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Friday, August 23, 2019

Scam: Online Dating Romance Scam

I am not sure what it is about nigerians and scams - the two seem connected so often. And in this particular case some of the scam nigerians were located in California.

Here is an example - when you report scams to the FTC, how officials do not typically work on individual cases, but look at trends and try to go after the "bigger fish". Romance scams can wipe out the entire savings of elderly people. It takes an orchestrated effort of a group of scammers to successfully pull off romance scams - and they have to succeed at enough of them to support all in the scam group.

Scammers know, with the fake buyer scam we typically see, that if they keep their "take" relatively small and under the radar, the officials don't focus on those cases. So you will typically see them try to steal about $1500-$5000 from their victims. So that is their strategy. Keep the amount of stolen money low and just try and succeed at a lot of them.

Does that mean you don't report yours? No - I would still report any scam where actual money has been lost. You are still contributing to trends and what officials look at. An example is when Texas got hit with a lot of "ransom" scams. The volume was high enough in a targeted area to (a) make the news and (b) get the attention of the authorities.

Okay. So romance scams have red flags to watch out for just like the fake buyer scam. There is a very prescriptive way scammers move through a romance scam. It has a script. Red flags briefly are: (1) their photos to you all seem too good to be true (and are often stolen from online... to an reverse image search on Google or get a family member to help you do one), (b) they typically use a lesser known dating site and send a lot of relentless messages with vague or irrelevant information - typically trying to get you to believe their fake "backstory", (c) relationship is moving too fast - they may even send small token gifts and some go for the long haul - trying to gain your trust over months...but have some reason why meeting face to face is never possible (they will have one last minute excuse one after the other), (d) they WILL ask for money - often a small token amount to begin with, to warm up their victim, and then they will go for larger and larger amounts, typically with some back story - a family member is having a health crisis, a business needs just a little cash flow help, they are trying to get a visa. It is all fake and intended to get your money.

This is a tough scam - they do target lonely and older women and if those lonely older women are not sharing what is happening to them with family members, it is hard to intervene to give them an objective perspective. Usually other family members find out too late. But if you are having an online romance, check to see if any of the photos have been stolen from online and really (your children can help you do a reverse image Google search) - and really - just do not give ANYONE money if you have not met them in real life... and even then there are local scammers and I think it is just not smart to give money to someone in a new relationship. We want to be trusting and kind to others, but first be smart and protective of yourself!

Here is the CNN article they reported on today:

Men in California oversaw a romance scam that targeted women worldwide, feds say

By Faith Karimi, CNN

Updated 6:26 AM ET, Fri August 23, 2019

(CNN) In March 2016, a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals.

Within weeks, their relationship grew into an internet romance with the man sending daily emails in English that she translated via Google. The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money -- lots of it -- from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents. Over 10 months, she sent him a total of $200,000 that she borrowed from friends, her ex-husband and other relatives to make her love interest happy.

But in reality, Garcia did not exist. It was all an international online scam ran by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area with the help of associates in their home country and other nations, federal officials say.

And Thursday, US prosecutors charged 80 people -- mostly Nigerians -- in the widespread conspiracy that defrauded at least $6 million from businesses and vulnerable elderly women.

Of those, 17 people have been arrested in the US so far and federal investigators are trying to track down the rest in Nigeria and other nations.

[ read more ]


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Scam Email: 'Save Yourself' Ransom Type Scam

This isn't the usual fake buyer scam we deal with so often on this blog, but I've been getting a lot of these emails lately and I felt it was time to post a warning to help others.

The scam type is called 'ransom scam'. The scammer typically will say they have incriminating photos of you via malware they were able to install on your computer, etc. Then they ask for money before they 'release the photos'.

Here is an example of what I've been getting a bunch of lately from scammers. It lists an actual previous password of mine (which I will obviously not show in the example below) but one of these scam emails to you will actually display a password of yours.

