Search This Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Scam Email: Frank Mayfield

This below scam email has a couple of interesting points about it. One is the level of personalization this scammer tried to go through. I've not seen the approach of needing a portrait of a President before but the level of detail they attempt in order to make it look legitimate goes further than the average scammer. Secondly, it is interesting that this scammer tries to bypass getting the artist to ship ANY artwork and send "paintings" digitally. Maybe they are thinking an artist will feel that is an irresistable proposition?? Maybe they are thinking this will increase their percentage of victims? It does mean they need another story other than using a third-party shipper for how they are going to scam you out of your money. What finally gives it away? Well, coupled with the fact that the spelling and grammar and formatting of the email remain the usual horrible shape, but then the minute they said the "client" is an investment company in the United Arab Emirates, the warning sirens should be going off. Interesting they even offer to do a "direct deposit", though I doubt they would end up allowing that choice to be selected.

Here is what the artist in question (who fortunately did NOT complete the transaction) forwarded to me:

Hi Kathleen, almost fell for this one, too many red flags though. Should have known it wasn't right when the first email came with my address and phone number in the email itself.

The ip address traces back to Kansas. Came across your site while trying to figure out if it was legit or not, thanks for helping protect artists out there.

Frank Mayfield
Frank Mayfield

first fishing email:

Good day,

I would like to make inquiries regarding making a Portrait illustration. Do let me know if i am in contact with the right person.

Thank you

Frank Mayfield

2nd email with details:

Thank you for your response.

Am sorry for the way i approached you but i wanted to be sure i was in touch with the right person, I gave my secretary the task of sourcing out a capable talent and she provided your details.

My client company is currently undergoing renovations and refurbishing and they seek some art form to complement the changes, I have been mandated to seek out capable professional talents that can provide portraits of Past American President Jim Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barrack Obama.

The paintings are gift portraits to be framed and hanged on the office wall of the CEO of the client company retaining my services. If it helps, the primary colors for the office interior is blue and green, furniture black and brown.

Digital painting would be ideal as this medium allows easier email transfer and eliminate cost of shipping, we would require instructions for the printer though to ensure proper final output. Still let me have a quote as requested.

I desire quotes for Digital painting.

Size             Medium         Cost

11x14        Digital        $$$

12x16        Digital        $$$

14x18        Digital        $$$

18x20        Digital        $$$

All Portraits are to have a completely black or suitable background, each president should be rendered in their ceremonial black suit from the waist up, Art details of each portrait should be clean and very clear to the eye. No more oval room desk, i have someone sorted to provide non-traditionally shaped frames so you need not worry about framing.

Each character is to be depicted in a serious business like mood. More like one about to sign a million dollar deal.

Delivery date is October-November.

I want you to take charge of the project so all your input in this is considered valuable. You will seek out reference images worthy of this project, we will not provide any reference images as this kills off the element of surprise and lowers expectation because we would already have a picture of the image at the back of our minds, do you get me?

Our budget is not to exceed $250-$300 per portrait. But still that depends on the requested information above. Is there a website i can visit to see some of your display works, When i see some samples of your works and i like what i see, i will suggest to the client to make an instalmental payment to you and the balance will be made available before delivery.

To this end, the first portrait for official preview is Barrack Obama, invariably what this means is that you are not to start on the other portraits until you have completed the portrait of Obama and after i must have previewed it.

The payment method as requested by the client is by Certified USA Financial Instrument namely Check/Money or Postal Order or by direct deposit into your account.
And i will advise that you do not commit resources until you receive this deposit.
Payment Schedule is as follows:
30% deposit for you to begin work, I will request the client to make a further 30% available after i preview the first painting of Obama, And the rest 40% will be paid after i preview the Third painting and then you will ship the 3 items to me using the address below.

The Name of the company requesting this project is Tanner Group Investment. I did some work for them months back and i have been on a retainer with them since.
They are an investment firm operating out of the United Arab Emirates,
The invoice should be made out to me using the details below:
Frank Mayfield
1 Whitehall Ct Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5QF, UK

To save time and for expediency sake and also for record purposes, i will require the name and address for the payment to be sent in your anticipated response,

Though you can reach me on the number above between the hours of 12-4pm Mon-Thurs only.
If you get my voicemail more than once, please consider sending me an email requesting for all you need to know to make this work and i will get back to you.
I am open to coordinate this project by email.

I hope all the terms in this email is understood and acceptable. Let me know what you think and what else is needed to proceed.

