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Friday, September 17, 2010

Scam Email: Susan Watson

You can see how close people get to falling for these scams. The Susan Watson scam email has been rampant. That's because some people actually fell for it, and if the scammers are making money, you can bet they are going to send out their email is droves! But the content is typically the same structure - it doesn't matter if they have actually identified your art items by name, and it doesn't matter that they offer to send a check FedEx or even pay by credit card. It is a scam.

But lately I'm loving this idea of getting the scammers to actually FedEx or overnight that check - so they spend a little money at that end. If enough receivers of their email do this - I'm guessing they'd have to switch strategies fast - because it would start to actually cost them money! I wonder what would happen if we said, "Oh dear, I seem to have misplaced the check, can you overnight another one?" Make them pay double.

And even if they start calling you to get that "difference" sent back to them, just tell them the phone call is being recorded for the authorities and act like you actually *want* to keep them on the phone. They'll hang up quick.

Hmmm... maybe this is the small satisfaction we can get from the frustration we feel over these constant and persistent and SO annoying emails.

Anyway, here is an email from an artist I received today.
Hi Kathleen

I found your site today, after nearly falling victim to the art scam. It was the bed-rest woman, with the husband, moving to Johannesburg. Of course, I only spoke to the man by phone, so who knows if there WAS a woman. She mentioned pieces off my web site by name.

I was stupid enough to fall for the "the check, made out by a third party, accidently included shipping charges", that I would need to refund. Fortunately, my bank flagged it as fraud the day after I deposited it,  but in the back of my mind, I was going to speak to them anyway, as it did ring a "scam bell" in my head.  And of course, I haven't sent out artwork, so I'm good there. I thought it was odd that the woman emailed me every day, and the guy called me again today (he WAS very nice the first time, and DID sound African, and far away). when I called him out on the scam, he hung up.

They made it seem more legitimate by sending the check UPS Overnight, and I did save the label, which also was suspicious. The return address was:

Montana State Library
1515 E. 6th Ave
Helena MT 59601

I may call ups to let them know scams are being sent through their service.

The other info

Susan Watson []

and let's not forget:


I feel as though I've dodged a bullet, and at least I cost THEM overnight service charges. Thanks for the great info.



  1. Oh, and I forgot to mention - once a fraudulent check is sent via USPS, it is considered mail fraud and you can report it to the Postal authorities. Though I would go to your local authorities, here is an online usps link:

    To report the receipt of a fraudulent check or money order delivered by UPS overnight, you can e-mail details, including the tracking number of the package, to

    Interestingly, I could not easily find ANY reference to how FedEx deals with fraudulent checks being received via their service. They do, however, reference fraudulent emails that pretend to be by them (called phishing emails). Here is what FedEx says on their site: "If you have received a fraudulent e-mail that claims to be from FedEx, you can report it by forwarding it to If the fraudulent e-mail resulted in financial loss you should contact your banking institution immediately through the appropriate channels."

    So there are some additional resources.

  2. I've sent you the name of an art scammer back in July of this year.  Here's another one:
    "Susan Freeman"   Email address:

    I've already replied back to "her" that the poor spelling and grammar in her email, along with the fact that all the info. about my artwork is available on my website, leads me to believe that she is a scammer and not to bother replying back. 

  3. I'm surprised they could even get that email address. Susan Freeman seems like a familiar name. We may have reported on the use of this name before but thanks for sharing it.

    We can't be sharing this stuff enough, to bring it out of the dark and into the glaring light. Cockroaches scurry when the light is turned on.