Search This Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scam Email: Roberto Bocca

Here is an example scam email just forwarded to me and while it is not art related, I thought it was a great example of how other segments of potential victims are targeted as well. In this particular case, the receiver could very easily recognize it because she was not actually a massage therapist. With us artists, we have a harder time - especially when the scammer takes the time to list the actual titles of some of our work.

But this example still contains the basic flags we've come to see over and over again: "relocation", "certified check", and an offer of a number of massages just enough to get some potential victim all excited about a bunch of business (that is non-existent). Also some of these scam emails actually use a stolen email address and then switch up the reply-to email so they can get the replies themselves (most just grab a disposable email address from yahoo, gmail, or any free email service). This scammer has a particularly long "back story" right up front. We've seen art-related scam emails lately be pretty short up front and then as the potential victim replies, the scammer continue all the same steps of the scam.

From:Roberto bocca []
Subject: Enquiry for a Massage Therapist

Greetings from Milan,

                       My name is Roberto bocca, I live and work as a massage therapist here in Italy . I am 46 yrs old. I have been doing massage since 1991. I do a deep relaxation massage in which the muscles relax without pain.  I also do energy massage that helps people feel great when I am done. I am also certified to do pregnancy massage. I have lots of happy clients here in italy .

I have been looking for a massage therapist for over a week now till i met an old friend yesterday that referred you to me, her name is Serah. She used to live in America before she relocated here with her family, so i decided to contact you to know if you will be able to give my client some massage sessions when she arrives the US.

My clients name is Ms Alice Raffael, she is a model here in Italy. She will be coming to the U.S in 2 weeks time for a modeling job and will be residing in California temporarily until the neccesary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves. She will be needing 1hr massage session per day, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks when she arrives.

Ms Raffael asked me to come with her to the US but i told her i would not be able to go with her to the US as i have a course i will be going for in a week time, so i promised to help her find a good massage therapist in your Area.

Pls tell me a little more about your self, how long have you been a massage therapist? Would you be able to provide her with the massage sessions from the 14th of next month to the 22nd of December, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks?

Pls i need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per session and also let me know if she can pay you with a Certified check drawn from a US bank?

Do send your reply to my personal email address {  } for a quick response as i do not check this email always.

Till I read from you remain blessed.

Roberto bocca
622 Via  Mercato,
Milano Italy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scam Email: Audrey Briggs

Here is the latest email received:

From     Audrey Briggs []
Subject     artworks purchase

Good day to you.

I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search,I 

am interested in purchasing these creative artworks from 

Standing Together,Deep into the Forest,Road to the Ridge,Hidden 
Treasure,Below the Fishin' Hole and Beckoning Route

Let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going  to give?I will be happy to have these selected artworks hung in our  new home in South Africa.As well,I want you to take out the shipping  cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping  other house decoratives.

We are traveling from our Seattle home to our new apartment as soon as 
possible.On Paying for the artworks,I will be glad to pay you with a 
Money Order or Cashier's check in US funds that can be easily cashed 
at your local bank,please let me know on how to proceed for the 
payment of the creative artworks.

I will await your advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day.

Take care,
Audrey Briggs

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scam Email: James Peter

We've posted about this one before, but I received another one just this morning so I am posting it again. Nothing different about this one except instead of "Australia" it is "Norway". And scammers lately have been using the method of saying upfront they will pay by credit card - trying to convince people that makes their request more legitimate. But it is not more legitimate. The card will turn out to be stolen - even if it clears as good, because scammers use stolen cards and rely upon that short period of time before it is reported as stolen. But it will end up in a chargeback. Also some scammers say they will pay by credit card but then have some reason later in their emails as to why they will then send a check instead, getting their scam back to the more traditional format. In all formats, they pay more than is owed and ask you to send the difference back (usually to some non-existant shipping company) via Western Union (because once it is claimed from Western Union, there is no getting back or tracing who picked it up).

Okay, this one is short and sweet because he's waiting for me to reply (and I won't) to tell his longer story. The originating server IP is [] out of Oklahoma but scammers often hack into servers from which to send out their hundreds of thousands of emails. So no telling on this one.

Subject: Order Inquiry
From: James []
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - []
X-Source-Args: /usr/bin/php /home/girlkwco/public_html/mailer.php


I want to place an order in your store,and i will like to know if you ship to Norway and  my method of payment will be credit card. So please let me know if you can assist me with the order ,And please do not forget to include your web page in your replying back to my mail.I will await your prompt response as soon as you receive this mail.