Wishing you all the best.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scam Email: Clark Elster

Here's another one received today. Same content we're used to in these scam emails, different name.

first email:

From: Clark Elster []
Subject: Bathtub Starfish 2

Good day to you over there, My name is  Clark Elster I'm from New Jersey and i hope this message finds you well.I was  going through your works and my eyes caught  Bathtub & Starfish 2 , 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.
second email:

From: Clark Elster []
Subject: Re: Bathtub Starfish 2

Thanks for the message, I am very happy to know that the pieces(Bathtub) is still available for sale. i  must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase because my wife really love it and she want me to get it home before she deliver our upcoming baby boy lol...I will like to let you know that  your payment will be in form of a Certified  Check.You don't have to worry about packing,insurance and tax because my shipper will be in the best position to do that as soon as you get  the  payment.This is because i will be traveling out of the country any moment from now for a  business proposal.So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment  I:E :

Full Name
Standard Address
Phone number
Asking price reconfirmation

so that i can proceed in the payment arrangement, consider it sold get back to me asap with needed information.


Scamsters Ever on the Lookout for New Gullible Victims

This article was posted today in Johannesburg. Actually, many of the artist-targeted scam email we address here will often say the scammer is moving to South Africa (Australia is another commonly used fake destination). Goes to show you it is a totally global problem.

SMS and email scamsters, ever on the lookout for new gullible victims, have taken to luring people to part with money or their personal details with false promises that they have won a fabulous prize.

"The minute you are requested to incur costs of whatever nature in lieu of what has been promised, should be sufficient warning that something is not right with the transaction," said SA Banking Risk Information Centre general manager for commercial crime, Susan Potgieter, on Thursday.

"The public should be wary of any promises of easy money; the sweeter the deal sounds, the more likely it is part of a scam."

Known as "advance fee fraud", tactics include asking the supposed recipient of a grand prize to send the code number of a cellphone recharge voucher, or asked for money, or for personal details.

The notices usually appear convincing, but Potgieter reiterated what banks keep telling people: don't part with personal details by sms or email and don't give personal details to people claiming to be from the bank or a company you do business with unless you are absolutely sure the person you are dealing with is to be trusted.

People who realise they have been duped, or suspect they have been duped, should contact their bank immediately.

Some red flags to look out for:

* Be cautious of any official or business dealings where the main means of communication is a cellphone number or email. It is very rare for a well established company to use cellphone numbers as its main contact details with the public.
* Verify that the email address from which the email is sent is that of the company that it purportedly comes from.
* Be suspicious when you are requested to incur any costs disguised as "administration fees" or "processing fees".
* Always act with caution when you are suddenly informed that you have won a prize in a competition that you have not entered.
* Query the reasonableness of a well established company requesting you to send them cellphone recharge vouchers. The probability is that the cellphone airtime that you send is actually used to defraud even more unsuspecting people.

A recent scam dressed itself as official communication from LG Electronics. It read: "Congratulations!! Your no. was among the lucky winners on the LG Annual PROMOTION. You won R200,000. Ticket no. 0188P. Call your Claim Agent Mr. Douglas Smith on 0710282774. For Your Cash immediately from 08 am 06 pm. Sender no. 27784435162. Sent 22:36:06, 03/03/2010."

LG Electronics immediately sent out an alert that the sms was part of a scam and not linked to the company.

Missouri Men Plead Guilty to Email Spam Scheme

This is not art-specific but it is a rare moment when authorities actually catch ANY spammers, so its worth sharing to show that sometimes they are caught. However, its a tiny drop in a bottomless bucket...

Notice how much they were making from the spams. It goes to show how profitable this stupid activity is.

Two Missouri men and their company have pleaded guilty in a nationwide e-mail spamming scheme.

Federal prosecutors say 29-year-old Amir Ahmad Shah, of St. Louis, and his brother, 26-year-old Osmaan Ahmad Shah, of Columbia, and their company, i20, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court. They admitted being part of a scheme that targeted students at more than 2,000 colleges and universities, including the University of Missouri.

The Shahs admitted that they and others conspired to illegally extracting student e-mail addresses, then sending targeted spam promoting various products and services to the students.

The two men were ordered to forfeit over $439,000 in proceeds from the scam. They face up to eight years in prison.

Paul Zucker, of Wayne, N.J., pleaded guilty in July to his role in the conspiracy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scam Email: Joseph Caldwell

Hi Kathleen,

Below is the email I received regarding one of my paintings.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Joseph Caldwell []
Subject: maui sky


  Good day to you over there, My name is Joseph Caldwell I'm from Seattle  and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught...., 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.

