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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Scam Email: Betty Jean Clark


Shown below is the second email correspondence between myself and a scammer that I encountered on She was using the screenname Betty44 and sent the following message:
Am interested in the following artworks(Trees,Swirls).

Let me know if the artworks are still available so that i can proceed with the payment as soon as possible.Send an email to ( will await your quick response.
I received this poorly structured message about 1 day after I got the first one from Marcus Mcfadden. Receiving two "too good to be true" opportunities in such quick succession added to my suspicions. It was after she requested to pay by check (just as Marcus had) that really sent up a red flag. That is when I did some searching on the internet and stumbled across your Art Scam Blog.

The scammer is using the name Betty Jean Clark, email Unfortunately I could not find the IP address for this account.

Thanks for helping raise scam awareness!

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM, Betty Jean clark [] wrote:
Dear Curtis,
  Thanks for the mail.Well,i will be much happy to proceed with the payment of the artworks.Let me know the price of the artworks when framed.Regarding the shipment,i will inform our shipping agent that is moving our other home decors to our new home to get in contact with you via the shipping arrangement today.

Furthermore,do you do commission works?i will love to have a lovely artwork for my coming baby.Get back to me with your mailing address and your phone number so that i will be able to make an arrangement for the payment as soon as possible via check or bank draft which you can cash in any local bank around you. I will await your quick response.

Scam Email: Marcus Mcfadden


I recently received two messages on an art website expressing interest in some of my paintings. Excited that someone was showing unexpected interest in my amateur artwork, I took the bait. The following emails are from the recent correspondence between me and who I now identify as a scammer, thanks to your very helpful Art Scam Blog. The emails are in reverse chronological order.

Although I proceeded with what I deem to be slight caution, unfortunately I gave the perpetrator my full name and home address. Thankfully, I did not divulge any more information. Being slightly suspicious at "Marcus's" blunt, poorly worded responses and lack of information, I had planned to confirm the authenticity of the check payment once I received it.

The scammer is using the name Marcus Mcfadden, email address, IP address He originally contacted me on by sending the following message:

How are you i saw your artwork online and i must commend you are a very good artist, please i will like to buy the following artwork from your lovelly collections,so get back to me with the price of them.
Chess 1
Based on Bubbles
Will prefer you send your response direct to my email
Marcus. "

His username on this website was mmc.

I will forward you a second email correspondence from another scammer.



Scam Email: Cristina Bruce

This is the usual scam email with the latest fake name and disposable email account. Notice how the scammer spells the fake name in the headers but spells it different in the store name at the end of the email.

Return-Path: []
From: Cristina Bruce []
Subject: Placing An Order To Norway..

Good Day,

    I'm Cristina Bruce From Norway.I want to place an order and i know the difficulties encountered when shipping internationally,But that will not be a problem because i am registered with a shipping company which I've used severally times without any delay nor damage.
   Before i place the order,i want to inform you that i will be making the payment with my Mc/Visa cards because as for now i can only make payment with my US credit card account information,so if it's okay by you kindly get back to me with the contact details and please reconfirm your website so as to know if I'm right with the site.I awaiting your swift response so as to list out the items needed.

Christina-De-Bruce Shop
Michelets vei 67,
Telephone: 4767102560
Telefax : 4767102569

Warmest Regards,
Cristina Bruce.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Scam Email: Doris Howard

We've written about the scammer using the Doris Howard name before. I wanted to create a new post because a great reader of the blog, Tom, wanted to share his experiences with the Doris Howard scammer. It's long but you might find parts of it illuminating, particularly in how this scammer is trying to move Tom along in the scam. I have pasted below what Tom sent me. Thanks, Tom!

This is my experience with 'Doris Howard.' ( 'She' contacted me through my website:

'Hi, Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creative works on your website and i will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase.
10th Ave & 17th Street   and  View from the Pulaski Bridge II
I will appreciate an urgent reply.
Best Regards,
Doris Howard.

* I noticed some funny wording and punctuation: 'creative works', 'I will like you to get back', 'I will appreciate', 'an urgent'... I assumed that English isn't her first language and gave her the benefit of the doubt. I was flattered that her request for my art was 'urgent' but simultaneously  thought it was odd.
Doris Howard's next email: 'Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative works. I will like to proceed with the purchase of  View from the Pulaski Bridge II. Can you pls get back with what motivate you to make the  artwork.
I will look forward to hearing from you soon .'

* More bad grammar: 'I will like', 'I will look', and some funny spacing between words. I was flattered that she wanted to know more about my 'motivation' for creating the art she was interested in, and I gave her a detailed response.
Doris Howard continues:
'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 artwork from your studio. I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed.'

* I felt impressed that Doris was 'living the life' internationally, and could fit me into her busy schedule. More bad grammar though. I did send her my address and number.
There was all of a sudden a lapse of time where Doris didn't respond to my emails, but she re-appeared again:
'Hi Tom , Hope this message finds you well. I am very sorry that i couldn't get
in touch immediately. I was hospitalized in Cancun immediately after
my twin sister's wedding. I almost had miscarriage but thank God, i am
now feeling better and can't wait to have my baby and settle down.
I am not sure if my husband has been able to forward the payment to
your address. I will check with him and get back to you tomorrow
morning. Anyway, i have forwarded your contact info to the Moving
agency that will be handling the shipment of all our house decors.
They promise to get in touch with tomorrow. Try and arrange the
shipping details with them. I will like an update from you as soon as
you hear from the movers.
Try and get back as soon as you receive this email so i can be sure we
are on the same page. Thanks for your patient. Best Regards, Doris.'

* I felt some empathy for Doris who 'almost had a miscarriage', and it made me continue to be diligent in our correspondence.
Her 'mover', David Jones, ( contacted me next:
Hi, I have received  communication from Mrs.Doris Howard that we should work with you to ship some artworks with her other house decors to her new house in London , UK  when you two are through with the transaction,as she advise.

I will like you to get back with the kind and nature of the things she want to ship.I will like to have your studio address ,so i can make arrangement  with any nearby Agent  that will be coming for the pick up  once you and Mrs.Howard are through with the transactions. Thanks. I will appreciate your earlier reply .

Regards, David Jones.
Dav Movers and Logistics  INC.
T: 0870 863 9866
F: 0870 863 9867

* I saw more bad grammar and punctuation. What kind of phone numbers are those?
Doris got back to me:
'Hi Tom ,
Hope this message finds you well. Thanks so much for your patient regarding the transaction. It has been a very difficult time with a lot of things on the plate. Anyway , i  will like to inform you that the payment was sent by my husband's assistant on Friday via Royalmail and he was advise that you will receive it early this week so try and be on the look out for it.
I will also like you to have our address ,you can add it to your mailing list. I will like to hear about your future works and art shows. Our address in Newark is...
215 Walnut Street,
Newark NJ 07105
While our new address in UK is....
68b, Bryantwood Road,
Holloway, London, N7 7BE
Meanwhile, i sent your contact info to the Moving agency that will be handling the shipment of all our house decors yesterday and he promise to get in touch with you.  Try and make shipping arrangement with them and keep me updated with details.
I will look forward to hearing from you soon as you receive this email so i can be sure we are on the same page. Thanks for your patient.
Best Regards, Doris.

* The fact that Doris gave me her two addresses from NJ and the UK to be included in my mailing list for shows seemed to show some authenticity. Still, bad grammar. But, I was now expecting a check for my painting. So, I waited. I told her that I wasn't about to make shipping arrangements with David Jones until I received her check, and until it cleared. She said 'Sounds good'. A period of time elapsed that concerned me, but finally I received a Fedex in the mail coming from a Medical Facility in Florida (not a letter from RoyalMail). And there was no note from her husband or his assistant addressing me, just a check from: East Coast Graphics INC', signed by 'Ronneloan' for over 3x the cost of the painting. I was puzzled and confused. I thought that there was a mix up that could be rational. I did remember that she was interested initially in another painting of mine as well. I checked my prices, and yes – the check was for the exact price of the other more expensive painting. I brought this to Doris' attention. She apologized and blamed her husband's PA who took things over while she was 'sick'. In the meantime, she told me:
'Anyway, i will like you to go ahead and deposit the payment, you can then remove the asking price for the painting and forward the difference back to him.'

* I made the deposit with my bank which I was told would clear in a couple days. I wasn't going to pay any difference until I saw that it cleared into my account. Doris then told me: 'Anyway , i  spoke with my husband and he will like you to forward the funds less charges via ( western union money transfer ) back to his PA at the address below.
Name - Mary Kiefer.
Address- 16246 California Street,
         Omaha, NE 68118
You don't need to have an account,swift codes or any bank codes but you  will have to pay western union fees which you can deduct from the difference. It is usually a meagre amount. After the transfer, you will need to get back  with the following information.
1.  Name and address of sender.
2.  Total Amount sent after deducting transfer charges.
3.  Money Transfer Control Number ( MTCN number ).

*At this point, I was irritated. I didn't like the idea of wiring her the difference. She was telling me what to do, when this 'overpay' was her mistake, not mine. I told her that I preferred to mail her a check, 'USPS certified mail comes with a tracking number that I can give you with the estimated time of delivery.' In the midst of this, she was insisting that I make arrangements with her movers to pick up the art, which I ignored.
She wanted to do it her way though, through her husband's PA: 'Regarding sending  Mary the funds through Western Union. I spoke with my husband to see how we can resolve this because he insist that you send it via WU. He is not comfortable with USPS because he had to rescheduled a meeting last week since a package needed for the meeting was delayed.

*I thought, why should he 'insist' I use Western Union when the Post Office is legit. And it was putting me through a lot of extra work to fix their problem. Also, how 'urgent' is a painting, even if it might be delayed? The last thing I told Doris was though, that I would send her the difference via Western Union the next day. But this is when red lights started going off in my head. I decided to do some investigating and I googled 'Doris Howard', trying to figure out if she was legit or not. And thankfully, I came upon this blog.... Now, does any of Doris' story sound familiar? H#ll yea! I was so glad I caught this!!

Doris asked me several times since my last message, if I made the transfer yet. I've been silent. I stopped returning Doris' emails and text. I went to my bank and explained this whole sequence. The check Doris sent me came from 'East Coast Graphics' and was signed digitally with the name 'Ronneloan' (is that a name or a loan?). The bank teller told me that this is how a scam like this works. 'Doris' stole the routing info etc from E.C.Graphics and created a 'legit' check that would deposit into my account. Only later would this real company discover that their funds were taken, and then take it back out of my account (if I had spent it or not). If I wired Doris the 'difference' that would have been my money taken. My loss.

Some thoughts to artists: 1) Always wait for a check to clear before you mail your art. 2) Know that when you wire through Western Union, the receiver remains anonymous, and its likely you won't be able to trace or recover funds sent. 3) Do some background checking online if you find a 'client' suspicious. Is their grammar off? Is it 'urgent'?

Scam Email: Patricia Smith White

Nothing new about this email, it uses the same ole scam template we typically see, but there have been a lot of reports on this scam email address, so I thought I'd make a separate report on it. They seem to be using a couple of fake names associated with the email address (and the number on the email address may change slightly as scammers set up several disposable accounts when they send out a spam mailing).

From: "Patricia Smith White." []
Subject: Artworks Inquiry...

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

Dancing figures   and   Red Riding Hood,

I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,
Patricia Smith White.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scam Email: Monika Hasler

Here is an scammer who is writing private messages to sellers on Etsy, pretending to be a buyer. The email is no different then the emails they send outside of Etsy, not realizing that Etsy takes care of the payment. I guess they are hoping to pull a desperate seller off the Etsy system to do a transaction via wire transfer (the mode they need to steal your money and disappear). I hope they got reported.
Monika Hasler (
         Etsy ID: monikahasler626

Monika Hasler July 3 2012 11:26pm EDT
Hello Seller,
Am Monika Hasler,I came accross your item on Etsy, i will like to buy the item,is it ready for the immediate purchase, before i proceed with the payment i will Like to ask about the item..

1) Is the item still available for sale?

2) What is the present condition of the item?

3) Do you accept PAYPAL as your mode of payment?

4) what is the final asking price in USD?

kindly get back to me with your reply to my private email :

Best Regards.