Here is the thing: they haven't likely installed any malware on your computer. How did they get your password? Likely from one of the many many data breeches many online companies have experienced. They did not get it from your computer. And I'm hearing online that the password is likely pretty old - so if you are someone who never changes their password AND/OR someone who uses the same password for various things online - it is time to CHANGE that behavior! There are software programs out there that protect and help you manage many different passwords now... use one of them.

I could tell the password the scammers are using with me was one of my old passwords, no longer in use. But you can see how this scam could work on a lot of vulnerable people.

Don't reply to these emails, don't click on anything... except the delete email button.

But it IS a good reminder to change up your passwords periodically and don't use the same one for everything.

Okay - here is the actual text of one of the many I've been receiving:

From: Save Yourself [SaveYourself07@1741.com]
Subject: You got recorded - [actual password listed here]

Hi, I know one of your passwords is: [actual password listed here]

Your computer was infected with my private malware, your browser wasn't updated / patched, in such case it's enough to just visit some website where my iframe is placed to get automatically infected, if you want to find out more - Google: "Drive-by exploit".

My malware gave me full access to all your accounts (see password above), full control over your computer and it also was possible to spy on you over your webcam.

I collected all your private data and I RECORDED YOU (through your webcam) SATISFYING YOURSELF!

After that I removed my malware to not leave any traces and this email(s) was sent from some hacked server.

I can publish the video of you and all your private data on the whole web, social networks, over email of all contacts.

But you can stop me and only I can help you out in this situation.

The only way to stop me, is to pay exactly 1000$ in bitcoin (BTC).

It's a very good offer, compared to all that horrible shit that will happen if I publish everything!

You can easily buy bitcoin here: www.paxful.com , www.coingate.com , www.coinbase.com , or check for bitcoin ATM near you, or Google for other exchanger.
You can send the bitcoin directly to my wallet, or create your own wallet first here: www.login.blockchain.com/en/#/signup/ , then receive and send to mine.

My bitcoin wallet is: 1Nq84HeDmd2JGyRtjqh32QRG4zoSrp8bdL

Copy and paste my wallet, it's (cAsE-sEnSEtiVE)

I give you 3 days time to pay.

As I got access to this email account, I will know if this email has already been read.
If you get this email multiple times, it's to make sure that you read it, my mailer script is configured like this and after payment you can ignore it.
After receiving the payment, I will remove everything and you can life your live in peace like before.

Next time update your browser before browsing the web!


Mail-Client-ID: 4679663290




Friday, August 24, 2018

Scam Email: Jackson Greene

Hi Katie,

I apologize for not being able to find this on my own. I received a message through my art Website from a Jackson Greene.

Date: Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 at 10:35pm
From: Jackson Greene [mailto:jacksongreene007@yahoo.com]
Sent from IP address 154.66.37.96

Hello There,
My name is Jackson Greene from California. 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 purchase one of your Paintings "[name inserted here]", as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept CHECK as mode of Payment.

Thanks and best regards
Jackson.

Seems scammy to me, but I couldn’t verify on your Stop Art Scams Blog. Which is a wonderful service you’ve taken on!

The wording includes a sentence like Steven Leavitt’s though. Agreed?

Best,
Dale

Friday, August 17, 2018

Scam Email: Tony Grider

The use of English language looked suspicious to me, as well as the 'cashiers check', so I found your site -- very informative and helpful.  I'll just ignore any future emails from "Tony Grider".  Thanks.

Here's the emails.


Fwd: AWAITING PAYMENT DETAILS......REPLY TODAY
Geri

Begin forwarded message:

From: Tony Grider [tony.grider@aol.com]
Date: August 16, 2018 8:12:36 AM
To:
Subject: AWAITING PAYMENT DETAILS......REPLY TODAY

Hello,

Okay I'll take it and will offer $900 for

Hatteras in Harbor $450
Hatteras Jetty $450

and will proceed straight with cashier's check which will clear instant or the next day to avoid delays, I am located in LAS VEGAS i will handle the shipment once the check as cleared your bank and funds have been made available to you, the shipper broker will come over to your location to pick up and have it delivered safely to me at my residential.