Note: Aleksandra was also kind enough to send the full headers of this email, to see what the IP number might be of the originating server - often this will at least tell you the country the scammer is sending their emails out of, but unfortunately in this case the IP number just reflected it was being sent from the google servers, because the scammer was using gmail. Also notice in the scam email - which I've seen before, how the scammer forgot to personalize the part of the email "...and my eyes caught.....". And although this email is vague and makes no mention of a third party shipper or that they are moving from one country to another, it does have the classic signs of poor formatting and grammatical errors.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scam Email: Brad Scott

Here is an email I received this morning from a tattoo artist:

Brad Scott [] has sent me an e mail for a tattoo for 10 people on vacation. The long and short of it he gives me a credit card # I charge 3500.00 twice, send his girl friday 5000.00 for their trip incidentals and I keep 2000.00 for the tattoos they will get. ha ha. I have reported them to the county fraud division. If it's too good to be true it is!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Prosecutors Warn Of Increase In Email Scams

The New York County District Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau has been alerted to an increase in scams involving unlawfully accessed email accounts from web-based email providers.

Potential victims report receiving an urgent email from an account known to them. The email includes an urgent plea for money, recounting a false claim that the email sender was traveling abroad, typically in London, and was mugged or robbed of all cash and property. The email further requests that funds to be wired via Western Union to help cover expenses during the interim period, with a promise to repay the loan. The same email is sent to nearly every email address listed in the sender’s address book.

This scam relies on the fact the potential victim will act swiftly because of the urgency of the message coming from a trusted source – often the account of a friend, relative, or colleague. This scam has multiple victims — the people who receive this email as well as the sender, whose email account is compromised and used for the scam. The perpetrators often gain unauthorized access to the email account used for the scam through an earlier “phishing” (identity theft) scam, whereby the email account holder is tricked into revealing his or her password information.

An email sent on April 23, 2010, which was referred to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, is indicative of the emails that are included in this type of scam. It is signed with the first name of the email account holder.

Because the perpetrators of this scam have access to all of the saved emails in the compromised email accounts, the perpetrator may learn a significant amount of personal information about the email account holders and be able to convince skeptical recipients of these emails that the perpetrator is, in fact, the actual friend, relative, or colleague associated with the email account.

Some recipients of these emails have reported that they have subsequently received additional emails requesting money from different email accounts in continuing efforts by the perpetrators to commit more fraud. Usually the email addresses are only slightly changed by one letter or one number.

These types of scams attempt to take advantage of the kindness of individuals, as well as the fact that the emails come from what appear to be “trusted” email accounts, as opposed to from strangers.

Although ongoing investigations into these and similar scams indicate that many of these perpetrators are based overseas and outside the reach of local law enforcement, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. suggests some tips to avoid becoming a victim of this and similar email schemes:

* Avoid immediately responding to information provided via email until you have first verified the source. Confirm the information contained in an email by speaking directly with the parties in question.
* Be skeptical of any request for money made via email, particularly if accompanied by claims of urgency or necessity.
* Do not respond to unsolicited email such as “spam,” since these emails may potentially contain software that is harmful to your computer and which may be designed to compromise your passwords and other personal identifying information.
* Be extremely cautious about sending any personal identifying information, banking information, or any other sensitive information in response to email requests. Unless you are expecting such a request, or you have initiated them yourself, in most instances you should not be sending this information to anybody.
* Be cautious about any emails which appear to come from financial institutions. Many scams involve emails that appear to be legitimate bank communications and even provide links to the financial institution’s web site. These links may look exactly like the actual bank’s web site, but in reality, may be capturing the login and password information that you provide.

If you suspect that your email account has been compromised, or you have been the victim of any other type of email fraud or scam, please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (“IC3”), a centralized, national complaint reporting database for Internet-related crimes. The IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Scam: Melonie Young

This is to show artists that these very SAME emails are sent to all kinds of people, not just artists. The below was sent from someone who sells Push-to-Talk switches. Notice all the same techniques. Notice where they slip in they will *only* use their shipper. Classic misspellings, grammar problems, and terrible formatting.

In this scam email, the "From" says Young Melonie but that's just a reversal of Melonie Young, one we've seen before. The various emails they sent are below.

