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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scam Email: Mike Walter

Here's an email I received from an artist:

Hello Kathleen,
I found your blog and thought I'd forward this to you.  I was recently contacted by a Sgt. Mike Walter with the following emails.   I did have the painting framed but that's OK, I'm just out  $300 for that and it's not a big deal. But I started getting suspicious about this transaction and at this point I really think its a total scam. Yes, the kicker $2900 more than the asking price.  I'm not going any further with this thing. I have the check which came from a bank in Utah and yet was posted from the UK.  That makes no sense to me.  In your blog you  recommend just stop replying to the emails. Do the police or anyone else actually investigate this stuff. What do you recommend doing,  besides stop replying to the emails?  Thanks,
Denise
 And here is the string of emails from the scammer (I've put my reply in the comments below):


From: Mike Walter [sgtmikewalter@gmail.com]
Date: November 21, 2011 11:35:48 PM PST
Subject: Payment Information

Hi,

Thanks for the message,I am very happy to know that the Artwork is still available for sale. i must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase and i am willing to pay the asking price ($1000) for it framed .

I will like to let you know that your payment will be in a  Certified Check  and i will wait till it clears your bank before telling my shipper to come for the pick up, this will not take time at all because the payment will be sent out immediately i read back from you.You don't have to worry about shipment, my shipper will handle it. So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment
I:E :

Full Name
Standard Mailing Address
Phone numbers

so that i can proceed in the payment arrangement.  I will like you to consider it sold and get back to me asap with needed information to mail the payment.

Kind Regards and God bless you.

Mike.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Brad Bucknor [movingalltheway@yahoo.com]
Date: December 1, 2011 6:37:34 AM PST
Subject: Packing and Shipment arrangements for Sgt Mike Walter
Reply-To: Brad Bucknor [movingalltheway@yahoo.com]

Hi,

I have received  communication from Sgt Mike Walter that we should work with you to pack and ship some artwork of his together with his other house decors to his new house in Indianapolis, IN  when you two are through with the transaction,as he advise.

I will like you to get back with the kind and nature of the things he want to ship.I will like to have your studio/home address ,so i can make arrangement  with any nearby Agent that will be coming for the pick up once you and Sgt Walter are through with the transactions. Thanks.

I will be happy to get an early reply from you so that i can begin arrangements on my end. Thanks.

Brad.

Pack N Box Movers and Logistics LTD
"Movers you can trust"
Email: movingalltheway@yahoo.com


Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Walter [sgtmikewalter@gmail.com]
Date: December 3, 2011 10:24:14 AM PST
Subject: Payment Delivery

I have been expecting your email message because the courier service that will deliver the check has told me that it will be delivered today, get back to me as soon as possible so that i can know the delivery status of the check and get back to them if it is not yet delivered.
Regards.
Mike.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mike Walter [sgtmikewalter@gmail.com]
Date: December 4, 2011 2:01:46 AM PST
Subject: Payment

Hi Denise,

Thanks for the message, i am very happy that the check has been finally delivered to you despite all the delay, I told you in my previous email that the remaining fund will be for the movers that will be moving all my decors to my new home and your Painting is included.I would have handled this in a more different way if not for my present deployment and now i am in Yemen, Deduct $1300 for the painting, Western Union Charges and your running around expenses.the remaining $2600 is to be sent to the movers to schedule pick-up asap, Please contact the movers for the information that will be required to send them the funds via western union money transfer and i am sure they will work with you and make sure the pick-up arrangement will be as easy as possible...Thanks for your patience and honesty in this transaction so far, please feel free to advice.... Thanks again and God bless you.

Kind Regards..

Mike.

61 comments:

  1. Yes, it has all the standard formatting and content of a scam - and the flags, as you have seen (paying more than the amount, check not making sense, made-up shipping company, etc).

    I am not sure that the authorities would consider yet that you have a financial loss - you didn't lose the piece and even though you did frame it, you still have the piece to sell. And this is where the scammers live, because the authorities don't really do much until there is financial loss (and even then they don't really do much until the amount of the loss is substantial). And scammers know this. It is why I started the blog - I couldn't see another way to fight back and reduce the amount of victims this scam successfully traps.