Please email me back the following details below to issue out the check to you.

Full Name that will be on the check
Full Address to send the check to
Cell phone number

  Waiting to read from you.

Thank you.

Tony Grider
tony.grider@aol.com


-----Original Message-----
On Aug 16, 2018, at 06:02 AM, Tony Grider [tony.grider@aol.com] wrote:

 Hello,

 I am interested in your art work, Kindly please get back to me the asking price for these below:

[list of 4 paintings here]

Thank you


Tony Grider
tony.grider@aol.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Scam Email: Bill Burrus

Hello Kathleen,

Having read your really useful art scam website I’m pretty sure the below is a new name for you, just received!

Kind regards,

Gerard



From: Bill Burrus [mailto:bill.burrus1@gmail.com]
Sent: 13 August 2018 10:58
To:
Subject: Re: [name of 4 paintings right in subject line]

Hi Gerard,

Thanks for your reply, regarding the prices I have seen it with your reply. Yes I am truely interested in purchasing.

I want you to know that I am purchasing the paintings for a Wedding Anniversary and it really need to get to my destination because the date of the Anniversary is around the corner.

Below are the paintings I am interested to purchase.

[name of 3 paintings listed here]

it will be better to discuss the payment and the shipping on Skype either verbally or typing due to the urgent of the Anniversary if possible it will be better to view the artworks on Skype Video.

My location and address of delivering are below..

1476 River Road
Titusville, NJ 08560
USA

Concerning the payment, the payment I am 100% sure about is to send you a Cashiers check or personal check or transfer the cash into your bank account for the total amount, base on the advise given via my bank.

My Skype name is bill.burrus1@gmail.com [mailto:bill.burrus1@gmail.com]  I am available throughout today on Skype to discuss and conclude.

[note: you can bet this scammer will have some reason to never show his face on Skype!]

If you don't have a Skype name kindly go to www.skype.com [http://www.skype.com/]  and register with Skype then download it and fix a time to Skype today.

Cheers,

Bill Burrus


Monday, June 11, 2018

Scam Email: Sean Pringle

Hi Kathleen,

I'm forwarding an email I received yesterday through my art website. My immediate reaction was that it looked like a scam so I didn't respond. When I googled art email scams looking for his email address, I didn't see it. But, I did come across your site and thought it would be helpful to other artists to have his info added to your list.

Thanks so much for helping by sharing this info. Glad we can all work together! If you need anything else, please let me know.

And...I just enjoyed looking at the paintings on your website. Hope all is going well for you!

Thanks again,
Di

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sean Pringle [sean.pringle152@gmail.com]
Date: Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 6:45 PM
Subject: Artwork:



Hello ,


I'm Sean Pringle from Pontiac, Michigan. 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 purchase one of your piece as a
surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept
check as method of payment.


Regards

Sean Pringle

Friday, May 11, 2018

Scam Email: Kevin Waters

They didn't lose the website address. They send out hundreds of thousands of email and are hoping their potential victims will respond and tell them the website. Then the scammer can continue on to the next step of the scam, which is to pretend to want to buy individual pieces and then overpay with a counterfeit check and ask to have the difference wired either back to them or on to some fake shipping company.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Kevin Waters [kwaters671@gmail.com]
Date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 10:13 PM
Subject: Artwork Inquiry


My name is Kevin Waters from Jacksonvile, Florida. The images on your
website are so fascinating and so vivacious, looking at each piece of work
i can easily see that you added so much dedication in making each work come
out to life, unfortunately i lost the website where i first saw your work
but i was able to save your email address. I will like to purchase some of
your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please
kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for
immediate sale within price range $500- $5,000, I could be flexible with
price. I am writing you because i need your assistant to get back to your
website so as to be able to retrieve the details of your work that interest
me or send me images of some of your new works with price.
Best Regards,
--

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Scam Email: Megan Sweet

Notice the frequent email changes from the scammer in this below exchange as well as the fake story of why the check was so much more than the amount owed.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Megan sweet [sweermeg09@gmail.com]
Date: Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: Artwork
To: Christy


