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Friday, August 1, 2014

Scam Email: Raymond Velluci

Dear Kathleen,

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

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

Sincerely - Sean


To Whom It May Concern,

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

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

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

Dear Artist

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

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

Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

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

Dear Mr. Velluci,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awaiting to read from you..

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

Dear Mr. Velluci,

I will accept your price of $850.00.

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

Make your check out to :

[info was inserted here]

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

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

Sean


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

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

Regards,
Raymond Velluci

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

Dear Mr. Velluci,

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

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

Sincerely - Sean

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

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

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

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

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

Raymond Velluci

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

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

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

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

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


Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

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

Dear Raymond,

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

Sincerely - Sean Culver

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

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

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

__________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

Sean

13 comments:

  1. I got a similar offer by"Raymond Velucci and went to google the possibility of scam. I didn't plan to even answer ( as I had before same suspicious emails from other" purchasers "Thanks to what I read here I will be not answering for sure and will start to pray for the person to find a more honest way for his living.
    G.A-J

    ReplyDelete
  2. I googled Raymond Vellucci and came up with your Website. Sure enough, just as I suspected, "Raymond Vellucci" is another scam artist. I am a professional musician, and listed for sale a Double Bass, one of three I have. I've learned to smell these scammer's out. This guy seemed pretty articulate but I have found one signal they all send out when communicating by Email; 99 % of the time they will not phone you when asked to do so. If I suspect some one; I email them an agreement for purchase with all the conditions I require to move forward. They must agree to all the conditions, complete the form, sign it and email it back to me. My experience is, they never do.... I ask them to call me and they never do. this is an important signal. If they send you what looks like a legitimate Certified Bank Check, don't trust it. Call the bank it was drawn from and ask if the amount of the check will clear. they are obligated to give you an answer. If you go to your bank to cash it; be aware, your bank may cash it. Then when it doesn't clear a couple of days later, they take the money out of your account. Never ship what your selling until the check absolutely clears.You probably are aware of these safeguards, however I felt impelled to reiterate what steps I take
    when I suspect I'm dealing with a scammer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for posting this! He's been emailing me too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Got an email from same guy. Can't quite figure out his scam but knew there had to be one. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Artist just heard from him November 11, 2014
    Got same email from the same guy. As a practice I Bing potential customer names to vet them. But usually when they use i in referring to themselves and
    say they will send a check for more and have another party pick up and pay them the overage from the check is a tipoff.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Funny, I just got an initial email from a Raymond Velluci this morning asking about the status of a corvette I'm selling. Thank goodness for internet search functionality.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sean... look familiar??

    Thanks for the mail,I'm okay with the condition and as for the price i will offer you $53,200 it sold to me

    I will be leaving my home town state tomorrow for my honeymoon,but that will not be a problem,as per payment i will have to instruct my client to send you a check via UPS or USPS courier service to get to you,cos this is the only means of payment I can offer you now due to my present departing

    And you should not worry about the shipping, i have my shipper that will come down to your house for the pick up as soon as payment is done.

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

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

    Awaiting to read from you..

    Sincerely
    Raymond Vellucci

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is the exact same thing I just went through. So he's still trying to do it?
    Received a check not from Wells Fargo, but Citibank in NY with Ely Bapaz Equities LLC. on it, never followed the hoops that he wanted me to go through.
    Did cash the check & mentioned to the teller that I din't think it was good. It was rejected today with no funds in account. SCAM.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Message Details:
    Name Dennison Brixon
    Subject artgallery
    Message Greetings! My name is Dennison Brixon from United Kingdom. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase some of your artwork available at range of £100 to £1,500 can you list some of the items available now? and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, my method of payment is by Bank Cheque as mode of Payment. Thanks and best regards
    Email dlynette89@yahoo.com
    Sent on: 21 December, 2016
    Thank you!


    me to Dennison
    Show more
    14:28
    Dear Dennison
    Thank you for your interest in my pictures.
    All my original art work has been sold.
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another one here from "Dennison Brixon" with virtually the same wording, on 2 Jan 2017.

    Following advice in this forum I've asked him to call me – let's see how he responds.


    MB

    ReplyDelete
  11. very happy, i found this blog.
    thank you

    newest from brixton
    Greetings! My name is Dennison Brixon from United Kingdom. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase some of your items available at range of €100 to €5000 can you list some of the items available now? and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, my method of payment is by Euro Bank Check as mode of Payment. Thanks and best regards

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am an international artist. also happy I found this. Received this email today: artgallery

    Lynette dixon [dlynette89@yahoo.com]

    Sent: Mon, 10:55 pm

    Greetings! My name is Dennison Brixon from United Kingdom. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase some of your items available at range of €100 to €5000 can you list some of the items available now? and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, my method of payment is by Euro Bank Check as mode of Payment. Thanks and best regards

    ReplyDelete
  13. ohhhhh great - I just googled the name Dennison Brixon which landed me here.
    I ve received the very same - almost word for word, email
    I shall invite him to call me and will not be accepting anything - just interesting to see how far he dares take it!
    Appalling!

    email below:- ARTGALLERY
    LD
    Lynette dixon


    Reply|
    Today, 5:44 PM


    Greetings!
    My name is Dennison Brixon, I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase some of your artwork available and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, my method of payment is by Bank check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards

    ReplyDelete