Search This Blog

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scam Email: James Chavez

Yes, even someone who hosts a blog and Facebook page about scammers, warning people how not to fall victim, receives these stupid emails as well.

To entertain myself, I removed the name of my art piece from the subject line and replied and asked which piece they were interested in. Now they won't be able to match what they said before. They may decide who cares and just pick another piece and see if I fall for it. Obviously I won't.

So I wonder to myself - are we all getting smarter? Are we googling names and emails before we send anyone money for any reason (particularly when WE are the seller!)? Are we making the scammer's life a harder one?

While I ponder this, here is the email I just received:

From: james chavez (jameschavez@gmail.com)
Subject: [Name of Piece] 
Greetings!
My name is James chavaz from south carolina. 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 receive further information
about your piece of work and what inspires you.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate
sales.
Thanks and best regards,
James.
In so many ways these emails haven't change over the years. Lately, it's a little less about them moving to some obscure country or that they are out of the country on "assignment" but you'll always know it's a scam if they overpay the amount (saying some scenario about a shipper) and ask the "difference" be sent via wire transfer. Your transferred money will be good but their money will be a counterfeit check or stolen credit card. That's the crux of the scam. They could care less about your art and they disappear with your money long before it even gets to the shipping stage.

So never accept over-payments, no matter what and NEVER ever ever wire money to anyone when you are the seller. No matter what their story is.




'Nuff said.

92 comments:

  1. I just got the same email and was suspicious of it. It really pisses me off that these guys do this to artists. I wonder if there's a way to stop them?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I got the exact same email only from Senior collins! Corresponded as far as when he asked for my HOME address… gave him my po box… he was intent on getting my home address and cell phone# (I gave him my home phone) Why is their scheme dependent on a home address and cell phone #? When I emailed him that I do not give out my home address because of all the scams out there, I got this email back on how he was a god fearing honest man…. very funny!! And to please email him back so we can do business! I have left it at that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Their scam is not dependent on getting a phone number and address. They use that to make it appear like they are more legitimate - to try and get victims further into the scam "funnel".

    But I wouldn't be surprised if scammers are using the info in some "big data" way to be able to somehow cross-reference things. The more they collect on a person, the more they can put the picture together for identity theft or just enough info to open new credit card accounts, etc. I typically would not say scammers have enough brain cells to pull something like that off, but I suppose I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case.

    Really glad you avoided this scam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie,
      I got the same scam mail and like an idiot I gave my address and phone number. I am scared. I should have known better. The perpetrators did not respond to my email. What do I do?

      Delete
  4. Thank you for your blog and fb page!! I was suspicious early on, but that little part of all us artists wanted it to be for real. Then when he was so insistent on the home address I decided to google his name… up came your fb page and 2 other artists who had the EXACT email! The first email definitely seemed like a "standard" scam email… but when he started back peddling after I emailed that I could not do business with him if he insisted on the home address, his email got messed up spelling wise and grammar wise. I sort of picture them in a sweat room kind of set up with one semi smart person in charge… but you would think that they would get a little better with all the mistakes… I guess its a good thing they are not that bright!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, it's why I started the blog and facebook page. I am an artist myself and I just saw over the years how we're a perfect target - it feels soooo good when people want our creations. It's validating. Scammers know this. oh - they target everyone but they particularly like artists for this reason. Artists are vulnerable. Scammers feed on vulnerability. And I'm here to kind of throw a wrench into their criminal activities, if I can. We are all here to do that - to use the internet to warn each other so a scammer has a much harder time successfully stealing our money.

    Oh, they still do a roaring business (sadly, it's one reason they don't have to get smarter.... yet) so we have a long ways to go, but it is all I could think to do - educate potential victims, warn off as many as we can, and make their success ratio lower and lower.