Dear Christy,

I am so excited and can't wait to have the piece in our home. I hope to
give it a very good home and enjoy the piece for many years.
Regarding the check, Just find out my husband made a terrible mistake and
overpaid you because he didn't have full details of the transaction, been
busy when he sent it. I am very sorry for the confusion but I will like you
to go ahead and deposit the check, deduct the cost of the piece inclusive
the shipping . I spoke with my husband and he will like you to send the
difference back to his chief accountant. Pls get Two (2) Money gram or post
office (USPS) money orders of (1) $1000 USD each & (1) $400 totaling $1400,
you might be required to pay extra fee for the purchase of the money orders
and money orders should be left blank, include purchase receipt and use
FedEx Overnight. The money orders should be sent to the address below.

Attn: Mr Karl
9915 198TH ST

HOLLIS NY 11423

-3321

FedEx or UPS First Overnight delivery cost about $45. Overnight shipping
FedEx charges can be deducted from the money remaining. I'll appreciate if
you take care of this as soon as possible and advise with the tracking
number. Please acknowledge this email. Thank you.
Cheers,
Megan


On Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:40 PM, Christy wrote:

> Good afternoon, Megan,
>
> I hope that you are enjoying your Friday?
>
> I just got your check and was rather astonished to see that it was 4 times
> the expected amount! I was going to send your prints, but now I feel that
> we should resolve this. Here are some ideas:
>
> 1. I can destroy the check and you can send me another for $800
>
> 2. You can choose 6 more prints. This would give you 3 more in each
> series, or from different ones. Whichever you like best, of course.
>
> 3. I can have the images matted and framed,  but I'm pretty sure that,
> even with shipping, it would not cost $2400, so you could either choose an
> additional 2 prints or I could destroy the check and you could send me a
> new one for the new amount.
>
> Please let me know what you would like to do.
>
> All the best,
> Christy
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 10:31 AM, Christy
> wrote:
>
>> Hello Megan,
>>
>> I am sorry that you were struggling with your health! I hope that you are
>> feeling better.
>>
>> Thank you for sending the check and the tracking info. I am planning to
>> send your prints either today or tomorrow and will send the shipping
>> information when I do.
>>
>> Thank you again for your interest in my work!
>>
>> All the best,
>> Christy
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 9:51 AM Megan sweet [sweermeg09@gmail.com] wrote:
>>
>>> Good morning Christy,
>>> Hope this message finds you well. Apologies I have not been able to get
>>> in touch for a very long time as i have been battling with health issue.
>>> Just to confirm that payment was sent by my husband on Tuesday via USPS
>>> with tracking number 9405503699300216219950 and he was advise you will have
>>> it deliver today or latest Friday please be on the look out for it.  Kindly
>>> acknowledge receipt of this email as soon as possible.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Megan
>>>
>>> On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 12:52 PM, Christy
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Megan,
>>>>
>>>> Thanks so much!
>>>>
>>>> I'll get the prints ready to send to you!
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:09 AM, Megan sweet [sweermeg09@gmail.com]
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi Christy,
>>>>>
>>>>> Awesome , the price is okay for the piece . May I confirm if payment
>>>>> could be mailed to you by check to your address, Unfortunately I'm unable
>>>>> to complete this transaction by credit card or Paypal . If you can email me
>>>>> your full name,address for payment that will be helpful
>>>>>
>>>>> Thank you
>>>>>
>>>>> On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 7:45 AM, Christy
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi Megan,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Now I must apologize to you!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I have been thinking a lot about this, as I did not have prices
>>>>>> listed on Saatchi. Is $400 per print an acceptable amount for you?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> About the pieces; I started combining negatives when I first started
>>>>>> working in photography back in the 1990's. I don't consider myself a
>>>>>> serious traveler, but when I am able to make trips, I try to take as many
>>>>>> images as possible. These images from Greece came around because of the
>>>>>> landscape itself; the desolate rocks contrasting with the beauty of the
>>>>>> sunset. Greece itself is very inspiring; I draw a lot from the philosophy,
>>>>>> the poetry and the ancient dramas. A lot of who we are, as people in the
>>>>>> West, comes directly from the Greek thinkers. I try to pay them some subtle
>>>>>> homage, particularly in the titles. I'm glad that you enjoy them!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> As payment goes, it might be better to send a PayPal, if possible?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Let me know what you think, and thank you again for your interest in
>>>>>> my work!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> All the best,
>>>>>> Christy
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 2:22 PM, Megan sweet [sweermeg09@gmail.com]
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hi Christy,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Apologies for not getting back to you sooner,It's nice to hear back
>>>>>>> from you. I will like to proceed with the purchase of the 2 pieces (Buried
>>>>>>> in the Sky & Beginning and End), would mind telling me what your
>>>>>>> inspiration behind this piece. I think it is a lovely work and I hope to
>>>>>>> give it a good home. I am presently away on vacation but I should be back
>>>>>>> in few days. Pls confirm it listed price
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 19621 Doris Lane
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> N. FortMyers, FL Lee 33917
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Meanwhile, can you please confirm your mailing address and phone
>>>>>>> number so I may inform my husband on where to forward the payment. I can
>>>>>>> have him send the payment asap. About shipping, you can handle it from your
>>>>>>> side to my mailing address above, either by USPS, or FedEx, UPS postal
>>>>>>> service
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I will look forward to hearing from you so I can know how best to
>>>>>>> proceed.
>>>>>>> Cheers.
>>>>>>> Megan
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 4:49 AM, Christy
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Hi Megan,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thank you for your kind words! Here's a link to my Saatchi page:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Most of the works are for sale. I am open to discussion about
>>>>>>>> process if you see something you really like.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> All the best,
>>>>>>>> Christy
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 4:47 AM, Megan Sweet [vinesdd494@gmail.com]
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Hello,
>>>>>>>>> I came across your web page , I like your inspiration as an
>>>>>>>>> artist. How about you email me your recent work on sale for me to look
>>>>>>>>> through?
>>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>> Megan
>>>>>>>>>

