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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scam Email : Phillip Rice

Here is an email I received today from another artist:

   I want to start by saying thank you.  Your page about art scams saved me from falling victim to one of these fraudulent deals.  It all seemed too good to be true.  I hardly ever sell my paintings, so when I was contacted by the scammer for the sale of 2 paintings, I immediately was excited.  They sent the certified check to me, and explained how urgent it was to mail the overage amount to his shipper/courier.  My bank thankfully holds all out of state checks for a minimal of 2 days before clearing any money.  This apparently upset the scammer because he called me.  He was demanding that I send the money immediately to his courier.  This set of red flags to me.  That was when I googled, "art scams" and read your web site.  Everything that you posted fit this scam exactly as you said it.   The scammers name is Phillip Rice  and his e-mail is,
   Thank You again.
We saved Nathan in just a nick of time!!


  1. I have just received an email from which immediately aroused my suspicions as the English had errors. I've had this type of scam before (again, observation of it raised my guard). Thank you for all your correspondence about this. I am in the UK and I will remain anonymous as other scammers could be looking at your site and picking up names for the future.

    Kind regards

  2. Thanks for writing in! Yes, he has moved from using gmail to which seems to be a place scammers can land to send out lots of spam. In this case, the full headers showed this: X-PHP-Script: for, which shows he is using a php mail script. The IP number shows to be a server from in Lagos, Nigeria (no surprise there!).

  3. Phillip Rice emailed me today, too, from the same email address as posted by the anonymous poster above. Unfortunately I did not come across this site before replying politely that the works Mr Rice was interested in were not for sale. I did think something wasn't quite right, and I would not have been so polite if I had been fully aware of what is going on. Thankfully, now I am. Annoying people. Thanks for posting all this material, I am sure it acts as a great source of information for many of us.
    Kind regards

  4. A brief addition to my earlier comment about this particular scam: I just checked the stats on my webpage and found a Nigerian IP had accessed it early today, so that is no doubt where our Phillip Rice got his info from in my case.
    Kind regards

  5. This seems like a hot and heavy one today. I'm glad your works were not for sale and so they had no chance of getting money out of you, anyway.

  6. I'm an art dealer in New York and have just wasted about a week of negotiations on a supposed sale, that has turned out to be a scam I'm sure.

    I did a google map search on the 'client's' address - turns out to be an airport. I did a google map search on the courier, turns out to be a residential address in the UK.

    I also did an IP search on the emails, both of which were located in isolated places, nowhere near where the 'client' or 'courier' are located.

    Only after these red flags did I do a google for art scams. Thanks for the additional information and confirming my worse fears - fortunately before I acted on any payments etc.

    Perpetrators name: Richard Marrino:

    The courier name: Techie Courier

  7. Sucks for me as an artist he has my name!

  8. There is now a Thomas Rice perpetuating this scam.

  9. I have been dealing with a Thomas Rice ( who wanted to buy three of my paintings. He was being sent to Turkey...out of Ontario. Read a bit on scams and he certainly fit the profile. He was sending me more than requested and asked if I was trustworthy. Trustworthy, yes. Stupid, no. Thanks for all the information you supply. I hope more people read up on art scams.

  10. We have also been dealing with Thomas Rice( and were very close to being scammed. He also said he was moving to Turkey from Ontario and wanted to buy anything we currently had on hand in full. We got a suspicious, non-descript cheque in the mail which the bank ACCEPTED and we almost transferred the shipping amounts back to him until the bank caught it. BEWARE

  11. Yes, it is important to understand that just because a bank accepts a check, it does NOT mean you are in the clear. Banks can remove those funds from your account at any time once it is determined the check is fraudulent. That is exactly why scammers love this scam so much - they are relying on the delay of time to determine the check is fake and try to disappear with the CASH they have wired to them by the victim, for "over paying".

    My advice is always do not wire anyone any money for any reason when transacting selling things online. Scammers are not interested in your items, but it is also a good practice not to ship anything out until the check has CLEARED, not from when the bank has accepted it for deposit. The process of clearing that check as valid has only just begun at that point.

  12. I was also contacted by a Thomas Rice at and he almost scammed me. He wanted to buy 2 pieces of art. But his last email in particular seemed fishy to me. I went to check him out online and found this blog. Thanks, good to know my feeling that there was something off was right. He didn't get me, thanks to your information! Eva

  13. Loved your very helpful blog on art scammers, Kathleen!
    Here is a new message I just received and has all the red flags of scammer!

    I saw that you had a Phillip Rice listed but with a variation of the e-mail address...

    Thank you for trying to help fellow artists to stay safe!