The Push-to-Talk Switch is what i really needed for now what is the price for 50units of Push-to-Talk Switch since that is available we may make arrangement for that now and ask the shipper to come and pick up by tomorrow if you can give me the price now i will forward my credit card for the payment



-----Original Message-----
From: Young Melonie
Subject: Re: Order Inquiry on Oversea Shipping(Australia)


Thanks for the mail, kindly get the total cost and the weight of the
below items

NEW & IMPROVED PC to Headset Adapter W/USB Connector

Audio Gold Plug Adapter
.25 to 1/8 stereo plug, decreases a .25 plug to a 3.5mm stereo plug

Push-to-Talk Switch (PT-300, C10-15

My store informations
My full name Melonie Young
Melonie Inc
My delivery address is as below,
Address : 10 Greenhill Road, WAYVILLE, 5034, SA, AUSTRALIA

When you figure out the weight of the items kindly send to the
shipper.Below are some of there informations The contact person

D'kings Freight

For more information of the freight company kindly contact them they will get them to you with the necessary feedback you required.The freight company, has my shipping profile already, ( The weight of the package and your company address is what they needed to give a shipping cost to me. kindly get back to me when you have the actual total cost (both order cost and the shipping cost from the shipper),And I shall forward my payment details (credit card) to you to
charge for the total cost and the shipping cost from the shipper, so that you can complete the arrangement for the pick up with the shipper.
After which,the shipper will come for the pick up Kindly advice back Asap.

Melonie Inc

-----Original Message-----
From: Young Melonie
Subject: Re: Order Inquiry on Oversea Shipping(Australia)

Do you have Catalog, your price is not listed on your website, can you send me a link where i can find the price or the price list to my email, i don't have a paypal just my maste rcard for the payment

I recently viewed your web page and i was caught up in ordering some of your products,we are located in Australia,i will like to know if you have the items in stocks..(inventory list) and also will like to know the type of credit card you accept for payment..and also i will like to let you know that a Nominated shipping agent that i worked with for years, i worked with them alone due to problem bringing down orders to this location since i am in a remote area, infact they are very effective.please advise so that we can proceed

I am waiting anxiously to hear back from you.
Please kindly send your response to my purchasing email

Best Regards
Melonie Inc

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Scam Email: David Nutter

First scam email received:
 From: David Nutter []
Subject: Order Enquiry

My name is David Nutter, i will like to order for some piece of your work from your studio as gift for my parent are celebrating their wedding anniversary, so i will be glad to have your reply as soon as possible, i will be glad if you can send me your website address to choose or send me four of your product via email that is available for me to choose.

Waiting to read from you that we can make some progress.

I will be waiting to read from you at you convince time.

Thanks. David Nutter
Second scam email received:
From: David Nutter []
Subject: Re: Order Enquiry


Thanks for your reply concerning my order, I am OK with the once below. Now i want you to get back to me with the total price of the once below. And i am sure that my parent will love your great works.

Hoodoos Under the Stars

Agaist the Wall

Dancing Bears


Erosion in Motion

Stairway to Excellence

Meanwhile, I don't want you to bother your self concerning the shipment i have a shipping company come for the pickup in your gallery also they will be the one to make the packing, just get back to me with the price of the art work so that we can make some progress.



David Nutter
ah, there is that classic third party shipper red flag. "I don't want you to bother your self..." Right... and 'your self' is one word. Grammar or basic spelling will never be their strong suit.

Scam Victim Loses $370,000

Okay this is not art related but demonstrates the allure this has for more scammers to get into the game.

It’s not just another lottery scam from a foreign country. A 79-year-old Broward woman has paid “fees” of more than $370,000 so far but wants to keep paying more in hopes of getting some $7.5 million promised by the scammers.

The woman's friends and family tried months ago to get authorities to block her bank accounts and rule her incompetent. But those authorities did nothing.

So the woman's financial adviser took his own client to court to stop her and stop the scam. Tuesday, a Broward County judge ruled her incompetent, made a temporary order permanent, and blocked access to her assets to everyone except a court-appointed guardian.

NBC Miami is choosing not to use the name of the elderly victim because authorities fear the scammers are dangerous.

The woman believes even now that, because she gave the scammers $370,000 in “fees,” maybe more, that $7.5 million in Jamaican lottery winnings will arrive any day.

Registered financial adviser David Treece of Miami Shores was horrified when he realized what his client was doing with her money.

“Right from the beginning,” he said, “she was so adamant about sending money to Jamaica. And I told her no. And I got the family and the authorities involved right then because I refused to do it for her. That’s when she figured out she could do it herself.”

Treece said his fiduciary responsibility is important to him. “And if I know this money is going to criminals,” he said, “I'm not going to facilitate it.”

But what happened next was even more frustrating for him.

"And then I called everybody I could call. Adult Protective Services, who sent somebody out. I called the Department of Children and Families, I called the Florida Elderly Abuse hotline, I called the police. I called the FBI. We called everybody, and nothing seemed to happen.”

Treece said in April, two state DCF investigators visited his client’s home. And he followed up in these emails to them with dire warnings:

"…the situation is increasing in seriousness."

"…late last month, (she) pulled out over $100,000."

“…reduced her monthly income"

"…the criminals...have even called one of (her) neighbors."

Still, DCF took no action. As a result, following the April home inspections, she continued to send more money to the scammers in Jamaica. Treece read the withdrawal spreadsheet like a roster of the dead:

"April 15, it was $22,000. April 26, about $45,000. May 4, $62,000. May 13, $45,000. May 24, $20,000. June 1, $26,000."

Finally, on June 8, Treece hired a lawyer and got a court hearing where a judge granted a temporary ruling of incompetence, blocking access to her accounts.

"This is one shocking example of where the system failed," said Treece. "And this just fell through the cracks. And I don't see why it had to be that way, it was clear from all the records we had - from phone records, from financial records - that this was going on."

Vicki Brail, the court-appointed guardian, also said more could have been done long before a judge brought her on board.

"Perhaps the system could've moved a little faster in the protective services," Brail said. "But once it came to the attention of the court, it moved immediately. It was done on an emergency basis and the judge has handled it very appropriately and in a very timely manner.”

And Brail said she wants charges filed against the scammers, even though they are in Jamaica. Brail, Treece and others report the scammers posed as FBI agents and charged her money to try to get her money back. They posed as officials from the Jamaican Attorney General’s office and visited her Broward home hoping to help her find a way to pay more “fees” to get her millions. They even called her neighbors.

The Department of Children and Family Services has yet to say why they took no action.

"Even today,” said Brail, “even after all of the surrounding people in her life - her family, her financial planner, the court - has tried to convince her that maybe these people are trying to rip her off and scam her, she's still totally convinced that she's going to get her money back.”

So dedicated was Treece to stopping the scam that he even called the scammers in Jamaica.

"This guy named Tiger. And he was trying to say 'no, she's won this money, she's won millions of dollars, but she needs to go ahead and pay this money.' And I said 'do you know who you're talking to?'

Hotmail Phishing Scam

A hotmail phishing scam that took over more than 10,000 accounts proved to be problematic as a combination of severe hacking and good spelling made the attack particularly convincing.

Emails arrived seemingly from friends claiming to be in dire need and requiring money transfers. One claimed that the sender had been mugged in South Africa and needed some funds desperately.

A BBC article from back in October say that accounts and passwords had been published in several places online including since October 09, and that the accounts had been open for phishing scammers since then. One source said that hotmail addresses beginning with a or b had been intially targeted. Though Microsoft acknowledged the problem at the time, it seems they have done little to help - or warn - customers.

Graham Cluley, consultant at security firm Sophos, told BBC News the published list may just be a subset of a longer list of compromised accounts. "We still don't know the scale of the problem," he said.

Confused customers were having a hard time getting any help from Microsoft.

Scam Email: Andreas Michae

Here is another lazy scam email that arrived just this morning. They didn't even bother to personalize the email for the victim.

From:  Mr. Andreas Michae []
Subject: Order Enquiry.....


Am Mr. Andreas Michael, an American live and work here in CYPRUS. I will like to place an order for some items from you, but I will like to know what you have available in stock . Let me have your website address so I can view the products you have presently in stock and if there is any special pricing I need to know about.

Do you ship to Cyprus ?
Do You accept Credit card ?

In order to avoid any form of delays can you let me know the type of credit cards you accept? I hope to hear from you as soon as possible so we can proceed with the Order .


P. O. Box 56150
CY - 3304 Lemeso

Mr. Andreas Michael

Friday, July 16, 2010

Scam Email: Serena Wilcox II

It looks like this scammer found a pocket of potters to target, just had another report from a potter yesterday. What is so completely funny about this one is that the scammer apparently lost their place of where they were in the scam process and in the third email exchange, kind of started over as if they had a complete memory loss (which of course then tipped off the artist that something was not right). It can happen to a scammer that is sending out hundreds of thousands of these. Sometimes their little pea brains are going to get all confused....

First email from scammer:
From: serena wilcox []

 I want to place an order in your store,and i will like to know if you ship to Australia and my method of payment will be credit card. So please let me know if you can assist me with the order ,And please do not forget to include your web page in your replying back to my mail.I will await your prompt response as soon as you receive this mail
Second email:
 From: serena wilcox []
Subject: Re: Quote Needed!

Here is my order :

pitcher Wood fired salt glazed stoneware


salt glazed stoneware coffee server and cups

Stoneware Coffee Server with Cobalt Shino and Natural Ash Salt Glaze

Large Wood fired stoneware vase

stoneware Teapot Salt Glaze
Please get back to me with the total cost estimate for this order so that i can make my payment via my USA issued credit card. I am an American but I live and work here in Australia and I want these products here.
Do not worry about the shipping , I will make arrangement for the pick up of these items from your place thru my shipping agency.
Third email, scammer has complete memory loss:
From: Serena Wilcox []
Subject: RE: Quote Needed!

       Thanks for the mail, can you email me with list of titles you have in stock for the selected artist so i can make my choice and get back to you with the list of choosen work.

Thanks with regards


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scam Email: Susan Shors

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks so much for your Scam Blog.

I didn't know how to post this, so hope it is ok to just send via email. Thank goodness I finally googled the Belarus address and found you!

Glad to stop wasting time on this. I never gave them our website, but they found it anyway.

I got suspicious as the English got better as the emails kept coming! When I said they had to telephone me, they never replied.

What I wonder is what they would have gotten out of the deal, as the artwork isn't that valuable, and of course I wouldn't have sent it without full payment. Smuggling?  Access to my computer?  dunno.

Anyway, here it is.

Post if you think it might be helpful.

(We DID get an email about a year ago and successfully shipped two large pieces to Oman! I opened a separate bank account, they wire the money and we shipped the pots!)

Thanks so much,


First Email from Scammer:

From: "Susan Shors" []
Subject: Art Purchase

I and my Cousin have interest in purchasing some piece of Art from your gallery hence i will like to know if you sell internationally (Belarus) and also if you accept (Credit Card) as a method of payment,if you do i want you to get back to me with your updated webpage, so that i can make choice of the Art to purchase from your gallery. Your response is needed so that we can proceed. I await your response.

Second Email:

From: Susan Shors []
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: Art Purchase

 Hi Mark,
Good to hear from ylou,you id not answer my email if you accept credit card as a method of payment. You can get back to me with the new pottery

I will be looking forward to hearing from you asap.


Third Email:

From: Susan Shors []
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 3:32 PM
Subject: RE: Art Purchase

 Hi Carol,

Good to hear from you and how are you doing today,your family and business?
below are the ones i am willing to purchase:

Salt-Glazed Two Gallon Jar
Brown with blue glass runs and ash glaze neck and lid.
16" H x 11" W x 11" D
Three Gallon Vase
Pale ash glaze with starburst decoration and blue glass runs.
18" H x 12" W x 12" D
Gallon Pitcher
Yellow ash glaze with manganese slip dots and blue glass runs.
11.5" H x 9" W x 9" D
therefore i want you to get them packed.On the shipping,one will have to pay additional fee at the delivery point here in Belarus because they will never bring to ones house. courier like Fedex UPS are not worth it here especially USPS all of them are not rendering good service here probably because they already known very well. You can contact this courier service Shore Express Courier Service ( [] ) as well with the weight and cost of the artwork for the shipping and insurance to my address because they ship and deliver safely without one paying any other money before collecting the goods unlike some other courier where it will not be delivered to your address rather you will have to go to their office to pick it up and when you get there you will be told to pay other money before collecting it. I will be looking forward to hearing from you asap.
Shipping Address

Susan Shors
13F, Skoryna ave.
Minsk, Belarus

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Artist Experience: Tricia Allen Scam Email VI

Here is an artist who just wrote in to tell me he had just received the Tricia Allen email. This one seems very widespread. Reports have been coming in from all over.

Kathleen, I just found this online, as I received an email from Tricia Allen or whoever this person is.  Thanks for taking the time to create something like this.  Please add me to your email list.


Scam Email: Serena Wilcox

Here is a scam email just received this morning (and forwarded to me) from an artist who has a studio right next to me in the ICB Building in Sausalito, CA. She was knowledgeable enough to know immediately it was a scam.

I put this one under the category of super lazy scammer, who didn't even bother to personalize anything or find out what this person they are emailing might even be selling. Lazy!

[poor formatting below is intentional as that is how they send these emails. It always amazes me how they never clean up their formatting and spelling errors. But it certainly helps us identify them as scams!]

From: serena wilcox []

I want to place an order in your store,and i will like to know if you ship to Australia and my method of payment will be credit card. So please let me know if you can assist me with the order ,And please do not forget to include your web page in your replying back to my mail.I will await your prompt response as soon as you receive this mail

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scam Email: Smith Leonard

A name we've not listed here before, but the email is the same ole same ole...

