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Monday, May 26, 2014

Scam Email: Linda Monreal

Kathleen,

You are a life saver. Below is my correspondence with one of your known scam artists. I felt like it was going to turn into a legit sale until the last exchange. That's when I googled her name and your site popped up. Now, looking back over the whole exchange I can see all the little signs you mention on your site. I thought she might have been ESL -- I feel like a dope for letting it get this far -- I even fell for her ploy that she wanted to here more about my painting process -- oy! I can't thank you enough!

Sincerely,

David
---

Hi David,
It is nice to hear back from you.  I will like to proceed with the
purchase of the two pieces. I think they are lovely works and I hope
to give them a good home.

I am presently traveling for my Sister's wedding even though it comes
at a time when I am preparing for a big move to Miami Beach, FL but it
means so much to her and I should be back in few days.

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
number so I  can inform my husband on where to forward the payment. He
can have one of his PA handle the payment asap.  About shipping , you
can handle it from your side to my new address above or I can forward
your contact info to the local cartage  company handling the shipment
of all our house decors. They can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the
artworks from your studio.

I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to
proceed. Cheers.

Linda.


> On May 20, 2014, at 10:40 PM, Linda Monreal wrote:
>
>> Hi David,
>> Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative
>> works. I will like to  proceed with the purchase of both pieces (
>> unframed) . Can you pls get back with what inspire you to make the
>> pieces.
>>
>> I will look forward to hearing from you soon.
>>
>> Best Regards,
>> Linda.
>>
\


>>> On May 17, 2014, at 11:35 PM, Linda Monreal wrote:
>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> Hope this message finds you well. I saw these lovely pieces on your
>>>> website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are
>>>> still available for purchase.
>>>>
>>>> Still life with vase and shells,  and  Monarch Butterfly
>>>>
>>>> I will appreciate an urgent reply.
>>>>
>>>> Best Regards,
>>>> Linda Monreal.
>>>
>>>
>

36 comments:

  1. Dear Kathleen,

    I was contact by Linda Monreal as well.

    Almost fell for her scam…deposited her check etc.

    When I discovered account number on check was not valid I alerted bank and police filed report for attempted fraud.

    Wrote to "Linda Monreal" GAME OVER.

    I have pages of email below is the same text that one of your blog posts "David" posted.


    Thanks for your site!!!

    Sincerely,
    Walter

    ===========================
    From: Linda Monreal [lindajohnss11@gmail.com]

    Hi Walter,
    Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative works. I will like to proceed with the purchase of both pieces for my new wall in Miami Beach, Florida. Can you pls confirm the actual size and price of the two pieces so i can know how best to proceed. I will also like to know what inspire you to make the pieces.

    I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,
    Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI Kathleen,

    I've been 'engaged' with this person for a couple of weeks now just seeing how far it will go. (and admittedly, thinking about ways I can make life really difficult for 'her".)

    The phone number "she" gave me is from Long Beach , CA - voip phone(internet based), Express mail tracking # coming from Anaheim CA, 25(?) miles away from Long Beach.

    Shipping address (which she's been in the process of moving into for the past three weeks) to a $5.2 million home in Miami Beach which by most accounts is still up for sale on the market.

    The email info is below if you can use it.

    This person has recently targeted several artists where I live and who are affiliated with a local arts association. As far as I know, no one here has become a full victim of the scam.

    Great site you have regarding this stuff.
    Keep up the good work!!

    Vince.

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Linda Monreal [lindajohnss11@gmail.com]
    > Date: June 12, 2014 11:24:32 AM EDT
    > Subject: Payment....
    > return-path: [lindajohnss11@gmail.com]

    > Hi Vince,
    > I am very sorry I have been unable to get in touch with you for the
    > past couple of days. I have been very busy with my move. Anyway, I
    > will like to inform you that the payment was returned to your address
    > by Jason. It was sent USPS ( tracking # 9405501699320023054861 ) and
    > you should receive it today.
    >
    > Try and acknowledge this email as soon as possible. Thanks.
    >
    > Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is funny. I've been getting the same emails from a "Mary Collins" that are identical practically with a Miami address. This time it was more sophisticated than last scam attempt. I always offer to put a PayPal button so they can purchase the art that way. Well, wouldn't you know, they "had a bad experience" with Paypal so want to send a check. So I just say too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, this is how scammers are trying to get around the PayPal option. Sometimes they try and send a faked payment confirmation email hoping the victim doesn't manually check their paypal account before forwarding the scammer money. Sometimes this works, so always always always, manually log in to your paypal account (not from a link in their faked email) and make sure the money has really been received by PayPal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Kathleen,

    I'm pretty sure I received scam correspondence since one of the emails from a Samantha Quezada was exactly the same as a letter on your blog. I was suspicious from the beginning so I told her she would have to go though my postal services store. They would receive the check and send out the painting. My gallery owner sent me the information you have written and published.

