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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scam Email: Carmen Gonzalez

This scammer has been reported under various names, using this email account but changing up the number (,,,, etc). Notice how they patiently try to walk the potential victim through the scam. The "story" comes out in the 3rd email. But why scammers try to rush victims through the steps of the scam is to avoid exactly what happened here - the artist got suspicious enough to search online and then found this blog. Scammers want to get their money from their victims before they get too suspicious.


This just keeps getting a little uncomfortable.  I actually sent my address and phone number.  Yikes!  Thank goodness I caught on. What happens next?  Is there something I need to do to prevent this?


First Email:
On Jan 7, 2012, at 11:14 AM, Carmen  Gonzalez []


Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives works on your web site and i will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase.

"Ambsace"  and  "Six of Them
I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,
Carmen  Gonzalez.
Second Email:
On Jan 9, 2012, at 7:12 PM, Carmen  Gonzalez [] wrote:

Hi Deborah ,

Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative works. I will like to  proceed with the purchase of both pieces . Can you pls confirm the  actual size and  price  of the two pieces so i can know how best to proceed.  I will also like to know  what inspire you to make the pieces.

I will look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,
Third Email:
On Jan 10, 2012, at 7:57 PM, Carmen  Gonzalez [] wrote:

Hi Deborah ,

Good to hear back from you. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of both works ( framed and ready to hang ).  I think they are lovely works  and i hope to give them good home.

I am presently away in Cancun for my twin sister's wedding even though it comes at a time when i was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby  but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days.

Meanwhile,i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband still shutling between our home in New Jersey and London on where to forward the payment . He has just been transfer to head the IT section of their head Office in London.

I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange  FedEx pick up of the artworks  from your studio.

I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed. Cheers.

Best Regards,
Fourth Email:

From: Carmen  Gonzalez []
Date: January 11, 2012 5:43:23 AM CST
Subject: Re: Artworks Inquiry...

Hi Deborah ,

Hope this message finds you well. I spoke with my husband late yesterday and he promise to send the payment as soon as you get back with your mailing address and phone number. I will look forward to hearing from you soon.



  1. I just received the exact same emails from this woman. It seemed suspicious, so I googled and found this blog. Luckily, I didn't give her my phone number or address. Just curious though- what is the scam? And what could she possibly do with a ph. number and address?

  2. The jist of the scam is they eventually will "pay" with either a fake check or a stolen credit card (typically that has not yet been reported as stolen), have some convoluted story as to why they are paying more than they owe (typically around that they are moving and have a shipper handling everything) and the overage is usually a couple thousand dollars and they go on about why they are asking you to forward that overage amount to the shipper once you deposit their money, via Western Union. The scam is all their money and name and email is fake, there is no shipper, and its just them at the other end of Western Union, which once the money is picked up, they are untraceable.

    So they count on sending out a zillion of these emails - its a numbers game, and hoping to quickly move as many potential victims through the scam before they realize they've been had.

    This blog I started, and my facebook page on the same topic, has reduced their success rate. I assume these are like vermin that you never really completely get rid of, but you just try and keep the number of victims to a minimum. That's what I hope we do by all of us sharing our experiences and educating artists to google suspicious emails BEFORE they do anything to see if someone else has already written about them.

    So thanks for contributing your experience!

  3. Katie:

    Thanks so much for your help in stopping this! Really appreciate it very much!

  4. Thanks so much for your blog. My wife was going back and forth with this "woman" and I couldn't figure out what the scam might be but I was very suspicious. Before giving them her address and phone number I googled art scams and came across your site. I tried to google "" but because it's a digit off I came up with nothing. Glad I found you before we got in too deep.

  5. Thanks, I'm also glad I found your blog. I too, googled this person's name and email address only to find nothing concrete. Unfortunately, I got to the part where I sent them my mailing address and phone number; though, this is information that can be obtained on my website. So, I didn't see it as that big of an issue. I found your blog after I received an email from their "cartage" company, "Pack N Box Movers and Logistics LTD." So, I googled them and found out what the deal really was. Again, thank you for creating this blog, it is a BIG HELP!

  6. I am happy to see we are keeping down the scammer's success rate! Thanks for writing in.

  7. Exact wording of my Carmon emails but she had a miscarriage at her sisters wedding in Mexico! Shes OK though and would like to proceed! LOL

  8. Yeah, she contacted me, but I smelled something fishy right away because I have had other artist friends who have been hit on by scammers. So, I tried to scam her back by selling her The Sistine Chapel. I don't think she liked the image I sent her of Satan in the Last Judgment...I titled it:
    "Devil Art Scammer", digital fresco, 2" x 2", retail $3,000
    never heard from her again after that.

  9. I have been contacted by this person also and the emails I received have been almost word for word what you have posted here. I have removed her emails from my site and have no intention of responding to any further emails from her. I still have my painting and she has none of my money.

  10. I want to add my names to the list. I have just had a show at the Union League Club of Chicago and met a lot of people at the opening.

    When I was contacted by Lisa Walcott i first of all thought it was a result of the show and someone who had seen the show while it was up.I got two emails from her and sent two responses. At first I was very excited. i haven't heard a peep since i sent her my prices :). I asked her in the 2nd email how she had found my work, though since i had a stack of biz cards at the Union League show i immediately thought it was a connection through that. This was my second email,at this point. What was there not to trust so i gave her my prices,shipping she would have to handle and if in state,then Ill state tax. Anyway, i didn't hear a peep from her after the quotes and figured they were out of her price range,though if she had been at the Union League Club show she would have seen the price guide and what prices pieces had sold for.