From: Smith Leonard []
Subject: Calm River 6x8 oil on canvas and Autumn 8x10 pastel

Dear Seller,

Good greetings to you, i am happy to see your artwork interesting to me and am willing to buy them from you.

Please Kindly tell me if the selected artworks are still for sale and it's present condition.

Looking forward to read soon from you and i remain

Best Regards
Mr. Smith

Scam Email: John Bathgate

Here is another from the faked name of John Bathgate:

From: John Bathgate []
Subject: "Thanksgiving" - 2008 pastel


Good day to you over there, My name is John Bathgate I'm from Seattle  and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught...., 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.


I'm noticing lately their "template" for these emails often have a period after their signature name at the end. Not sure why, but its another clue to add to other clues.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Artist Experience: Dennis Matt Scam Email II

Here is an email from an artist who trusted her instincts when the email didn't seem right and googled the name - fortunately this blog came up to offer her confirmation of her suspicions.

Another artist saved!

Hi Kathleen,

Thank you so much for your informative website to "Stop Artist Scams. Today I received a very crudely written email from Dennis Matt, inquiring about the purchase of one of my paintings. I "smelled a rat", so to speak!! Trusting my intuition, I Googled Dennis Matt and stumbled upon your website.  Needless to say, I am extremely grateful to you for your care and concern for fellow artists!

The E-mail address on the message is:  Dennis Matt [] for your growing list of offenders.

Keep up the good work, Kathleen!

Warmest Regards,


Friday, July 9, 2010

Scam Email: Dale Adams

Here is another example of how the first email sent by a scammer is now relatively brief - to try and get you to reply, and then the second email will reveal more clues that it is a scam.

First, here is the comment from the artist who received this scam email and forwarded it to me to post:
Hi Kathleen,

I just put my work up on Nevada Artists Association website last week and already have been approached by a ?scammer?  I'm pasting his emails in this message.  Luckily Nevada Artists have a "scam alert"  so I'm grateful that I haven't spent more time on this.  Thank you, Nancy
Now here is the scammer's actual first email (bad formatting is as it was sent):
From: Dale Adams []
Subject: Subject: Ancestors of the Crane 16 x 20 Mixed Media

Hello there,

My name is Dale Adams and am from Indiana. Was going through your works and love this piece.
What's your final price for it and am really interested in purchasing the piece.

Thanks and i await your response.

And here is his second email after the artist replied to the first email (she provided more information about how the piece was mounted, the framing and the shipping, and all the costs):
From: Dale Adams []
Subject: Re: Ancestors of the Crane 16 x 20 Mixed Media


Thanks for your prompt reply.I really appreciate your detailed breakdown and frankness on this.

Im on my way to India on an official trip(I'm a marketing Executive) and wont be back for another two weeks, I would have come to inspect the piece personally. Im taking your word for true on It though .

Im okay with the price, I think it worth it anyway. If you'd like to know, Im relocating to the UK soon and I'm trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode. Im buying yours amongst others,quickly! before someone else grabs it.So, I'll arrange to send you payment ASAP.
However, I'll have to notify my shipper who's helping me move my stuff from the US,to get set for the pickup of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed in India depending on how things goes.

PS: In the mean time, kindly get back to me with your contact address and also your phone# so I can get certified check prepared and have it sent out to you ASAP.

Artist Experience: Dennis Matt Scam Email

Here is basically just a repeat of the Dennis Morgan scam email, with the scammer using a different name and disposable email address. The artist who forwarded this to me sent the full email headers but there was no surprise in looking for the originating IP number in the headers, as the email came from a google mail server because the scammer used gmail.


I got this email yesterday from a "Dennis Matt," email address of, which is awfully similar to one listed on your page as Dennis Morgan,   I quoted the listed price of the artwork he was interested in, including sales tax plus shipping.  I also let him know that his poor grammar and "urgency" in purchasing spells "scammer" to me, and that he would have to prove his legitimacy to me before I would do business with him.  Hope this info. helps you and others,


Subject: "Haleakala: Eye of Dawn" (15 1/2" x 33 1/2") Float-mounted and Framed $400
From: Dennis Matt []


Good day to you over there, My name is Dennis Matt i'm from California and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught this particular piece,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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Scam Email: Richard Gallacher

Here is a scam email that arrived this morning from one of those lazier scammers who didn't even bother to personalize the email. It has so little information that sometimes people reply asking for more information and that gets them hooked into the next step in the scam. But notice how he actually asks for the website address so if they DO reply, he'll have more information to personalize his next email. Silly!