    I'm sorry about the framing, but the good news is you got it before you forwarded any money to Western Union. That's the good news. You can turn the check into your bank but I also don't think they do much either, other than confirm the check is fraudulent (which it is). Definitely STOP replying to all messages and occasionally scammers will actually call. You can just say the FBI has asked me to record this call, how can I help you? (and you can bet they will hang up real fast and never call back again - they *need* to stay in the shadows).

    Thanks for writing in and sharing your story. It will help others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm dealing with almost the exact same situation at this moment. I have been in correspondence with a person who states they are moving to the UK. Everything seemed normal until they sent me a cashier's check for the agreed upon artwork, but it is $2,800 more than the price of the work. Same thing - sent from the UK, but issued from a U.S. bank, and the check doesn't appear to have any of the security watermarks.

    They have instructed me to pay the remaining amount to the movers at a UK address via Western Union. Furthermore, the movers were planning to pick up the work at my studio (the buyer is from NJ, moving to London - my studio is in the midwest - not exactly on the way to London). I have not had a chance to confirm if the check is a fraud at the bank yet, but I will do this first thing on monday - it is curious that it arrived on Saturday after that banks are closed, and they wish to pick up the artwork first thing in the week (any thoughts on this?).
    Fortunately, in contrast to being the naive idiot that I normally am, I decided to do some browsing to see what came up for the shipping company (conveniently - Pack N Box Movers LTD), and found your blog.

    I just received this last email a moment ago:

    "Hi Michael,

    Hope this message finds you well. I got the attached email from the
    movers some minutes ago. I am so excited everything is moving smoothly and can't wait to have the prints on my wall.

    Meanwhile , I spoke with my husband this morning and he will like you
    to go ahead and forward just $2050 minus charges to the movers. He
    said i can use the remaining funds ( $750 ) for future purchase from
    you. I am so happy when i heard this and will like to wait until we
    settle down before i decide on what to do.

    I am very sorry for the inconvieniences but i will like you to go
    ahead and send the funds to the movers so they can be able to come for
    the pick up has scheduled. Try and update me as soon as you handle the
    transfer and they come for the pick up.

    Hope to hear back from you soon. Thanks."

    So, you suggest no replying to any more messages, but what is the best way to report this? I'm not out of any money at this point (just time), but I would like to see people who are doing this pay for it. Also, should I be concerned about them having my home and contact info?

    Thanks for your time
    -M

    ReplyDelete
  3. What's so cool about this post is that I tried to post about the above scammer as soon as an artist let me know and just a little bit later you searched on that very term for the shipping company and it saved you.

    I LOVE it! It's why I do this.

    Thanks for sharing this. It made my day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi anonymous, I'm the artist who sent in this scam. I filed a complaint with the ic3.gov site. I plan on filing a complaint with the local police as well on Monday. Do save all the emails and the check and the envelope and everything and contact your local police. Even if they don't do much it's like shining a light on these cockroaches. If they contact or start threatening i'm planning on telling them that the check is fraudulent and I have contacted authorities. That should stop the emails. It's unfortunate that the cops can't do a sting on these people. I began to be suspicious when the guy would not send me his name , address and phone# plus made a big deal about having a courier and a moving company drop off the check and pick up the work. That is a red flag and when I saw the over payment I knew it was bogus. Good luck on your situation. As long as you haven't wired them money I don't think they can do much. Like complain about a fraudulent check they sent you. Just tell them you've contacted the police.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I heard from the same mike walter, just yesterday! But hadn't gotten beyond the reference to the certified check and the shippers. Than,s for saving me from wondering and getting entangled.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The guy has contacted me 2X since he sent the so called cashier's check .
    Pretty much on schedule with that. They want their money. I spoke with the police today and they said its' pretty much true to form. Should I leave these bozos hanging or tell them I've contacted the police? I think I'll wait and see how many more emails they send.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can tell them either you never received the cashier's check and send another overnighted, or if they already know you have it, tell them the bank said insufficient funds and have them send another check (overnighted of course) when they deposit more money in their account. That way at least the scammers lose a little bit of their own money. But that's only if you want to toy with them. Otherwise, just stop all communication - the same as they would once they realize you are on to them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks- I just got an email offer for a painting from Sgt.Mike Walter - sgtmikewalter@gmail.com -
    It was oddly worded so I searched his name and found your site- Thanks so much for posting this info. Peace