    Thank you for all the work you have done.

    Joan

    Here is on of the correspondence she sent me.

    Hi Joan,
    It is nice to hear back from you. I will like to proceed with the
    purchase of the piece. I think it is a lovely work and I hope to give
    it a good home.

    I am presently traveling for my Sister's wedding even though it comes
    at a time when I am preparing for a big move to Miami Beach, FL but it
    means so much to her and I should be back in few days.

    Miami Beach, FL 33139

    Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
    number so I can inform my husband on where to forward the payment. He
    can have one of his PA handle the payment asap. About shipping , you
    can handle it from your side to my new address above or I can forward
    your contact info to the local cartage company handling the shipment
    of all our house decors. They can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the
    artwork from your studio.

    I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to
    proceed. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for this. Ive been in correspondence with a "Samantha Quezada" for a few days and she has sent me the exact same emails. Its disheartening to realize its a scam, but thankfully I did so before investing any time or personal expense into this fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is what I like to hear! Glad you found out in time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also got this *exact* same email from Samantha Quezada. I was wary too, so I sent a Commission Agreement to be signed, and that 1/2 the commission needed to be paid before I started work. Well according to USPS, the upfront check should arrive today. We'll see if it clears before I proceed with doing any work.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A check clearing is different than a check being accepted by the bank. A bank may and sometimes DOES accept and deposit the check but they have the right to withdraw those funds once the check is found to be fraudulent.

    A scammer will send a counterfeit check AND overpay, asking you to wire the difference either back to them or to a non-existent shipper or some other story.

    NEVER wire money and don't accept overpayments. Do not use any of your own money to complete the deal. and yes - wait until a check CLEARS, which takes more time than when it is deposited and credited to your account. That is not a cleared check, that is a deposited check.

    It would highly unusual for a scammer to send the check via USPS. They could be caught for mail fraud if its USPS. They usually use a private service like UPS or more commonly FedEx and neither of these companies pursue mail fraud. Which is why scammers use them.

    If your scammer is dumb enough to use USPS, take all of it to your local U.S. Postal Inspector's office.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another hoot - the "signature" that was pasted into the word document did not look like "Samantha Quezada" at all, so I did a Google image search for it - they had pasted in a JPG of Dale Earnhardt's signature! How dumb! (and also the tell-tale period after the name in the email signature - who does that?)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Argh, I knew this was too good to be true. I had an art sales inquiry from "Samantha Quezada" also. Almost identical emails as those posted above. She used the address marth4sp4@gmail.com and gave me a Miami Beach address. I received a check sent USPS Priority mail, for more than twice the amount. Sooo many red flags. The return address was California Institute for the Arts, but an address in nearby Santa Clarita, not an actual campus address. The check itself was from a company in Arlington TX that sells airplane parts. The bank was Compas Bank with one S. I'm guessing banks don't generally misspell their own name! I googled the routing number and the only hit was a PDF from the airplane parts company with instructions for wire transfers. They may be a legit company that doesn't realize someone is borrowing their bank account. The signature on the check was scanned in and just said "Elizabeth R" which also seemed weird. Anyway, long story short, I did some in-depth Googling and finally found this thread! I'm disappointed, but SO grateful to have found this. (And to help other Googlers find this page, I'll repeat a few times: Samantha Quezada Miami, Florida, Samantha Quezada Santa Clarita, California, Samantha Quezada Art Scam!!) I'll report it to the post office and authorities in the morning. I sure hope they can catch this jerk.

    ReplyDelete
  12. holy moley... I've been communicating with a "Linda Johnson"... same exact emails (down to the "traveling for sister's wedding")! something seemed fishy so I googled her supposed address and it's a property that has fairly recently gone on the market for $5M but has yet to sell. Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

    So how do I report this? Or does it even matter if I do?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unfortunately, it really doesn't matter. Which is why I started this blog and related facebook page. I had to fight back some way. Scammer are usually located in a foreign country, hijacking other people's accounts or setting up disposable email accounts and they target a sweet spot of stealing just enough money from an individual to not be worth it to authorities and yet they go for volume and are making a killing. But even the authorities have a tough time tracking these scammers down.