    Thanks for contributing to the conversation and helping to warn others.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for this!! I received an e-mail from a "Danny Bass" professing love for one of my large paintings. He knew the name and price and even asked me for more details about how I had created it. In time we got to the shipping and he ,in passing, mentioned he had a shipper moving him to Florida that could help me out. That plus the bad english raised my red flag. But I kept going... hope will do that, and, after saying I would stick with UPS he said not trouble and was sending me a check. Only then did I discover this blog and your site. So I was ready to get the overpayment and did. I e-mailed and asked why and he replied "My assistant made a terrible mistake. Just go on and deposit the check, wait for it to clear and then send me whatever the remainder is after shipping. (It was about $1,500 more than I for). I replied that I did not do business like that and would rip up the check and await a cashiers check for the correct amount. I have never heard back.

    Here are names to look out for...

    Danny Bass
    AGX Express Movers
    Ileana B Rodriuez (Thats who the check came from)

    My only question is... if I deposited the check and it cleared then how could it still end up fraudulent and me be liable? Stolen check?

    The bank was Wells Fargo NA

    Many thanks

    Peyton

    ReplyDelete
  7. I got the exact same email from the name Richard Brown 123richbrown@gmail.com, I was kind of suspicious from the beginning, but worked with him a bit to decide what piece he wanted to get "for his wife", and then of course I get the whole bizarre moving, traveling, shipping company pick up, etc... Some people need a real hobby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just got this same email... I sent him a picture of a piece I have on hand... All I can say is WOW... I sort of felt it was a bit suspicious.

      Delete
  8. This guy (Danny Bass) must be a complete moron or running an enormous business. He just sent me ANOTHER check for $3800. This time it's from a different person (Deidre Popovich...who I googled and really does live in Atlanta but not at the address on the check) and from Wachovia Bank. Wachovia is just Wells Fargo under a different name. The note he sent...both times and identical... says

    "Hello, Here is a payment issued to you for the purchase of the artwork. I am including the following MEMO to let you know the shipping fee is included with the payment. Try and get back via email as soon as you received this."

    Too bad these checks are bogus.... I could be cleaning up!!!

    Peyton

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi thanks for posting this it has saved me a great deal of hassle and worry. I received an email about a week ago now, and I thought it all sounded too good to be true so I googled the email address. And your post came up. I have emailed "Richard Brown" to inform them that I have reported them to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud and received an abusive email back surprise surprise. I have now blocked both of these email addresses from my account. Do you happen to have a page of the email addresses that seem to be scamming? It would be great if you did as we could then all block these email addresses as a group and that would stop them from getting through to people. Just a thought. Anyway thanks again for alerting us all and keeping us informed, you saved me from making a big mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Scammer's email addresses morph to new ones as soon as their disposable accounts get shut down. It's hard to keep this list current and there might be too many to block. Scammer like to have numbers in their email addresses so it's easier to set up a new address. You'll often seen something like james.chavez46@gmail.com so they can easily set up james.chavez47, etc.

    http://kathleenmcmahon.com/info/scammer-names.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. The man of many names is James Chavaz as of yesterday and today. Yesterday, the darling man wanted to buy his lucky wife yet another gift. I am an artist in New York City and guess what? He must have a shipper located here too! Amazing.

    This is a pretty well written program the scammer has developed, almost feels like believable, individualized responses and thought it may be real at first. I believe it may crawl LinkedIn and find names of real people and their location/profession and plug it in to look like someone who is a possible collector. Ironic they are prying on artists, no? Very disappointing for all of us. :(

    What follows are the two emails I received... only responded to the first one. Thank you for this site, you helped me not get sucked in. Be careful everyone!

    EMAIL #1:

    November 6, 2014 at 1:05:46 AM EST

    Greetings!
    My name is James chavaz from south carolina. 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 receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you.

    I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
    Thanks and best regards,
    James.


    EMAIL #2:

    November 7, 2014 at 2:19:47 AM EST

    Dear Julie,
    Thanks for the message, i must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece. Also If you'd like to know,i am relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one,i am buying the piece as part of gifts to her (quickly before someone else grabs it). I am okay with the price,and i will be sending a check.

    As regarding shipping, you don't have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.