    After not hearing anything for a week and her not being forthcoming with any contact/viewing information i decided to Google her name. No luck .then I tried her email and hence I got here and i am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I did. She obviously had found and been on my website independent of any show (and makes me wonder where she/he is trolling about) since one of the two paintings she had inquired about was an older piece only found on the website. I had no idea that this could be a scam, since nothing other than prices had been asked of me.

    Glad I found this site and info and was able to stop the dance before it got further along. Thanks everybody..Hey is that Sistine Chapel still for sale? :) tj

  11. I'm really glad you google it, too - BEFORE you lost any money. Good instincts on that one.

    One less successful scammer, one point for our team!

  12. Yes,
    I was contacted by Lisa Walcott and did not fall for it. It is clever in that she asked what was the inspiration for my work. Fortunately, the address of her new house was one that was on the market and not sold. Also I sold something on Craiglists and the scammers were like fleas.

    By the way the email was the same as here.

  13. I just got the same first couple of emails from Audrey Lang - and thought it was suspicious, so I Googled and found this.

    Thank you very much for posting this. I think you have saved a lot of artists a lot of money and trouble.

  14. I have also received emails with same email and name of Audrey Lang. Wish we could get this person arrested!! Thanks for posting, Fiona

  15. Thank you SO much for posting this!! I, too have received emails that are identical to the ones you posted above, from the same email address, but under the name Audrey Lang, also. I gave my address and phone number, but it all seemed suspicious, so I looked it up and found this. I haven't lost any money and I haven't shipped any art, but I feel sad and frustrated that I fell for it enough to exchange several emails.

  16. Decide to forgive yourself and move on. Sometimes it takes exchanging a few emails for them to reveal all the obvious red flags that identify them as a scammer.

    It took a few emails for you to trust your instincts enough to Google it. The good news is it had the best outcome - you didn't lose any money or artwork (though the scam is usually already over before it ever gets to the part about shipping artwork). Feel good about that.

  17. For years we have been getting calls from creditors looking for a person named Carmen Gonzales. Every time we have to tell then we don't know her and she has never lived here. Apparently she continues to use our telephone number on forms. I finally became fed up enough to search for her name, and found this forum. Unfortunately, this is a common name, and so it is difficult to track her down. And not one single creditor will cooperate by giving us the address for Carmen Gonzales, of course, because they have to protect people. But Carmen Gonzales doesn't need to be protected, she needs to be arrested! She has been committing fraud for years!

  18. I came across your blog due to the same email. This time the person is using the name "Katherine Ortega". Thanks for keeping this up, it help confirm my suspicion and avoid that mess altogether.

  19. Katherine was here in Denver. She disappeared after I demanded a
    cashier's check in advance.

    Her e-mails were IDENTICAL to those here, right down to the broken

  20. Hi Everyone! Whew! I am so glad my boyfriend came across your blog. I was going back and forth as to whether there was something off with the emails I had received from "KATHERINE ORTEGA". After reading all the posts - I see that the emails she sent me were identical to the ones posted here. Today I should be receiving a FedEx from her with the check for my painting.
    Judging from what's written on this blog, I'll bet my last nickel that the check will be for MORE than what she's supposedly purchasing the painting for ($2500). We did a little checking on the FedEx tracker and it seems the package is coming from Michigan. Should I simply not respond or send back a nasty response?

  21. It serves no purpose to write anything back to a scammer. They don't care. They are not capable of caring or feeling bad. They play a numbers game and only care about potential victims and once someone lets on they know it is a scam, the scammer simply moves on to their other "prospects".

    Time is money with them, so i string them along as long as possible, knowing the time spent on me is time not spent on another victim... but for most people, its best to ignore any further communications from a scammer - throw out whatever they send you (the check will be counterfeit anyway), and move on. No need to tell them you've avoided becoming their next victim.

    But good to warn others online like we do here. That has an impact and helps others also not become victims.

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. This just happened to me. I have the check in my hand and I feel like a damn fool...
    I sell a lot of art so this didn't seem to strange until I got the check for 2 g's for then the art was worth. Scam

    Thanks for posting this.

  23. just googled a suspicious e-mail address and found this blog. crazy that is google all the e-mail brought up was about art scams. Darn it, I was hopeful for a sale.
    Thank you for this information.

  24. Hello Fellow Artists! Let me add my name to the Katherine Ortega list. We were somewhat suspicious but like everyone else it's not unusual for someone to contact us regarding a piece of artwork. Today the FedEx arrived, but we have not picked it up yet. The unusual thing is according to FedEx the pkg weighs 5 lbs. Quite a suspicious weight for a check. I'm so thankful you started this blog and we will share with all of our social media followers regarding this SCAM and point them to your blog. Thank you for looking out for all of us

  25. Hi, I just got the email above with a variation on the sender and email address-- now from Stacy Walcott and Otherwise it's identical.

    Thanks for this blog!

  26. Katherine Ortega is alive and well at Still scamming away.

  27. I called the FBI on her after getting the same and reported her. I also made a police report and followed it up with a fraud report at the post office which is what the FBI said to do. I urge everyone to do this to stop her. I was so hopeful, then crushed. She is now going by the name of Lisa Kent.

  28. Hello, I researched and found this blog about the individual mentioned above. Sadly she is still at it. She is going by the name Maria Carmen Rosel Gonzalez. The who scam is that I won $852,000 in a Chevron Texaco Award and I need to send my name and phone number to Of course I did not send any information after I did a search.