From: Richard Gallacher []
Subject: Order

Hello there,
  My name is Richard Gallacher and i live in the United Kingdom. I am writing to inquire about some of your products which i am highly interested in buying. I would like to know if you can sell to me and i shall be paying with my credit card. In you response,kindly include your website address so that i may look further to see if i can get more interesting things that i can buy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Artist Experience: Tricia Allen Scam Email V

Kathleen - it seems Tricia Allen is alive and well.  Thanks for your blog posts about this scam!

All best, Martha

From: Tricia Allen []
Subject: artworks purchase

Good day to you.

I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search,I am interested in purchasing these creative artworks from you.....................

Black Diamond,Salt Mist,Meridiem,Lupine Brocade,Mettawee Valley,Island Dunes and Twin Spruces II

Let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going to give?I will be happy to have these selected artworks hanged in our new home in South Africa.As well,I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives.

We are traveling from our Seattle home to our new apartment as soon as possible.On Paying for the artworks,I will be glad to pay you with a Money Order or Cashier`s check in US funds that can be easily cashed at your local bank,please let me know on how to proceed for the payment of the creative artworks.

I will await your advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day.

Take care,
Tricia Allen

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Coast Art Dealer Admits Running Ponzi Scheme

Here is a different side of an art scam - one to bilk art collectors out of money rather than the artists. I feel terrible for the art collectors who thought they were buying art and the way these scams chip away at buyer's confidence.

This appeared in Portland's Register Guard newspaper:
PORTLAND — A gallery owner accused of devising an art-themed Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Donald D. Seybold, 37, who owned galleries in Cannon Beach and Seaside before his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22 in Portland. Prosecutors estimate that he defrauded about 200 people out of more than $3 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley said Seybold defrauded customers and investors by promising to buy art for them and then sell it for a profit. Seybold admitted that he used the money he received from later investors to pay earlier investors in a Ponzi scheme.

Most of the 200 victims came from the West and Midwest, with a few on the East Coast. Some had come to Cannon Beach for a vacation and learned of Seybold’s offer. Others learned about it through family and friends.

The one count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and $250,000, but a plea deal reached before the hearing could reduce that sentence. The sentence will consider how many victims Seybold defrauded and their financial loss.

“We have yet to fully unravel that,” she said.

The FBI learned of Seybold after he confessed his wrongdoing in an e-mail to his investors and customers. Although Horsley said she didn’t know what precipitated the e-mail, “It was becoming clear to him that his whole house of cards was about to collapse,” she said.

The FBI arrested Seybold on May 14, 2009, after a federal grand jury indicted him on nine counts of wire fraud.

The FBI initially said Seybold defrauded 100 victims who suffered $3.2 million in losses. The number of victims doubled after the FBI published a phone number for victims to call, so the total loss may be greater.

Horsley said she didn’t know what Seybold might have done with the money that he collected from those who invested in his business and from customers who bought nonexistent artwork.

“A lot of people who invested in this art never saw it,” she said. “We use the term ‘ghost art.’ ”

One victim, Rick Ashton of Olympia, estimated he lost more than $100,000. Relatives and friends also lost money, he said.

“I thought he was a friend,” Ashton said. “I met him when he bought the gallery. I trusted him. I went to his wedding. I went to his house.”

Artist Experience: Barbara Santos Scam Email II

Hello Kathleen

I am Yvon and I received last days, the same emails as many artists, from "Barbara Santos"..

It's frequent I receive this kind of  "spoilt gangster's litterature", but this one felt true and good manners !!!!

I let a message on the blog "barbara santos scam", but not sure I did the good manipulations. Not very cleaver with machines.

I keep email of this person, so, if you need a temoignage, I shall be there.



Friday, July 2, 2010

Scam Email: Sheila Fiske

Hi Kathleen,

I've been contacted by one of these art purchase scammers and as I was suspicious I googled the entire body of the email message. Found your blog with the exact text only that they have used a new name and email address.

Here is the info:
name: Sheila Fiske
subject: Art Purchase

I and my Cousin have interest in purchasing some piece of Art from your gallery hence i will like to know if you sell internationally (Belarus) and also if you accept (Credit Card) as a method of payment,if you do i want you to get back to me with your updated webpage, so that i can make choice of the Art to purchase from your gallery.
Your response is needed so that we can proceed.
I await your response.

Thanks for setting up this blog, what a great help !!!!

Wish you all the best,