    I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I'm an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won't be back for another couple of weeks.
    Thanks
    James.

    PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) and contact address (preferably for fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Add Arnold Boyd, arnoldboyd111@gmail.com who has very specific instructions for payment (wants to call you with cc information and wants processed through Paypal, but refused to pay through a sent Paypal invoice) and wants the order shipped to Cyprus only using is recommended shipper, Skyhood Global. I'm thankful for this site, as it confirmed my intuition that this was a scam and save me from going any further than research.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm on my second round of scams. Here's the latest:

    Hi,

    My name is Dorothy Brooks. 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.

    Sincerely,
    Dorothy.
    dorothybrooks333@outlook.com

    Just thought I'd throw it on the pile. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got an identical Dorothy Brooks email last night. I will not be responding soonest.

      Delete
  14. ---Original Message-----
    From: Dorothy Brooks
    To: x
    Sent: Thu, Jan 22, 2015 05:05 AM
    Subject: Art-piece


    Hi,

    My name is Dorothy Brooks. 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.

    Sincerely,
    Dorothy.

    I just got a scam email

    ReplyDelete
  15. On Feb 3, 2015, at 4:52 AM, Dorothy Brooks wrote:

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for the email and please pardon my delayed response.
    I am unable to talk on the phone at this time because of my hearing difficulties.

    Unfortunately, I am not in the states. I am presently in North London with my kids.

    I'll appreciate a PDF file containing your most recent works so that I can request for a quote.

    Regards,
    Dorothy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good day,


    My name is Maureen Burns Bowie from Norway, i came across your unique Artwork through the Google search and am interested in purchasing some of them for my new art gallery in Norway. I will like to know if you can ship to Norway? my freight forwarder will be coming to pick up the order directly from your location and then deliver them to me here in Norway. And please let me know if it possible to order them with my U.S issued Credit Card Information for payment.


    Kindly include your website for reconfirmation when replying back to me, I look forward to hear back from you Asap.

    Kind Regards,
    Maureen Burns Bowie.


    Burns Bowie Da Art Studio,
    Gr?nerl?kka. Markveien
    35B 0554 Oslo Norway.
    Tel:+47 5551 2350
    Email:maureenburns.bowie96@gmail.com
    Web:www.maureenburns-bowie.com
    I really appreciate what you are doing, Kathleen, and can you comment on this one? I think it is a scam....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ha ha, I just got the same email yesterday, from a 'Robert Cook in Texas'.

    "I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Recent Post Work ‘Below The Boat’ as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, i Will appreciate if you can give me the price quotes of any available works of yours ready for immediate sale,and let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards"

    Beyond the awkward writing, the 'tell' was that the piece he wanted to buy wasn't mine, but something I signal boosted for a design company. I suspected fraud, but sent a polite message listing my online vendors.

    He recovered and pushed back: "Thanks for the message, however, I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed original piece within my budget $1000- $3,000 ready for immediate sale... Just need something within that price range for a surprise to my wife (can tell she likes your work). I would appreciate if you can figure out a piece of work that would serve that purpose. Kindly email images and prices of any available works in that range.
    Thanks and blessing
    Robert Cook."

    Nice touch with the religious affinity-fraud sign-off.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Got the same from Robert Cook today..

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Robert Cook
    Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015
    Subject: "xxxxxxxxxxxx" Needed Urgently
    To: xxxxxxx@gmail.com


    Hello There,
    My name is Robert Cook from Texas. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Artwork "The Space Between" as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, i Will appreciate if you can give me the price quotes of any available works of yours ready for immediate sale,and let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards
    Robert.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, I received an identical email message from
    "richard brown" rb103854@gmail.com
    via my website

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard Brown, rb103854@gmail.com just hit me too with the same email today (January 21, 2016). I've also received a similar email from Mark Salmon from SC, although when you click on his Google picture it takes you to a Google+ account for Sanni Sodiq. I've reported them to the FBI internet crime department but I doubt anything will come of it.