Purchasing Manager

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Woman's House Posted for Rent on Craigslist a Scam

Those who follow this blog will recognize the familiar warning flags (move quickly to Africa, will send FedEx, etc.) in the content of this but I thought it funny the scammers have taken to Craigslist to see if they can find any victims there. But it's the same format we see over and over again here. Be forewarned!

A Craigslist ad said a local Salinas home was for rent and several people were interested. The only problem, the woman who owns the home had no idea. The homeowner said someone posted her house as a rental on Craigslist as a scam to steal money from people. The house was put up for rent on Craigslist, but when people would knock on the door, they would find out it was all just a scam.

Lorena Ruelas fell victim to the scam and says, "Just went to my car and started crying all the way to Marina. How can people do this, because right now I'm going to be homeless Sunday night because I have no where to go because I was expecting to get the house."

Ruelas is devastated she fell for a scam, but grateful she decided to check out the house before sending any money. And the homeowner, she was shocked when unexpected visitors came peering through her windows knocking on her door asking if the house was for rent.

"I'm a little nervous, didn't see the ad on craigslist, but the emails they sent me say the home was supposed to be abandoned and this person is just telling them they can come look in the windows and check out," said Sarah Ransford who owns the home posted on Craigslist.

Even though part of one email says, "the keys and documents will be send to you via fed ex to the address you have sent to me." A second email adds, "I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up."

"I thought he was sincere cause he said he was looking for the right person someone who would take good care of the property," said Ruelas. As for Ransford, she has a warning.

"It came out of no where, I think especially if you just bought a home or you're selling a home be on alert because they're getting their information from the MLS listings."

The posting is gone from Craigslist and the homeowner called police.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scam Email: Daniel Andrews

This guy took his time getting to the core of his scam.
On Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 12:52 PM, Daniel Andrews
Your Name: Daniel Andrews

Your Email:

Subject: Landscape Painings

Message: Hello, I saw your contact while surfing via the
I will like to know if you have a Landscape or Seascape painting in
stock of
price range not exceeding $700. Get back to me if there is any available
sale. Regards, Daniel Andrews
next email after the artist replied:
On Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 10:23 PM, Daniel Andrews [] wrote:

Thanks for your prompt response to my request. I am interested in the one
called "Tokyo Tower" under the Kimono series. Please let me know if it is
available and the selling price?


and finally his real intent begins to emerge on the third email:
From: Daniel Andrews []
Date: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: Landscape Painings


Thanks for your help. I will prefer to have it unframmed. As regards
the payment I will give instruction to my clients there in the united
states to send you a cheque in that amount. And I will be needing the
address, the name to which the cheque will be issued to include your
telephone number. So please get back to me soonest with all this
information. Once i am in receipt of the nessesary infomation we can
set up the transactions.

I will be arranging for a courier pick up at your location as soon as
the check cleared by your bank. That way the painting is secured. So
there is no need for shipping charges.

I await your response soonest.


I think it's a thing about the software the scammers use to generate these emails that SO many of them are signed by their faked name with a period. Just a weird little niggly thing. Fortunately, the artist googled the name, found this blog and enough other emails with the same content to know that her email exchange was, in fact, not with a real customer. At least she won't become a statistic.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scam Email: Rose Duke

This scam email is not art related but completely insidious. Notice that they've faked most of the header information so you think the return address is someone at But the actual reply-to address is different, and sources to a server in Russian (ip number:

From: Rose Duke []
Return-path: []
Reply-To: []
Subject: Your Tax Payment ID: 01037733 has been rejected. Urgent Report information.

Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010375128 has been rejected. Return Reason Code R21 - The identification number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid. Please, check the information and refer to Code R21 to get details about your company payment in transaction contacts section:[Links to]

 In other way forward information to your accountant adviser.

 EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System PLEASE NOTE: Your tax payment is due regardless of EFTPS online availability. In case of an emergency, you can always make your tax payment by calling the EFTPS.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scam Email: Sofia Daniel

"Bellow is my shipping".

Boy, did this scammer mess up this email. I suppose the automated software that kicks out their emails didn't get set up correct. Just a sloppy, shoddy scammer effort.

The IP number [] does originate out of the Ivory Coast of South Africa. Notice the reply-to address is different.
From: Sofia Fashions Boutique []
Subject: Dear Sales
To: undisclosed recipients:
Dear Sales

  I am Mrs Sofia Daniel the owner of (Sofia Fashions Boutique) I am interested in your products, kindly pls get back to me so that i can be able to make selections if you are interested in selling to me,

My method of payment is Visa Or Master Credit card Payment method,and kindly pls don’t hesitate to reply back if you accept

my method of payment,

Bellow is my shipping

No 65 Rivera Avenue 404 Abidjan
Ivory-Coast, West Africa,
Best Regards
Mrs Sofia Danie