    Happy weekend,

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Global Village Logistics []
    Date: Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 12:57 PM
    Subject: Artwork Purchase


    Hope this message finds you well, for few days now I have been searching
    over the internet for some nice artworks that will fit in my new house in
    VA. I came across your works and they caught my attention, is "[name of piece]" still available for sale? get back to me
    with detailed information of artwork and how to proceed with payment,
    Looking forward to read from you soon.

    Phillip Rice

  14. I was just contacted by a Thomas Rice in a very similiar fashion.

    Email reads as follows.

    Hello there I’m Thomas Rice by name and I’m from Tennessee. Please I want to purchase a surprise birthday gift to my wife for our 40th birthday . I would like for you to send me pictures and prices of some of your works which are ready for immediate sale that are within the price range of $500- $4,500. Most importantly I would also like to know if you accept check as a means of payment


    This email was from a different address though:

    Assuming the number at the bottom was a phone number, I used a call look up website and found it was registered in CLEVELAND. Being that I am in Australia, I assume the person in question was trying to gain a distant but similar form of familiarity but I believe this is sent from a different destination. Can anyone please tell me how to locate the IP address?

  15. Thank you for posting this! Mine was Donna Pounds from Ohio (I Googled, this person is recently deceased.)

    Same wording and mispelling and moving to Philippines.

  16. Ok guys, so this Donna Pounds is hitting now accounts on Instagram. She just DM on IG on June 18th and gave me the same phone number and same ridiculous story. When she (he) said to give my address I typed the Los Angeles FBI address. For now I stopped this person scamming on Instagram since I reported everything to the FBI and she/he knows that now it's gonna be a problem. But, if FBI is not pursuing this, I don't know for long this can be stopped.

  17. Thank you so much!
    I just blocked this person who called herself Lisa in instagram. So she needed a gift for her husband for his 50th bd. I was too happy about an order to think through it carefully.

    1. Literally just dealt with this Lisa Jeff and now the user can't be found. Received a check that cleared, but the English was broken, they were very insistent about shipping agent services and there were a multitude of CashApp Transfers. They became increasingly rude and had me even transfer bacl through various Zelle and CashApp to the point that I have jsut a little remainder of what I was owed for this art. They became increasingly unresponsive when I questioned them re: the status of a reimbursement/coordinating pick-up of art and I had initially been suspicious but thought perhaps this is just an older individual, but as soon as I googled the number and address, I found that it is a Wedding venue in TN. Very frustrating and now I'm watching my accounts like a hawk.

  18. That is very unfortunate! It is likely whatever money you transferred via Zelle or Cashapp is gone, that is why they are being unresponsive now. Highly highly likely the original check is counterfeit and will not clear. I hate scammers. I really hate hearing when they succeed. I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. Darn.

  19. I guess we all have to just keep on our toes now. I would assume it is a scam unless they state where they saw the work and describe it and state why they liked it. "How do I know you?" would be a good question. There is a way to check the actual email address, but I didn't figure that out. I would just say, if they are "moving" then email them that you will get with them at that point and not to use a shipper/you don't work that way.
    Good luck and be CAUTIOUS!

  20. Yes. The main red flags for this scam are: NEVER accept payment for more than amount owed, and NEVER EVER EVER send money to anyone for ANY reason if you are the seller. This is usually sufficient protection against this particular scam.

  21. AW MAN!!!
    I thought I just sold FOUR paintings. I thought it was kind of suspicious. But I was too excited to think it through, and they kept DMing me to pressure me to respond quicker.

    They are on Instagram now
    The new name is Mary Smith
    But the phone number is the same. 918 358 0240

    I googled the phone number, and this page was the first to come up. Dose anybody know if they can do anything to me if all I gave them was my phone number and a PO box? This happened just this morning. I haven't messaged them back since they said the "check" was in the mail, and asked me to transfer some money to their "agent".

    What a bummer.

  22. Sorry to hear that... but you DID catch it in time to not lose any money, so feel good about that.

    Their goal is to get you to wire money to their "agent" but their payment will be counterfeit or a stolen credit card.

    So you are good as long as you stop communicating now. No need to tell them anything, even that you know it is a scam. Waste their time following up with you, but ignore all emails or attempts to contact you. They have your phone number now - so they will attempt to use that. And I would expect your phone number would get added to a database for other scammers. Your email may possibly be added as well. So be braced for that. The PO Box I don't think is of any risk.

    Remember - you caught it in time. Be thankful for that.

  23. Sorry to hear this is going on still. I ended up turning off emails from my website, it was all scammers. I would say ask a lot of questions about why they like the artwork, have them describe the work they like. They send out a generic email, so once you notice the lack of detail you can block them.
    Good luck, be safe!