      Delete
  20. I wonder if my email from corey bachman a ccbsales10100@aol.com is the same. My artist ego would love to believe this is legit, but it looks too much like the stories above. Thanks for the sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. just got Robert Cooks letter worded exactly as the one above with differing locations his was Texas and he is moving to Canada. Strangely I just finished showing work in an art fair in NYC and wonder if he was fishing for names of artists there. thanks for this website that I found when I googled his name on a hunch as the letter seemed too urgent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks all for posting re: "Robert Cooke from Washington DC" I too thought the second email was incredibly urgent, not to mention that the artwork they chose for the supposed wife was a little bit of an interesting choice for an anniversary. It's a shame this blog needs to exist, but I'm awfully glad it does. Cheers!

      Delete
  22. Robert Cook strikes again! So thankful for this site!

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Kenneth Ross" tried to convince me with the same kind of bullshit... Seemed honest but I've had doubts right at the first email he sent.

    By googling his postal address (that I asked to prepare the invoice (I was in fact actually trying to get more infos from him)), I got on this actual website (stopartscams) and I saw a 2013 post referring to a Cynthia Roberts with the same address:

    2405 Queen St E Toronto, ON M4E 1H6, Canada

    So the name is: KENNETH ROSS
    Email address: kennethrossdesign@gmail.com

    When it seems easy and unusual, BE CAREFULL!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello There,
    My name is Robert Cook from California. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your work "Deep Forest" as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, i Will appreciate if you can give me the price quotes of any available works of yours ready for immediate sale,and let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards
    Robert.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for sharing this important information with us, really helpful. Scams are now part of our routine life. Fraudsters are become more technical and professional now and they know where your soft link is and from where they can easily convince you and took advantage. Their main motto is to make money easily and this is only possible when they plan something fishy. The problem is, we also want to make money and because of that we fall for big and small scams on internet or any other place.We need to be aware of these scams and from the scammers too. Don't Fall!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, fellow artists. also just got the Robert Cook email. Don't have to repeat it since it is exactly like others with minor variations. Before going to bed last night i said the old if it sounds too good to be true , it probably isn't. Had a weird feeling about the whole thing and sent the letter on to my friend who was smart enough to hook me up to your site. I think the big mistake and red flag was the whole moving deal and also the expediency with which it always is supposed to take place. Years ago a similar letter was going around with a have to buy, moving, etc. Perhaps if these creeps get on the ball and use a little more imagination they can scam a few other unsuspecting artists. My studio is in a building with 99 others. i will certainly pass this information on. Still don't quite understand how the checks could be cashed at the bank and but into our accounts. Then what happens? Guess I'm still naive. Artists don't get bummed. Keep working. There are other avenues.

    Barry

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi there. What happens is the check is deposited but there is a difference between the deposit date and the funds available AND if the funds are then found out to be fraudulent, the bank will withdraw the WHOLE amount from your account.

    This is what scammers exploit. While that verification is going on with the bank (and with international checks it can sometimes takes weeks), the scammer has in the meantime asked for the "overpayment" or the what they often say is the payment for the shipper (who is non-existent) and get the victim to WIRE the money to them. There is the scam. If the money is wired, it is cash and it is untraceable once the scammer picks it up and it is gone.

    So if the scammer check is for, just as an example, $5000, which they say includes $1000 for shipping, the victim will deposit the check for $5000 and wire the $1000 (often the scammer pretends this nonexistent shipper can't take credit cards and you are wiring the money to the shipper not the scam buyer). Then the bank discovers the check is fraudulent and withdraws the $5000 from your account. You are out $1000.

    And that is how the scammers work. It's a number game. They try and get as many people as possible to fall for this. Unfortunately, it is still far too many that become actual victims.

    Hopefully we can keep spreading the word, educating people on what these scams are and how to avoid losing their hard-earned money to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the explanation. I guess i didn't understand cause we hadn't gotten to the over payment yet. That wouldn't have been something i would have done at this age, paying out for receiving, but as a younger, even more naive artist eager to sell work, i can easily see how such things happen.But i also remembered that part from scams going around years before. Again thank you for your site and helping so many. Keep the Faith!