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks! Just got an email from sgtmikewalter@gmail.com too. Seemed fishy. Goggled him....got this site.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I too got a strange email inquiry out of the blue (never happens- clients come through other clients, art dealers, decorators, friends, or someone) - googled and found this site. Thank you for the alert.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Kathleen,

    I want to thank you for your heads-up about Sgt. Mike Walters who contacted me about buying my artwork. His emails creeped me out (obsequious and strangely-worded), so I googled him and found your post. 

    I also found that someone named Sgt. Michael Walter Johnson was killed in 2003 in Vermont - so perhaps that's from whom the creep borrowed his name/email address.

    I just reported "Sgt. Mike Walter" to the FBI using their scam report website.

    Thank you again,

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  12. I also received an email from sgtmikewalter and something did not quite gell... Suffice it to say that my antenna was raised and I also found your site...
    Thank you for sharing this information- It will save me from much headache and embroilment in something unsavory.

    KR

    ReplyDelete
  13. WOW - the wording is almost exact to what I have been getting!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I got a similar set of emails and received a cashier's check for more than twice the artwork's price, and then the follow-up email from Brad at Pack. n Box. I called Wescom Credit Union, the purported check issuer, and they confirmed the check is not valid. Their abuse page also says fraudulent Wescom cashier's checks are being circulated nationwide. I haven't informed Sgt. Mike that I know what he's doing yet. Wescom is a Southern California credit union, by the way. The check was "issued" January 18 and I received it on the 20th -- in an envelope bearing a stamp from the UK (but no postmark). Pretty rapid transit: check goes from the credit union to England to Oakland in a day and a half. He should think that through.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The great news about scammers is that, so far, they aren't bright enough to think through much of what they are doing. Our scammer circulating under the name of "Sgt. Mike" seems to be still active, so thanks for sharing your experiences so we can continue to be on the alert.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just received the same scam from a scammer using the name Gretta White.
    thanks for the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I also have gotten the same kind of thing from Gretta White. What these folks do is to find a house that is for sale and then give that as the address from which they are moving. When I get these kind of requests, I begin the negotiations by telling them that I use my own shipping. That has made no difference for Gretta. I just got an email from the same shipping company. Supposedly, a check is on its way. How can we catch these guys?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello, similar thing happening to me ( us ) and from same person - I can tell for there are same sentences used.
    we are waiting for the check and so on and I wonder what to do when the check comes? go to bank or police ... and if there is anyone who already get rid of this guy by sending him mail about contacting the police?

    ReplyDelete
  19. You can see "Michael Silverberg" started out with the email address of mmmoreef@gmail.com but in his second reply referred back to sgtmikesilver@yahoo.com

    More for your list! Thanks for compiling!

    From: Michael Silverberg [mmmoreef@gmail.com]
    Date: 8 April 2012 15:58
    Subject: [name of artwork here]

    Good day to you over there, My name is Micheal Silverberg I'm from California and my eyes caught this particular work, 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.Regards.

    Second Email:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Michael Silverberg [mailto:sgtmikesilver@yahoo.com]
    Sent: 09 April 2012 22:03

    Thanks for the message,I am very happy to know that the Artwork is still available for sale. i must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase and i am willing to pay the asking price .I will like to let you know that your payment will be in a Certified Cashiers Check,this will not take time at all because the payment will be sent out immediately i read back from you.You don't have to worry about shipment, my shipper will handle it.This is because i am currently out of the country on a business proposal. So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment I:E :Full Name Standard Mailing Address Phone numbers asking price reconfirmation so that i can proceed with the payment arrangement, consider it sold get back to me with the details.will await your message.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks, just got a message from this Michael, and it was TOO fishy. so I googled it and got your info. thanks!