Scam Email: Renata and Robert Dennis

Hi Kathleen -

In the spirit of trying to keep scammers from taking the joy of receiving an actual purchase order for our art, here an email I received that looks pretty fishy to me - down to the email address:


Renata [info9842@gmail.com]
May 7 (1 day ago)
to bcc: me

*Good Day,How is everything with you? I picked interest in your artwork and
decided to write you. I will like to know if your artwork can be purchased
and shipped internationally?.I can email the artwork of interest and
payment will be completed in full once you confirm my purchase order with a
quotation.Kindly let me know when you are in office and ready to take my
artwork order also let me know if you accept either PayPal / Stripe
International Payment or Visa Card or Master Card for payment?Furthermore
you can email me your recently updated website or art price list in your
response.Best Regards.*

------

I responded confirming that I did ship worldwide and for her to go to my website and click on the "Buy Art" link where most of my pieces (with the exception of two new original works) are available for sale direct from the website. She then responded with a link to the exact 2 pieces that are not
available for sale online. Adding more "weird" to this interaction, I noticed that at the bottom of her message, there seemed to be another email from a "Robert" (same period after the name that "Renata." uses) requesting nanny services (LOL):

--
Hello,
     My name is Robert Dennis from Kansas, I will like to know if you
render nanny service? If yes kindly get back to me 7858160171.

Where you locate?

Regard.

Robert.

----

So yes, even as I write this I see scam written all over it. Thank you for your site and consider this my contribution in the fight against these idiots who rather spend time and energy trying to make money on honest people who are trying to spend their time and energy being honest abiding citizens with a dream to live of what their passionate about!

Thank you

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Scam Email: Jim West

My favorite... when a scammer tries to act all indignant in order to get their victims to act quickly.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: jim west [westjim0009@gmail.com]
> Subject: Re: What is going on? Why?
>
> I have sent you couple of emails, why are you not replying my messages when you got my payment? is this how you treat your client?
>

No, it's how we treat a scammer who sends a counterfeit check.