      Barry

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for this. My heart sank when I found this site after giving my name and address, but now I know to ignore the "check" when it arrives and to change my password across most of my accounts. I fell a bit silly having fallen for this scam, but props to the creator(s) of it for the convincing wording. If anything I'm glad I check things before I got the "wire transfer" message and I'll be sure to ignore everything going further.

      I should have seen the red flags sooner but thanks for your follow up post anyway. I'll be sure to pass this along to my fellow artists.

      Delete
    3. Woo! Hoo! I got my check this morning! FedEx brought it. That money is going to come in real handy. The amount on the check is for even more than the price of the painting. AND the check looks legit. But in all fairness, I'm not the best artist here in Maryland. Most people don't know this but the Attorney General here is a Sunday painter. He's really good. He deserves this more than I do. I think I'll send this to him. On the other hand, I don't want the State Police descending on my home and seizing my computer as evidence. Since I really don't deserve this check, maybe I'll just shred it.

      Delete
  28. Me too. My scammer was "Robert Cook" from Washington DC. I googled "robert cook ocean engineer" and came to this site, and thank goodness I did! The strange syntax and the insistence on "the House Address in full state,city and zipcode. (Not a P.O Box) Your Telephone Number(s)(For Constant Communication)" and a few other things made me suspicious. For my final reply I simply e-mailed this link back to him.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I also just received the exact same email - same wording, everything - from "Robert Cook" from Washington DC. Thank you ALL for posting this and for spreading the word.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just received the same email. Robert cook was going to buy a work of mine.
    Same wording. "the House Address in full state,city and zipcode. (Not a P.O Box) Your Telephone Number(s)(For Constant Communication)" Robert Cook is having a busy morning. Sending this link has not stopped him.

    ReplyDelete
  31. 'Hello There,
    My name is Robert Cook from Washington DC. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Illustrator work available and ready for sale as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards'

    From robertcook814@gmail.com

    Ah, these scammers should really try a group of people who are more likely to be rich, and less likely to be able to use Google.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello There,

    My name is Robert Cook from Washington DC. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Good Hair "Charlie" as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.

    Thanks and best regards

    Robert.


    From robertcook814@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. just got the same email from robertcook252@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello There,
    My name is Robert Cook from Washington DC. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your Films "Le Grand Etang - 2x24 Hour Films 2015" as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
    Thanks and best regards
    Robert.

    robertcook814@gmail.com

    **At least I know my website is functional and the contact link actually works! The sad thing is that Robert Cook is the only person who has used the link in months ;-). Thankfully my galleries do the serious work of selling while I spend my time working. Happily these scams are rare and you're blog is here to help us spot them.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just got one of these. Replied once, and got a very suspicious reply after that, which triggered some warning bells so I googled the email address and found this page.

    Too bad there's no way to string them along and teach them a lesson that backfires on them.

    -----

    #1

    rb103854@gmail.com

    My name is Richard Brown from SC. 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 receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
    Thanks and best regards,
    Richard.

    -------------

    #2

    Thanks for the message, however, I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed original piece within my budget $1000- $2000 ready for immediate sale... Just need something within that price range for a surprise to my wife (can tell she likes your work). I would appreciate if you can figure out a piece of work that would serve that purpose. Kindly email images and prices of any available works in that range.
    Thanks and blessing
    Richard.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Today I received the exact same message (and exactly the same reply) from Richard Brown - rb103854@gmail.com - as the one above via the contact form on our website. I traced his IP to .... Nigeria :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. mine is Richard Brown! guess I'll ignore it! how do I report it?