    But if we all keep posting online and people know enough to google it, hopefully we can keep helping others not fall victim to these scams.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This got far enough that she sent me a check that was an overpayment, which is when I really got suspicious and found your site. I'm fairly new to art sales so this is the first scammer I've encountered, but sadly I'm sure it won't be the last. Thank you so much for your website!
    Sarah

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: "Samantha Quezada" [marth4sp4@gmail.com]
    Date: Jun 12, 2014 4:33 AM
    Subject: Artworks Inquiry..
    To:
    Cc:

    > --
    > Hi,
    >
    > Hope this message finds you well. I saw this lovely piece on your
    > website and I will like you to get back with more details if it is
    > still available for purchase.
    >
    > [name of piece] and [name of piece]
    >
    > I will appreciate an urgent reply.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Samantha Quezada.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also just received an email from Samantha Quezada on 6/12/14.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just got the same Linda Johnson / Miami Beach / Sister wedding person. What / How is she trying to scam us? If she has a postal address and my phone number / email is there anything she can actually do ? Thanks for setting this up. Will stay away from further correspondence with her.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks so much for your blog and site!! I received an email from Samantha Quezada with very much the same copy as above, and when I googled her email address your site came up so I will avoid all the scamming... you are doing a great service to artists who would like to make a living of selling art!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just got this email as well same format and from "Samantha". This is the second one 2 weeks for one of my more popular Artists, its probably the same scam artist....
    -----

    Hi,

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

    "Illumination" and "Cold"

    I will appreciate an urgent reply.

    Best Regards,
    Samantha Quezada.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have just received the same emails over the past few weeks from Samantha Queszada, a check for too much funds from a company in Ohio sent out of an address in California at California Institutie of the arts. The wording is the same as many of the entires above.

    I had funny feelings about it, but not until after I deposited check. I was going to wait and see if the check cleared before sending funds, so at least I did something right! And I still have the art.

    Thanks for this site. I will contact the relevant authorities, and hope this can help catch this person.

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  20. I left an earlier comment regarding Samantha Quezada.

    If she does not own the house on 302 W Marino, how does she get funds in return?

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,

      Glad you caught the scam in time! Actually, they never need to have a correct address. Once they overpay for the art (or whatever), they will ask for the "extra" amount to be forwarded to some non-existent shipper (or other variations of the scam will say my husband accidentally sent too much, send back the difference) - but here is the critical part!! ALWAYS they will come up with some reason why it has to be wired to them. And wired money is like sending cash and once picked up (it will actually be the scammer at the other end), it is untraceable. That is why this scam is so prevalent.

      The victim deposits the bad counterfeit money, and forwards their good money via wire transfer, then the bank will withdraw the full amount from your account once they know it is counterfeit and you, the victim are out the difference.

      There are two things to do which will help everyone avoid this scam - NEVER accept overpayment, for ANY reason, and NEVER NEVER EVER wire money to someone in a business transaction online.

      A scammer will quickly disappear and move on to their next potential victim when they you are not going to agree to either one of these conditions.

      Delete
  21. Katie, thanks so much for this. I am posting on Facebook, where I have a lot of artist friends. We are always so glad of sales, that perhaps we don't see all the signs right away. The too much funds did make me queazy. I did return to my bank and got the check back! They said this sort of thing happens all the time….Laura

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just googled the address from a fishy letter and turned up this post, so thank you, all, for saving me the time of engagement with her (?) - FYI, same email address, but a new name: Alicia Rodgers.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Got one myself. I think the term "cartage company" was my tip off.

    It is nice to hear back from you. I will like to proceed with the
    purchase of Hover. I think it is a lovely work and I hope to give it a
    good home. I am still away for the holidays but I should be back in
    few days

    946 Painted Bunting Ln,
    Vero Beach, FL 32963

    Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
    number so I can 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 new vacation home above or I can forward your
    contact info to the local cartage company handling my shipment. They
    can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the artwork from your studio.

    I will look forward to hearing from you so I can know how best to
    proceed. Cheers.

    Alicia.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Here's another one from Alicia Rodgers. I responded with "I only accept payment through Paypal."

    Hi Lilian,
    It is nice to hear back from you. I will like to proceed with the
    purchase of both pieces. I think they are lovely works and I hope to
    give them a good home. I am still away for the holidays but I should
    be back in few days.

    946 Painted Bunting Ln,
    Vero Beach, FL 32963

    Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
    number so I can 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 new vacation home above or I can forward your
    contact info to the local cartage company handling my shipment. They
    can arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the artworks from your studio.

    I will look forward to hearing from you so I can know how best to
    proceed. Cheers.

    Alicia.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Here's another. I simply 'bounce' them back to sender.