      Delete
    2. Just got this same email, same email address, same reply only he said his name was Michael Bennett from Connecticut.

      Delete
  20. Dear Katie,
    Well Michael Silverberg is on the move alright. I googled his name, found your site. Today it seems he is from Phoenix AZ and wants the detail shot of one of my paintings for his new apartment. I assumed since he asked for pricing that it was a scam as my prices are visible on the website. That's what caused me to google this creep's name. Thanks for posting this. Yes his email is still mmmoreef@gmail.com

    Thanks for the trouble you take to list these thieves.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Michael Silverberg want to buy one of my paintings. the dumb ass is still using sgtmikesilver@yahoo.com. i have this guy on the line right now. i wish i could figure out how to scam him back. i think i might just say i never received the check like ten times and make him send a new one every time. at least that will make him burn through his fake checks and cost him like 5 bucks in mailing. ass hole

    ReplyDelete
  22. how do i give this guy a computer virus?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for this site. Michael Silverberg contacted us. The problem is aside from your informative site, where to report this since no actual transaction has taken place. Over forty years in this business, scams are recognizable but there is not question that they are more and more sophisticated.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I handle business for my husband, a sculptor, and son, a painter. Both received email from Michael Silverberg. I replied stating the following:

    Sadly, in this cyberspace age, I need to establish the authenticity of a client. In order to proceed, please supply the following via email:

    a legible copy of your driver's license or passport.
    your address for UPS delivery (not a PO Box).

    Payments should be made by bank check or certified check with payment in full against our invoice before the painting is shipped.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    This did not stop him.

    Again I replied:

    The price for the piece is $-----. We understand that your shipper will arrange for packing, transportation and insurance and you will pay those costs per your arrangements with him. Please confirm.

    We require a copy of your passport or driver’s license. Please funish via email. Also provide us with the name and telephone number of your shipper.

    We will send an invoice to you at the address shown on the passport or driver’s license,which you supply.

    The bank check should be for $------to the order of ----- It must be from a United States commercial bank and should be sent to -------(name and address), We will deliver the piece to your shipper when the check has cleared. Upon delivery to the shipper ownership of the piece will pass to you. We will provide you with a bill of sale, if requested.

    Yours truly,

    Mr. Silverberg replied again. His note:

    Hello,
    Thanks for the details which Ive noted down and have also forwarded it to my shipper.He's due in the US sometime next week and will definitely be getting in touch with you for the pickup.The truth is,i would have handled this much differently if i would be at home but Im a bit pressed for time myself. Im moving to the UK this month as im being transferred.As it is, I'm sending you an overdraft which will include my shippers fees as well.He has asked for an upfront before coming and since I have no access to a lot of cash, Im trying to kill two birds with a stone.So, once you've received and cashed the check,deduct your funds and PLEASE help me send the remaining funds to him(shipper).I'll forward his contact details to you once you've received the payment.Now I'm concluding you are a responsible person and I can therefore entrust you with this arrangement.Ill let you know Immediately the check is sent out to you so you should be looking out for it.P.S:I`ll require that a reconfirmation of your address is done for me now. I await your reply.

    This time we will not respond but I do wonder where to report this scam other than your informative and fine website. No money lost. No actual transaction but someone should be able to locate the group who is doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Glad that I googled his name. I just received a similar email message from Michael Silverberg on July 2/2012. What should I do with it? Please advise.

    From: Michael Silverberg
    Subect: Artwork
    Date: July 2, 2012 8:28:59 AM EDT


    --
    Hi there,
    My name is micheal,im from phoenix,was browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work(Stone Dream, ink and pigments on paper,),will like to have it for my new apartment probably this month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you.
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a scam. Just delete it and do not reply to any further emails from him. He'll move on soon enough. It's just a numbers game and they are only interested in those people who will fall all the way through scam.