    ReplyDelete
  38. I just got one of these emails. If only I had googled before I sent my address and phone number! The whole thing sounded strange, but I had gotten a real inquiry (in better English) before, and it didn't seem risky to send my publicly available information.... to Richard Brown - rb103854@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Richard Brown rb103854@gmail.com contacted me today as well.
    I Googled his email and this post was at the top. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Richard Brown rb103854@gmail.com paid me a visit yesterday. Wife apparently nuts about my work and he's moving to the Philippines from Washington DC, REAL soon, so I'd better get on it and get this deal done his way RIGHT quick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sent me the same thing :'(

      Delete
    2. Did you actually meet with him in person? Submit him to your local police department. He tried pulling something on one of the artists I represented and would not contact the gallery. I now know why.

      Delete
  41. Same exact email from Robert Cook of Washington DC came to me today. Thank you for alerting us artists to this ridiculous scam.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Just received the same email from an Alex McLaren in California who is moving to the Philippines and wants a piece of art for his wife's anniversary. I gave him some information and images before I realized this was probably a scam, then found this site and, well....The problem is trying to report this scam is proving to be very difficult.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Alex McLaren just tried bugging me with the same pimp story (Philippines, ocean engineer, etc.) They must assume artists are slow or something. HAHA! I spammed his a$$!

      Delete
  43. Thanks for this website, my mother just called asking about an inquiry that she'd received from robertcook252@yahoo.com. FYI, Robert is now moving to Canada. On a side note, I've reached out to him to see if I can help handle finding a moving company for him...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. got same song with same name yesterday. Amazing.

      Delete
  44. I received the same email saying he is moving to Canada, etc... Amazing to me they use the same format each time.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I hate this guy! He just tried to get me and if it wasn't for my love I would have fallen victim. I pray karma bites him 3 fold!

    ReplyDelete
  46. This 'Bottom Dweller' has struck again. Just yesterday I received his email. I was completely sucked in, but luckily my suspicious hubby found this Blog (I will never roll my eyes at his suspicious inklings again!!!). A huge thank you to the person who started this Blog. God Bless You!!xxx

    ReplyDelete
  47. Glad to see it is making a difference and happy to hear you didn't fall for this scam.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Received exactly same email of moving to Canada, working at sea, and all the junk...

    ReplyDelete
  49. I also received an email from Robert Cook. Thank God he's too stupid to vary the wording of his emails

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yep, I also received the email from Alex McLaren... same MO. Good grief!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Just got the exact same email from Robert Cook of DC. I replied politely but told him no checks. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just got one of these--Robert Cook from DC. A painter friend told us about your site. THANK YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Richard Brown rb103854@gmail.com is still at it. Thank you all for posting. Got suspicious when he didn't ask the line of questions that real art collectors usually -more like always- do. Then he said his wife handles paypal and credit so he'd have to write a check to surprise her? and a 3rd party moving company would tell me where to send it? Nonsense!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I just got a Robert Cook inquiry. I was so gratified to find out that his wife really loves my paintings. He's sending me a check, I can't wait. Well actually I can. I get one of these con artists every two or three years. Thank you everyone who has posted. I Googled Robert Cook, and your informative posts popped up. Bless you, and I would be more than happy to sell you a delightful painting, now that I know that Robert is no longer interested.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Well I just got the darned Richard Brown email and fell for it. So now the guy has my address. Great....I wish I could keep that email from going through.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Howdy! I just received an email from Richard Brown from DC. He wanted an immediate art gift for his wife... for sure a scam! Here is the email. rb103854@gmail.com. Thanks for posting info on this....

    ReplyDelete
  57. Just got one from a Hans David yesterday. Followed it all the way through to the point where he wanted my phone number and home address, then started searching and this came up, sigh. As they say, if it's too good to be true...

    My name is Hans David from Ohio. 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 receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
    Thanks and best regards,

    Hans David

    ReplyDelete
  58. as i write, robert cook is at it in northern california with the same mo....thanks for the heads up katie

    ReplyDelete
  59. June 2016 Hans David ? is on the prowl for suckers. Be warned: Hans is on the prowl for suckers.
    I thought it was originally a genuine enquiry, Reality sometimes being crazier than fiction. I sent my address and telephone number before I smelled a rat.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Got one from donlopz01@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I just received the same email and this was from:
    donlopz01@gmail.com
    My name is Donald Lopez from TX. 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 receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
    Thanks and best regards..
    Donald

    Something seemed very off- so I googled the address and your blogged popped up.