Scam Email: Christopher Benson

Hi KatieMoe,

I don’t see this name on your list but it sounds like a scammer.


> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: christopher benson [bensonc145@gmail.com]
> Subject: Artwork Purchase
>
> Hello, my name is Christopher Benson from Atlanta, I was looking for some artwork online and I found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase one of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. I'll need pictures and prices of some of your art work which are ready for immediate sale within price range of $1,500- $2,500. I hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.
>
> Thanks,
> Chris.



Scam Email: Mathews Coughlin

Kathleen,

Here is another Scammer.  Thank you so much for your information.

Thanks

D


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mathews Coughlin [mathewscoughlin@gmail.com]
Subject: ATTACHED PIECE!!


Dear D,

Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece attached. If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a
surprise. Kindly email me the asking price asap.

As regarding payment, I would like to inform you, that my wife handles the family credit card/bank and Paypal transaction. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx delivery no P.O box). Also, as soon as you
receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most.

I would have handled this much differently if I'd been at home but i am actually going offshore and won't be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction... trying to kill two birds with a stone. :-)

Have a Positive Day!

Mathews

PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your cell phone no. so i can try and call you later as the phones may be working better when this storm passes through.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Scam Email: David Morton

An email I received from a reader:

I wanted to share an art scammers name, email, telephone number and information with you.  I am an artist and I was contacted by a "Mr. David Morton".  The initial email read as follows:

"I am so excited that I came across your work on Internet search, I am interested in purchasing some creative artworks from you let me know their various prices. And how much discounts are you going to give? Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks and best regards!

Mr. David"


I thought it was suspicious, but I had never heard of an art scam so I emailed him back.  We exchanged a few emails and he had me send a list of all the available work that I had.  He picked out one piece that he said would be an anniversary gift for his "wife".  He asked if he could pay me
an extra amount to cover private shipping because he was moving to Canada and he wanted to keep the painting as a surprise for his "wife".  This is when red flags started showing up for me.  I wanted to catch this lowlife so I entertained his emails and he sent me a check via priority mail.  The check was from a company called Ausenco Engineering USA South IN. located at 1320 Willow Pass Road in Concord, CA, 94520.

In a few days, the check came and I immediately got an email instructing me to deposit the check.  I took it to my bank where they immediately flagged it as fraudulent.  "Mr. David" continued to insist that he was interested in purchasing the piece.  He continued to text me until I had enough of this loser conman.

As an artist, I love painting and I love having my pieces in people's homes.  This is why this is such a sick and twisted scam.  These scammers will never understand true beauty and art and I hope everyone becomes aware of these scams.

Thank you for your blog and for fighting these scammers!  I'll include a summary list of this conman's information.


Here is a summary of this scammers info:


Fake name: Mr. David Morton
Fake Profession: Ocean Engineer at Ausenco Engineering
email: samdavid.morton01@gmail.com
phone numbers: (720)-538-4635 (David's phone),
(409)-600-9495 ("Shipper's Number")
Shippers name and address: Carol Brashear, City: Ravensdale Wa., Zip code: 98051

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Scam Email: Fake PayPal Payment

Here is a good one to watch out for!

The fake email wants you to believe someone sent you a large amount of money via PayPal and that PayPal recommends you withdraw it.

No one sent you money and PayPal is definitely not recommending anything.

The scammer wants you to click on the link, where the link (I won't share it so it won't be active, and I delinked it below in the example) looks something like this:

http://[scammer_domain_here].com/click.php?[my_email_was_inserted_here]

That can NOT be good. Do NOT click on that link!!! Delete the email and move on. Don't be a victim.

Subject: Lauri just sent you $3,182.00 USD with Paypal. Paypal recommends to withdraw it now.

From: Lauri [obligationwaqyf@pornoroutine.io]

Lauri just sent you $3,182.00 USD with Paypal

Click here to continue 

Best of luck! 
Lauri 

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