      Glad that is not you.

      Delete
  26. Just today I received the highly dubious proposition from Michael Silverman. He is still at it! The wording seemed so unbelievable. I googled him and here I am.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I also received email from Michael Silverberg - it sounded fishy from the start - especially when he said he uses his own courier service - i asked him what his address was and got this:291 State Highway, Route 6. phoenix, az 85072 --- then I answered back that i don't do business that way - so thanks anyway, goodbye. then i found this site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. p.s. his email was sgtmikesilver

      Delete
  28. I just received an email query from Debby Walker - Debbie Walker -- same basic language. FYI

    ReplyDelete
  29. Beware all artists. This person is still attempting to scam people as of October 2012. I just received an email from him yesterday:

    --
    Hi there,
    My name is micheal,im from phoenix,was browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work(http://www.url removed),will like to have it for my new apartment probably this month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you.
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This scam was just attempted against our gallery this week - the Michael Silverberg (sgtmikesilver@yahoo.com) at the same address (googling that address got me to this blog). Except for the poor grammar this guy was pretty on top of it, responding to e-mails every day - galleries and artists BEWARE!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Same thing just happened to me, identical wording. I have carried on an email correspondence with him for a few weeks. He is now pressing me for the cash transfer. I contacted my bank and am turning the entire history (I have copies of all the documents, fedex label and bogus check) over to my bank's fraud unit and they can take it from there. No cash has changed hands -- so dodged that one! Still furious at the nerve of this guy and that he appears unstoppable! yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Same thing here! Identical words! First time someone contacted me over my website to buy a painting. I was wondering if I can find out more about "Michael" from phoenix and now I'm here. Glad I found out about this.

    Sophie

    ReplyDelete
  33. December 13, 2012
    Glad I found this site. I was contacted by a Michael Silverberg today from two different email address SgtMikesilver@yahoo.com and also back on December 11, 2012 using the email address mmmoreef@gmail.com. Exacty same wording and we have pay pal on our website but he wanted to
    send certified check. We were suspicious as his grammer was
    not correct. Not sure who to turn this over to.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Add Tracy Mason and Diana Reid to the list of scammers that use this method.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks so much for providing this information. The scamnote I received today was from Lisa Persie zzytrawittss@gmail.com
    Interesting note, She (he) is using the same email address but with a different name. The email zzytrawittss@gmail.com is on your list under the name Tracy Mason.

    Can't they spend their hacking/scamming talents/time on something more productive? Ugh

    Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you so much for your art scam alert. I googled the name of the person who was corresponding with me (Lisa Persie) and your site came up - the person was listed on your site as a scammer. I had spent a couple days corresponding with them, imagining they were legit.

    Your site is amazing! I really got an education on the techniques.

    Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I think I have one for you possibly!
    Got an email asking about a certain painting on my website. I sent info about how to contact the gallery...here's what I got in return (my name was in a different font in the address line. Also, totally ignored my request to contact the gallery. It was from "Tracy Holmberg"):

    Dear Barbara,

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    Unfortunately, I'm on my way to France on an official trip(I'm a marketing Executive) and wont be back for another two weeks.

    If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to South Africa soon and I'm trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode. I'm 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 to get set for the pick up of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed depending on how things goes.

    PS: In the mean time, kindly get back to me with your contact address and phone# so I can get a check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

    ReplyDelete
  38. i also have been contacted by a scammer--'the check is in the mail', but i will stop all communication after reading this blog. her/his name is lisa james-lizzzywitt@gmail--using pakNship logistics inc. for pickup mover. thankyou for your blog

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey Guys, thanks for this resource.
    The same thing happened to me today. Got the below email from my artist website, seemed fishy, googled, found this page.

    From: Richard Staat mmmoreef@gmail.com

    "Hi there,my name is Richard,im from winnipeg,was browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work on the subject,will like to have it for my new apartment probably this month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you.Regards"

    This bottom feeder seems to be getting lazy.


    ReplyDelete
  40. Diana Reid claimed she wanted to purchase a painting she had seen on Artbreak.com. She said she was buying it for a gift for a family reunion in Belgium, and that she would arrange for the shipper to pick it up and handle the customs, etc. She actually got so far as to have a check sent (which came from a Dewayne L. Richardson in Roswell, New Mexico.)I was suspicious from the start, but she was convincing. When she sent the check, and notified me of the amount to expect - which was way over the amount for the painting - then I was sure it was a scam. I did not open the check envelope - just wrote REFUSED on it and returned it to sender. She continued to call me for a week with some sort of translator service - but I just continued to hang up or not answer.

    I did file a report with the fraud unit of the FBI, and informed her that I was doing that.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Katie,
    I've just received the latest scam attempt. Now they are going under the name Michael Bennett. Fortunately, a fellow artist suggested to Google the e-mail address. Bingo, scam foiled. Bravo to you for having the website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I represent an artist that was just contacted by "Michael Bennett" a couple of days ago... luckily i did a search on his name and email address and found your blog. Thanks! We're going to spread the word to our artist friends via Facebook.

      Delete
  42. mikewalter878@yahoo.com wants to buy spark plugs,same sort of scam as you art folks are having.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Michael Bennett is trying to buy art work from me. Fortunately I recognized it as a scam. The email address he is using is mmmoreef@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Got this email today:

    "Hi there,my name is michael im an art collector from Connecticut,was
    browsing through the
    internet and my eyes caught this particular work on the subject,will like
    to have it for my new apartment probably this month.please let me know if
    the piece is available and if yes let me have the detailed price and more
    information about it.kindly reply me with your phone#.
    Regards."

    I have received similar versions of this scam many times in the past. The period at the end of the email (don't ask me why) is an indication that it isn't real.

    The "buyer" will try to purchase the art with a cashier's check that will bounce. Since it will be for more than the purchase price, the artist will be asked to refund the "difference."

    And, as with others who wrote to this blog, the email address is "mmmoreef@gmail.com."

    ReplyDelete
  45. He tried the same from me this morning. Michael Bennett at mmmoreef@gmail.com. Glad your site was up.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thanks for your site, just received 2 emails from Michael Bennett for wanting to buy a painting, now I know he's a scammer, thank you all!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just received the same kind of email from Michael Bennett [mmmoreef@gmail.com]:
    “Re; Artwork Inquiry

    Hi,My name is Michael bennett. I lived and worked in Hawaii for
    21years.I’m in the process of moving to Germany to expand my business
    field. I just bought a house there and I’m interested in collecting
    some artworks for some spaces within my house to make it unique and
    beautiful. Can I have a few images of your recent works? I won’t mind
    having your website so as to explore more into your works.I look
    forward to hearing back from you soonest.
    Regards.”

    ReplyDelete
  48. This got to the point of me receiving a check for $1000, after e-mailing "Mr. Walters" an invoice for a $250 piece.

    The check was sent Priority Mail Express with a return address of "Vasgene Theraputics, Inc." in Los Angeles, CA.

    The check is from "Morgan Environmental Services, Inc. in McArthur, OH.

    The ship to tag says it was mailed from zip code 29582 which is Myrtle Beach, FL

    My last e-mail to this 'person' stated that the piece had sold to someone else.

    Let me know if you need more information.

    Best regards,

    KG


    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: stewart walters [stewartwalters.llc@gmail.com]
    > Date: June 26, 2014 5:12:45 AM EDT
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Marine Terminal Park
    >
    > KG,
    > Thanks for the timely response, Its sad the original is not available but i will opt for the print in that case, the artwork looks very appealing to me.
    > I'm a civil 'marine' engineer, based in New York, but I'm out of the States at the moment for a training voyage with new hires from graduate school,I'm relocating to Johannesburg after my training so I'm gathering some fascinating works of art for my new home,
    >
    > I'm purchasing the piece A.S.A.P before someone else grabs it, Therefore I'll expedite the sending of the funds.
    > I would have personally effect the purchase,but due to my unpredictable schedule as I might not be back in US for the next couple of weeks.
    >
    > However,you don't have to worry about shipping, I'll instruct my shipping agent who is moving my other valuables to Johannesburg to stop over for the pickup of the artwork at your place.
    >
    > PS:In the meantime, kindly forward your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no and mailing address. I'll get the check sent out to you A.S.A.P
    > Regards
    >
    >
    >
    > On Jun 25, 2014, at 7:55 AM, stewart walters wrote:
    >
    > > Hello,
    > > I'm Stewart Walters,I recently visited your website and found this Work of arts to be unique and appealing. the uniqueness is quite impressive, I would be interested in purchasing it for my new home am moving into soon. kindly reconfirm the availability and price to me.
    > >
    > > Regards.
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > S . Walters
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > S . Walters

    ReplyDelete
  49. Yes, scammers make up addresses and often use unsuspecting people who think they have signed up for a work-at-home administrative job and what they end up doing is receiving and moving around checks so they look like they come from a U.S. address, and sometimes re-ship their stolen goods back out the country. But the check part is very common. It is either made up or is someone who is actually another victim of a scam.

    Glad you didn't send this scammer any money!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I had the exact experience with Stewart Waters. All check info, originating address of shipping, tracking info address and check details are the same as the previous post. Never in my life has a sale seemed so easy or were there more than two or three people involved as far as addresses and companies involved are concerned. We didn't even bother cashing the check. It was fishy from the start.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Kathleen, Here's another to add to the list

    STEWART WALTERS

    Below is the conversation thread. Second time for me. I knew it instantly, however I wanted to see how far he would go. Definitely fits the bill. I just received a check for $7000.00. Ridiculous.
    Anne


    On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:08 AM, stewart walters [
    stewartwalters.llc@gmail.com] wrote:

    >
    > Dear Anne,
    > Hope you are well,The check has been mailed out to you via FedEx with
    > tracking # 843836310002468, It will be delivered to you tomorrow, I
    > acknowledge your assistance and honesty in making it possible for me to
    > acquire your fascinating work of art for my new home.
    >
    > Once you've received the check, kindly proceed and deposit it into your
    > account to clear, when it has cleared, deduct the amount of the piece and
    > forward the remaining balance to my shipper as agreed, she will be coming
    > over to your place for pick up and inspection as arranged.
    >
    > Please do forward balance in cash to her via Money Gram (money in minute)
    > as she's requested, You can walk into any of their agent locations around
    > you and have the money sent,deduct the transfer charges from the funds and
    > do get back to me with all the necessary information which will be needed
    > for the pick up the money sent I.e:
    >
    > Sender's name
    > Amount sent
    > And ref #
    >
    > Below is the shipper's information which you will be sending the remaining
    > money to via Money Gram
    >
    > Name: Susanna Hightower
    > Add: 2395 Plumleigh DR
    > City: Ferment,CA 94538
    >
    > Kindly try all your best to deposit the check immediately it arrives,once
    > the shipper receive's her money, she will be in contact with you to set up
    > an appointment for the pick up of the piece.
    >
    > Thanks for your patience and honesty in this transaction so far,
    > I hope to visit your studio personally as soon as I arrive in the States,
    > I await your swift response.
    > Warm Regards,
    >
    >

    ReplyDelete
  52. more, earlier parts of same exchange with Stewart Walters:

    >>
    >> On Jul 7, 2014, at 4:40 AM, stewart walters [stewartwalters.llc@gmail.com]
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> Dear Anne,
    >> Thanks for the swift response your details has been noted and forwarded
    >> to my shipper,she's moving all my valuables from the States to Johannesburg
    >> next week, she will be meeting with you for the inspection and pickup of
    >> the piece. truth is, I would handled this differently if was in the States
    >> but I apologize for the inconvenience.
    >>
    >> I am sending you an overdraft which include my shippers fees. She asked
    >> for an upfront payment before proceeding with the arrangements,but since I
    >> have limited access to cash, I'm killing two birds with a stone.
    >>
    >> Once you've received the check and it has cleared into your
    >> account,deduct the amount of the piece,and kindly forward the balance to my
    >> shipper,I'll forward her contact details to you once you've received the
    >> payment.
    >>
    >> I believe I can trust you with this arrangement.Ill get the check mailed
    >> out to you ASAP and inform you once its sent.
    >>
    >> Warm regards
    >>
    >>
    >>>
    >>> On Jul 5, 2014, at 3:59 AM, stewart walters [
    >>> stewartwalters.llc@gmail.com] wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Dear Anne,
    >>> Thanks for the timely response, I'm glad the piece is still available
    >>> for purchase,
    >>> I'm a civil 'marine' engineer, based in New York, but I'm out of the
    >>> States at the moment for a training voyage with new hires from graduate
    >>> school,I'm relocating to Johannesburg after my training so I'm gathering
    >>> some fascinating works of art for my new home,
    >>>
    >>> I'm purchasing the piece A.S.A.P before someone else grabs it, Therefore
    >>> I'll expedite the sending of the funds.
    >>> I would have personally effect the purchase,but due to my unpredictable
    >>> schedule as I might not be back in US for the next couple of weeks.
    >>>
    >>> However,you don't have to worry about shipping, I'll instruct my
    >>> shipping agent who is moving my other valuables to Johannesburg to stop
    >>> over for the pickup of the artwork at your place.
    >>>
    >>> PS:In the meantime, kindly forward your full name (you want the check
    >>> payable to) cell phone no and mailing address. I'll get the check sent out
    >>> to you A.S.A.P
    >>> Regards
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> On Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 5:35 AM, stewart walters [
    >>>> stewartwalters.llc@gmail.com] wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Hello,
    >>>>> I'm Stewart Walters,I recently visited your website and found this
    >>>>> Work of arts to be unique and appealing. the uniqueness is quite
    >>>>> impressive, I would be interested in purchasing it for my new home am
    >>>>> moving into soon. kindly reconfirm the availability and price to me.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Regards.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>> --
    >>>>> S . Walters
    >>>>>

    ReplyDelete
  53. Just got my email from Stewart Walters... same exact verbiage. And, since I already googled the email address...I sent this:

    Please note -

    I ONLY accept credit card payment through PayPal for the exact amount.

    I ONLY deliver artwork through FedEx - no pick ups or other shippers.

    If you are overseas, I will need your tax information for duty and customs.

    The original is $2100.



    When you respond, please include a valid address so I can calculate shipping.

    I will send you an invoice via PayPal.

    When payment is cleared, I will ship your piece!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm so appreciative of your site! I too just received an email from "Walter Stewart" expressing interest in one of my paintings. But the odd tone of the message as well as odd grammar (wrong plural, missing capitalization, missing a space, etc.) prompted me to immediately do a net search. Voila! Your site. Thanks to the warnings here, I'm not even going to respond. Out it goes into the spam/junk pile.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Has anyone played this out? I represent and artist who was contacted by Thomas Rice at the mmmoreef@gmail.com I knew it was a scam so I agreed to his terms and am now waiting for the bogus payment to arrive. They say they are going to arrange a pick-up with their shipper where I hand over money and the painting. I want to go and see who shows up... I have a photographer and an undercover police officer willing to be at the cafe that I am going to ask to meet them at. Will they show up or will they "Thomas Rice" give some excuse as to why his shippers didn't' show up and ask me to post the money and the painting? I see a lot of people her that recognized this scam before it was completely played out and I am really needing to hear from those that were actually defrauded. Can anyone let me know what is their next step?

    ReplyDelete
  56. The scam never gets to that point and almost all these scammers are operating out of foreign countries, where enforcement and prosecution is unlikely.

    The scammer uses the shipping company as part of their fake story so it seemingly makes sense why you would be wiring money. There is no shipping company. Once the money is wired - to the scammer, it is as good as cash, untraceable, and gone.

    The two key ways to avoid this scam is to never accept an overpayment for any reason, and if you are the seller, do NOT find yourself wiring money to anyone as part of the deal, for any reason.

    ReplyDelete