    Thank you for posting this blog. Very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  62. got one from donlopz01@gmail.com (Vancouver Canada) thank you gut feelings and websites like these!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just got the same one from donlopz01 saying he was from TX & currently in the North Atlantic. Thanks for this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hans struck again. Cheque came through fed ex from NC. Was this the same for everyone else? Would like to track him down

    ReplyDelete
  65. I received this identical message through my website from a person with the alias of Donald Lopez. When he?? requested money back to 'ship' the painting to the tune of 3,000 I knew is was a scam and found the Stop Art Scam website. I went through with and have corresponding with this turd not telling him it is a scam and that I know his check is bad. Just to have a paper trail I deposited the check, which the bank said was no good, and contacted the FBI. In cases like this you should contact law enforcement and though it may not have a high priority the acquired information will eventually make a case file.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Karin.lotita@gmail.com AKA Hans David. I received the same e-mail as others. I googled the name and found this blog. Thanks for saving me the trouble!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Received email using Robert Cook as name- same story. Thank you so much for this information- really saved us all the trouble and heartache. The check is to arrive today or tomorrow- already have the UPS tracking information. Reporting to local FBI agency. Will take the check there unopened and hope they can track or fingerprint possibly. Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Richard Brown strikes again. After sending him some photos and descriptions of work on hand as well as asking him how he came across my work, he replied the next day with the following - Note that he did not say how he came across my work:

    Dear Ryan,

    Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece (art work title here). If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise.

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

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

    Have a Positive Day!

    Richard.

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

    ReplyDelete
  69. I got the same email from "Richard Brown" and when I accused him of running a scam and sent him a link to this blogspot post, he had the nerve to argue that he is perfectly legit (in ever more deteriorating English) "you will like to know am an Ocean Engineering that train fresh graduate from school. so don't think because am buying a piece from you now give you the previlage to insult me." This is just a new version of the infamous Nigerian Prince -- how sad to prey on artists!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Just got hit by Brown at that address, amazing that he's still using the same email address after half a year!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I reported all phishing scam emails here:

    https://www.us-cert.gov/report-phishing

    We should send them more so that they get more certain that we are really being scammed. I got an email from "Hans David," (karin.lotita@gmail.com) claiming that he would pay me 7000 for a painting. According to artists who actually fell for his scam, What he does is send a check much higher than the amount you asked for, so that you get no money when he sells your art for himself. Always copy and paste the email on Google and check if the person is legit!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Jeremie Speaker also is phishing

    ReplyDelete
  73. I also got an email from Hans David. Will report. Thanks for the site! I was suspicious and then when I googled his name I found your site.

    Cheers,

    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hans is stil out there USING THE SAME GOOGLE ADDRESS. I was just contacted by him today.

    ReplyDelete
  75. PS. This is not Phishing, which is an attempt to gather personal information from scam emails. This is just an old school scam.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Got one today from Hans David from Ohio. Same exact copy paste from the blog post above. His email address was karin.lotita@gmail.com, and that didn't seem like an address that a guy named Hanz would use.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Got contacted by Hans David, karin.lotita@gmail.com. Same broken english - from Ohio and wants 5 pieces of art for a anniversary surprise for his wife. Can't believe this guy is still using the same email address.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Wow, thank you for this site! You just save me a real headache.
    I was contacted by 'Hans David' from Ohio, email address: karin.lotita@gmail.com and contents of the email exactly the same as others above.
    So horrible, for a minute I was stoked about making a sale..but if it seems to good to be true it usually is!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I received almost an identical email. Wording was similar and the writer was a Hans David, same email address. I became suspicious when the amount he was willing to "pay" was $1000-7000. Having been recently sensitized to scam artists, I google his name and came up with this site. This guy used Fine Art America's website to troll possible victims. Really bad.

    ReplyDelete