26-2014    Routing Number: [number inserted here]     Account Number [number inserted here]   Check Number: 5694 (see attached image) (Ed.: probably all the information from some other unknowing innocent person)

I did not connect the e-mails from Mr. Vellucci and the check from the [Name on check]'s right away, I was more confused as to why anyone would send me a check for so much without reason. There was no notation on the check or in the envelope.

At this point I did a Google search for Artist Scams and, sure enough, I found that this fraud had been perpetrated upon to many other artists who, sadly, went ahead and cashed the check only to have the "purchaser" ask them to direct-wire the difference between the purchase price and the deposited amount. My first call this morning (August 1) was to the Illinois Attorney Generals Office and my second call was to Wells Fargo.

I will not be depositing this check and I do not intend to contact "Mr. Vellucci" any further. I would like to spare any other artists wasted time, confusion and possible financial loss. I would like to spare any other victims of this crime, possibly the [Name on check]'s, of any financial loss.

I would appreciate any follow up notification should any investigation into this matter get results.

Sean

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scam Email: Rebecca Wallace

Hi Kathleen, I was wondering if you might have heard of this person Rebecca Wallace from Guernsey UK.
At first I thought it was a legitimate purchase inquiry... but now I  think not.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks, Matthew

I think it's GREAT that you are putting in the effort to help your fellow artists!

Here are the emails (from latest to first):

from Rebecca Wallace:

Thank you so much for the urgent information provided I want you to 
get them ready for shipment and get shipping quote ASAP
On the shipping one will have to pay additional fees at the delivery 
point here, because they will never bring to ones house, Courier like 
FedEx, UPS and DHL are not worth it here especially USPS probably 
because they already known very well.
I want you can contact this shipping company:
www.expressparcelsdelivery.net
contact address: epdsdelivery@mac.hush.com

They will need dimension for the package weight and Value of the 
artwork for the shipping and insurance Quote to my billing address, 
they offer door to door shipment and deliver safely without paying 
any extra money before collecting the goods unlike some other courier 
where it will not be delivered to your address and you will still 
have to go to their office to pick it up and you will be told to pay 
other money like custom duties before collecting it really sick of them.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon so that you can 
have credit card information to charge for the total payment without 
any further delay.

234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Guernsey,
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

---- On Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:57:56 -0700 Matthew wrote 
----

Hi Rebecca,
The prices for these 3 framed paintings are:
[names, prices]

It looks like shipping would be $200 for all three
Total Art $5,100 plus $200 ship is $5,300 and could ship within the 
next couple of days.

Getting the three paintings I could give you a 15% discount bringing 
the total including shipping  $4,500 usd

I use PayPal for online payments which you can use your credit card 
( you don't need a PayPal account)

You can use this page for payment

Let me know how this sounds and we can go from there!

A note on these 3 paintings, they were all done plein-air on location 
with my wife and family present and they all hold a special place in 
my life and heart.

I hope sometime to come to Guernsey with my family to paint and enjoy 
the fresh breeze!

All the best, sincerely,

Matthew

On Jul 21, 2014, at 11:29 AM, Rebecca_wallace1960 wrote:

How are you doing today and family?and great to hear from you,
Below are the artworks that interest me and I want you to get back to
me with the price of each pieces listed bellow:
[name of pieces]

I want you to get back to me with the cost of  the above pieces then 
we can figure out about shipping,and insurance cost
I will be awaiting,so that you can have my credit card number to run 
for the payment

Best


Rebecca Wallace
234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Guernsey,
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

---- On Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:06:57 -0700  matthew wrote ----

Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your interest in my artwork, and sorry about 
the delay in getting back to you I have been away from my computer.

Yes shipping to the UK is fine, though unlike the old days where 
wasn't so costly I now have to check on the cost.

If you let me know some of the work, style and sizes you are 
interested in I can give you a up to date selection of avail work.
Please reference some of the specific paintings from my website 
[url listed]

I very much look forward to having my artwork enhance your home and 
life!

All the best,

Matthew

On Jul 12, 2014, at 6:36 PM, rebecca wallace wrote:

Hi there,

I am captivating on your artwork to equip, and beautify my home town
In United Kingdom.
I don't know, if you internationally shipped Out of your region and
Your on-line portfolio or inventory would give me more details of
available works only if you send me more details.
I will wait for your swift response.
Regard

Rebecca Wallace

234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Guernsey,
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scam Email: Alex Starks

Pretty classic scam email below. So many scammers seem lately to be saying they have a store in Finland. Not sure what the preoccupation with Finland is about...

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Alex Starks [alexgreatlife@aol.com]
> Subject: order
> Date: June 28, 2014 10:46:33 AM EDT
> To:
>
>
>
> Good day,
>
> My name is Mr. Alex Starks,I will like to make a purchase to my store in Finland. I run a small store and I am interested in doing business with you. i will like to know if you can work with my shipping agent in making sure your products get to me safely. My method of payment is via my u.s issued credit card ,so kindly advise which card you would require,Visa or Master Card.
>
> Your swift response will be highly gratified.
>
> Regards
> Alex Starks