    Hello,
    My name is Cowell Morrison. I'm in the process of moving to Italy to expand my business field. I just bought a house in Milan, Italy and I'm interested in collecting an artwork for a space within my house to make it unique and beautiful.Can I look through your website so as to pin point my choice , request for a quote and more information?

    I look forward to hearing back from you soonest and you can contact me back via this email cowellmorrison@gmail.com

    Sincerely,
    Cowell.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just got this one. Unfortunately, this person now has my address, but fortunately, there has been no transaction made. Thank you for posting! Is there any way to prosecute these people?

    Alicia Rodgers
    Jan 10 (4 days ago)

    to me
    Hi Craig,
    It is nice to hear back from you. I will like to proceed with the
    purchase of both pieces. I think they are lovely works and I hope to
    give them a very good home.

    I am presently traveling for my Sister's wedding even though it comes
    at a time when I am preparing for a big move to the Vero Beach but it
    means so much to her and I should be back in few days.

    946 Painted Bunting Ln,
    Vero Beach, FL 32963

    Meanwhile, I also spoke with my husband about paypal and he doesn't
    feel comfortable with their service due to past experience. Therefore,
    I will like you to get back with your mailing address and phone number
    so he can forward a Certified check for the payment as soon as
    possible. About shipping , you can handle it from your side to my new
    address above or I can forward your contact info to the local cartage
    company handling the shipment of all our house decors. They can
    arrange FedEx or UPS pick up of the artwork from your studio.

    I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to
    proceed. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am so glad I found this site on searching the name and address of this potential client. As usual, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. I am reporting my issue to USPS, Federal Trade Commission, my states Attorney General, Internet Crimes and the city of Vero Beach where the address is a legitimate one. I googled the "routing number " on the check as well, no such bank.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just received a check from Alicia Rodgers... for too much $. I googled the email and came up with this page. THANK YOU for creating it. I want to punch this person in the face for trying to scam all of us hardworking artists!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am also very glad I just found this site. "Alicia Rodgers" sent a check with overpayment and warning bells went off in my head. This is really a clever scam. Thank goodness for the internet and my instincts not to ship a painting before payment in full.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I too received a check today from Alicia Rodgers for too much money. After googling her, I found this and want to thank you SOOOOO much!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I received a check written for too much money from Alicia Rodger's. It was sent UPS next day mail. The envelope was sent from Cooper Standard Automotive in Novi, MI 48375, and the Check was written from a company called PrimeGlobal in Duluth, GA.
    Good to hear back from you and thanks for your understanding. I will
    > >> like to confirm that the payment was sent by my husband's assistant
    > >> yesterday and he was advise that you will receive it today via UPS
    > >> with tracking number 1Z4566060143021205 so try and be on the look out
    > >> for it.
    > >>
    > >> Kindly acknowledge this email as soon as you can. Thanks for you
    > >> patience.
    > >>
    > >> Alicia.
    On Jan 19, 2015, at 7:49 AM, "Alicia Rodgers"
    > >>> wrote:
    > >>>

    > >>>> Hope this message finds you well. I am very sorry I have not been
    > >>>> able to get in touch for the past few days. It has been a very busy
    > >>>> time with so many things on my plate. I am not sure if my husband has
    > >>>> been able to forward the payment to your mailing address but I will
    > >>>> check with him and get back later today or tomorrow morning.
    > >>>>
    > >>>> Meanwhile , I will like you to acknowledge this email so I can be sure
    > >>>> we are still on the same page. Thanks for your patient.
    > >>>>
    > >>>> Best Regards,
    > >>>> Alicia.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for setting up this site so I don't waste any more time on this scam. I had the exact same thing happen w/ email correspondence from "Alicia Rodgers". Got the check for way over the amount and all the warning bells went off right away-- obviously sloppily cut w/ scissors, 3 different addresses, none of which were from FL. and no note or memo regarding what the check was for. I had googled the Bunting Lane address and "her" name when she first contacted me and this site didn't come up. I was suspicious, as it all seemed too easy, but proceeded w/ caution, waiting for the payment. Bummer. I hope whoever is doing this gets busted big time.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you so much for putting her email address on here, when I googled it this helpful blog came up. This message sounded to good and sure enough here we are. I have no further transaction with this person, handed it over to my
    gallery asap.

    she is now identifying herself as Melissa Ashley


    Hi,

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

    Calamity Divided, and Patience Dripping

    I will appreciate an urgent reply.

    Best Regards,
    Melissa Ashley.

    ReplyDelete
  34. In January I got the scam from "Alicia Rodgers". I just got another one from Steve Strickland with the phone number 323-374-5218. BEWARE!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I just received a check for too much from Janis Clark marth4sp4@gmail.com
    also used another email: lstay05@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete