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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scam Email: James Chavez

Yes, even someone who hosts a blog and Facebook page about scammers, warning people how not to fall victim, receives these stupid emails as well.

To entertain myself, I removed the name of my art piece from the subject line and replied and asked which piece they were interested in. Now they won't be able to match what they said before. They may decide who cares and just pick another piece and see if I fall for it. Obviously I won't.

So I wonder to myself - are we all getting smarter? Are we googling names and emails before we send anyone money for any reason (particularly when WE are the seller!)? Are we making the scammer's life a harder one?

While I ponder this, here is the email I just received:

From: james chavez (
Subject: [Name of Piece] 
My name is James chavaz from south carolina. I actually observed my wife
has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece
of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,
: )  You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information
about your piece of work and what inspires you.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate
Thanks and best regards,
In so many ways these emails haven't change over the years. Lately, it's a little less about them moving to some obscure country or that they are out of the country on "assignment" but you'll always know it's a scam if they overpay the amount (saying some scenario about a shipper) and ask the "difference" be sent via wire transfer. Your transferred money will be good but their money will be a counterfeit check or stolen credit card. That's the crux of the scam. They could care less about your art and they disappear with your money long before it even gets to the shipping stage.

So never accept over-payments, no matter what and NEVER ever ever wire money to anyone when you are the seller. No matter what their story is.

'Nuff said.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scam Email: Steve Wood

Yup, Tom - it's a scam. Delete it and do not respond.

Hi Kathleen,

Its been 2 years since my last email about the scam I was in the middle of – and got out of with your help. I received another email yesterday from 'Steve Wood'. The punctuation in his message is strange, and he only
answered one of two questions I first asked him, in his response. He didn't tell me how he ran across my work:

*I want to have the beautiful painting ("name here") purchased immediately for my wife as a gift for our anniversary.I'm presently on deployment in Afghanistan,so i have limited access to communication,i will only be able to respond through email at the moment. I would have personally appreciate to have it purchased in person and to meet with you could have also been a great privilege The price is totally acceptable by me $2,000  i'm sure its framed? i will authorized a check payment to you immediately i can get hold of your information,and i want it to be delivered as a surprise to our new home.Please consider the beautiful piece of the artwork sold to me.

However,you don't have to worry about shipment,my shipper will handle it.I'll notify my shipping agent who's moving my belongings from our old home in Florida to get ready for the pickup of the artwork from your
address. I will appreciate if you can forward to me your Full details,(which you want the check payable to ) such as your Full name,contact address and mobile number.The payment will be sent to the address provided,i will not want any delay due to my inability to access to easy communication.I expect your prompt response.Thank you
Best Regards*

I'm not going to respond as I think its a scam. Two years ago, the other scammer spoke in an inflated way about my work, was unavailable to talk by phone, was 'in transition' between homes, has a 'shipper' who would handle delivery, and asking me for too much info... (who asks for a mobile number?). And the interest sounds 'urgent' and he doesn't want 'any delay'.

Your thoughts?

thanks, Tom

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Scam Email: Carolyn Jovanni

To Kathleen or whom it may concern:

I was almost caught up in this scam, until a red flag went up. The series of emails as follows:

Received an email yesterday reading:

Congratulations! Someone expressed interest in buying your work,
[name of piece], at the url: [website url]

The intested party listed their name and email address as:
carolyn (

Message from buyer:
Hello Seller I came accross your Painting posted on the site and am really intersting in purchase it and i will like to ask the question below.
1.How long have you own it?'s new or used?
3.what is the final asking price?
4.did you accept Paypal as mode of my Payment?
Get back to me asap.
Response from so called Collector:

Thank so much for your response am okay with your final asking price but the problem is that i have a private shipping company that will come for the pick up in your location because i have some item that i want to ship along with the paiting so i don't want you to bother yourself about the shipment am going to handle that on my own if you agree my terms let me know and get back to me.

Response from Collector:

You don't have  to worry yourself about i saw i want on the site so get back to me with your Paypal account


*I send the Collector a Paypal Invoice for $500*

*That also lets them know to schedule the pick up from who ever they are using for as their shipment company to pick up after the 27th of August.*

*I get a response about an hour after I sent out the invoice....this is when the red flag goes up.*

*RESPONSE from Collector:*
Hello ,
  I was just about to book the pick up schedule with the pick up agent when i had a problem about their payment method.They are only accepting payment through western union money transfer but i am currently on sea due to my status of work,so i want to add the pick up agent  fee to your item cost price credited to your paypal account and he pick up fee is ($400.00) so i will be crediting the total amount of ($1,000.00),the extra ($50.00) is for the western union transfer fee for you to transfer the pick up agent fee
through western union.extra($50.00)for compensation.Once i have these done and you have pick up agent fee sent to them,the pick up arrangement will be scheduled,just wanted to let you know before i proceed with the payment, please advice and i will be looking forward to read from you.get back to me
with your Paypal invoice

My Response to collector after I research scams directed towards artists on the internet:

 I am Sorry. I can not adjust the invoice to increase the amount for any reason. The payment reflects the price of the artwork, which is a taxable income that I need to claim.  I also am too busy to make arrangements through Western Union for your shipping needs. I am very sorry, the request seems very difficult to handle. I am sorry we could not make a deal.

This morning I received another email...not in response from the series of emails talking with this collector but again from the site where the name originally generated:

Congratulations! Someone expressed interest in buying your work,
[name of piece], at the url: [website url]

The intested party listed their name and email address as:
carolyn (

Message from buyer:
Hello Seller I came accross your Painting posted on the site and am really intersting in purchase it and i will like to ask the question below.
1.How long have you own it?'s new or used?
3.what is the final asking price?
4.did you accept Paypal as mode of my Payment?
Get back to me asap.


That is all the information I have. Although I did not get scammed, I feel like the time and effort I went through I can empathize with those who have. I really hope that this is something that can be stopped before it really becomes a major issue, before it becomes an issue of artists not wanting to trust such a great means of being able to sell, trade, or promote their works. We should not be afraid of such a powerful tool because of a few that misuse, redirect, or take advantage of our standard practices. Thank you for helping in the fight to protect our daily rights as artists!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Scam Email: Curtis Butler

My mom was the recipient of an attempted scam - luckily she asked for my help in processing a credit card and so I was able to stop it before she actually lost any real money!

Curtis Butler was the name used in these scam - 2 different email addresses
(see below)

Here is the original email:

Received: by with HTTP; Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:14:48 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:14:48 +0100
Subject: Order enquiry
From: Curtis BUTLER []

I am emailing to inquire about availability of artwork for sale in
your gallery, if you can ship international and also if you are able
 to process Electronically Visa and Master Card Number/Expiry date/Cvv
as payment. Let me know so that i can communicate with you on the
artworks that interest me,you can also indicate to me which of the
arts are sold and which are available on your website.
I will be looking forward to reading from you.

Curtis Butler

During their conversations he also changed his email address (my mom
didn't even notice because GMail just showed his name) - here is a
follow up email:

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:31:08 +0100
Subject: Re: Order enquiry
From: Curtis Butler [>]

Good to hear from you,
Below are the artworks that interest me so i want you to get back to
me with the cost price of each so that i can give you the  payment

[name of each piece]

I want you to get back to me with the cost of  the above so that you
can have the payment .
I will be looking forward to hear from you asap.
> On Jul 25, 2014, at 6:14 PM, Curtis BUTLER [] wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I am emailing to inquire about availability of artwork for sale in
>> your gallery, if you can ship international and also if you are able
>> to process Electronically Visa and Master Card Number/Expiry date/Cvv
>> as payment. Let me know so that i can communicate with you on the
>> artworks that interest me,you can also indicate to me which of the
>> arts are sold and which are available on your website.
>> I will be looking forward to reading from you.
>> Sincerely
>> Curtis Butler

Friday, August 1, 2014

Scam Email: Raymond Velluci

Dear Kathleen,

I could not find a way to reach you through your Art Scam Blog, so I hope this is an appropriate channel. I wanted to thank you for being instrumental in helping me to prevent being scammed. When I received a $3,800 check in the mail yesterday for an $850.00 purchase, I got suspicious and found your blog right away. It really helped me to quickly clear my confusion and report to the authorities (Wells fargo Bank). Below is the whole affair (sorry, a bit lengthy) if you care to read it, but it seems like all the others.

My point is, please add Raymond Vellucci [] to your list of names and e-mails to be wary of. I'd hate to see other artists become victims as well as individuals with potentially stolen checks / accounts, etc.

Sincerely - Sean

To Whom It May Concern,

   I am a professional artist and someone is attempting to defraud me of funds using a Wells Fargo account. I do not know if the account holders are complicit or are also potential victims. On August 1, I phoned the Wells Fargo Fraud Reporting Service: Suspicious activity with an online service at 1-866-867-5568 and spoke with Laura. She asked me to send you all pertinent information. I'm also attaching an image of the Wells Fargo check being used in connection with the fraud.

   The following is a chronological listing of e-mails and events:

-July 21, 2014 - I receive the following e-mail from Raymond Vellucci []

Dear Artist

My name is Raymond Velluci,I reside at 600 N 5th Street Opelika, AL 36801,I Came across some of your artworks and am interested in buying your ( torm and Abyss Watercolor on 300lb Arches 5.5 x 9 inches  )

Please let me know if you still have it available for sale or get back to me with the available work you have at the moment as i will be happy to have it in our new home and also get back to me with your least asking price and don't bother to include the shipping cost because i will arrange for the pick up of the artwork

Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

-July 23, 2014 11:33:05 PM CDT     I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

Thank you for your interest in my work. The price for this watercolor is $600.00 unframed. I am happy to professionally frame it for $150.00 additional. Where did you come across my artwork?

Sincerely - Sean
-July 24, 2014 12:44:57 PM CDT    the recipient responded:

Thanks for the mail,I'm okay with the condition and as for the price i will offer you $850 to keep away any other buyers from buying it and count it sold to me

I will be leaving my home town state tomorrow for my honeymoon,but that will not be a problem,as per payment  i will have to instruct my client to send you a check via UPS or USPS courier service which will take only 2-4 days to get to you. cos this is the only  means of payment I can offer you now due to my present departing And you should not worry about the shipping, i have my shipper that will come down to your house for the pick up as soon as payment is done.

So to make payment out to you, you'll have to email me:

1,Name to be written on check........
2,Address to send the check,City,State And  Code..........
3,Your contact telephone number..........

Awaiting to read from you..

Raymond Vellucci
-July 25, 2014 1:16:46 PM CDT    I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

I will accept your price of $850.00.

I am unclear if you want me to frame this for you or not. If so, there are a few styles I would like to offer you. It will take a few weeks to order materials and assemble the frame. Will you please clarify your intention concerning the framing?

Make your check out to :

[info was inserted here]

Also, you did not respond to my question; where did you come across my work? I'd also like to know if my work will be in your privater collection or another collection. Can you answer these questions for me.

Sincerely - Sean
-July 28, 2014 7:37:51 AM CDT       the recipient responded:  


Good Morning to you,how was your weekend,just wanted to let you know that the payment has been mail out to you via a regular mail and it will deliver to you by today or mid-week

kindly deposit the Check in your account and then you email me as soon as it clears your bank for further instruction on how my shipping agent will come for the pickup at your location

Raymond Velluci

-July 28, 2014 11:11:50 AM CDT     I responded:

Dear Mr. Velluci,

While I am happy to sell you my work of art, I am distressed at our apparent communication problems. I have asked you some questions regarding how you found my work and , more importantly, about framing the work. Please do not send for the artwork until we have resolved the framing issue.

Kindly re-read the e-mail I have sent you (below) and respond.

Sincerely - Sean

I am unclear if you want me to frame this for you or not. If so, there are a few styles I would like to offer you. It will take a few weeks to order materials and assemble the frame. Will you please clarify your intention concerning the framing?

Also, you did not respond to my question; where did you come across my work? I'd also like to know if my work will be in your privater collection or another collection. Can you answer these questions for me.

-July 29, 2014 8:38:47 AM CDT     the recipient responded:  

Thanks for the mail and am sorry for not answering your questions,Yes you can frame it for me and let me know the styles you are going to offer me and Yes i came across your work via your website on and its going to my new home not any other place

Thanks and please kindly let me know when you get the payment as soon as possible

Raymond Velluci

-July 30, 2014 12:02:58 AM CDT     I respond with four e-mails, each one with an attached image describing and showing the framing options.

-July 30, 2014 12:24:36 PM CDT    the recipient responded:  

Thanks for the mail and am really happy to see the work so great,yes i think i will go for the Framing Option A (1 of 4)‏ because even my wife made comment of the Framing Option A (1 of 4)‏

So kindly go ahead and start the preparation and also let me know if the payment has been deliver to you and also i will like to inform you once again that you don't have to bother about the shipping cos as i told you before my shippers will come for the pickup once they have there funds sent to them as soon as possible

Thanks and kindly notify my if the payment has arrive your location

Best of regards
Raymond Velluci

-July 30, 2014 9:51:07 PM CDT   I responded:

Dear Raymond,

OK, great. Please allow me about 2 weeks to order and assemble the frame. I will contact you when your funds clear and I will contact you when the framing is complete.

Sincerely - Sean Culver

-July 31, 2014 9:15:24 AM CDT   the recipient responded:

Thanks for the update kindly let me know when exactly the check is going to clear your bank so that i can forward the shippers information to you on where to send there funds to so that they can start arranging for the other items that are going to ship for me together with the artwork am buying from you before you are through with the framing

Thanks and please make sure you get back to me as soon as possible


Later that day I received a Wells Fargo check for $3,800.00 drawn on the account of [Name inserted here], [address inserted here]  Dated: 07-26-2014    Routing Number: [number inserted here]     Account Number [number inserted here]   Check Number: 5694 (see attached image) (Ed.: probably all the information from some other unknowing innocent person)

I did not connect the e-mails from Mr. Vellucci and the check from the [Name on check]'s right away, I was more confused as to why anyone would send me a check for so much without reason. There was no notation on the check or in the envelope.

At this point I did a Google search for Artist Scams and, sure enough, I found that this fraud had been perpetrated upon to many other artists who, sadly, went ahead and cashed the check only to have the "purchaser" ask them to direct-wire the difference between the purchase price and the deposited amount. My first call this morning (August 1) was to the Illinois Attorney Generals Office and my second call was to Wells Fargo.

I will not be depositing this check and I do not intend to contact "Mr. Vellucci" any further. I would like to spare any other artists wasted time, confusion and possible financial loss. I would like to spare any other victims of this crime, possibly the [Name on check]'s, of any financial loss.

I would appreciate any follow up notification should any investigation into this matter get results.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scam Email: Rebecca Wallace

Hi Kathleen, I was wondering if you might have heard of this person Rebecca Wallace from Guernsey UK.
At first I thought it was a legitimate purchase inquiry... but now I  think not.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks, Matthew

I think it's GREAT that you are putting in the effort to help your fellow artists!

Here are the emails (from latest to first):

from Rebecca Wallace:

Thank you so much for the urgent information provided I want you to 
get them ready for shipment and get shipping quote ASAP
On the shipping one will have to pay additional fees at the delivery 
point here, because they will never bring to ones house, Courier like 
FedEx, UPS and DHL are not worth it here especially USPS probably 
because they already known very well.
I want you can contact this shipping company:
contact address:

They will need dimension for the package weight and Value of the 
artwork for the shipping and insurance Quote to my billing address, 
they offer door to door shipment and deliver safely without paying 
any extra money before collecting the goods unlike some other courier 
where it will not be delivered to your address and you will still 
have to go to their office to pick it up and you will be told to pay 
other money like custom duties before collecting it really sick of them.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon so that you can 
have credit card information to charge for the total payment without 
any further delay.

234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

---- On Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:57:56 -0700 Matthew wrote 

Hi Rebecca,
The prices for these 3 framed paintings are:
[names, prices]

It looks like shipping would be $200 for all three
Total Art $5,100 plus $200 ship is $5,300 and could ship within the 
next couple of days.

Getting the three paintings I could give you a 15% discount bringing 
the total including shipping  $4,500 usd

I use PayPal for online payments which you can use your credit card 
( you don't need a PayPal account)

You can use this page for payment

Let me know how this sounds and we can go from there!

A note on these 3 paintings, they were all done plein-air on location 
with my wife and family present and they all hold a special place in 
my life and heart.

I hope sometime to come to Guernsey with my family to paint and enjoy 
the fresh breeze!

All the best, sincerely,


On Jul 21, 2014, at 11:29 AM, Rebecca_wallace1960 wrote:

How are you doing today and family?and great to hear from you,
Below are the artworks that interest me and I want you to get back to
me with the price of each pieces listed bellow:
[name of pieces]

I want you to get back to me with the cost of  the above pieces then 
we can figure out about shipping,and insurance cost
I will be awaiting,so that you can have my credit card number to run 
for the payment


Rebecca Wallace
234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

---- On Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:06:57 -0700  matthew wrote ----

Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your interest in my artwork, and sorry about 
the delay in getting back to you I have been away from my computer.

Yes shipping to the UK is fine, though unlike the old days where 
wasn't so costly I now have to check on the cost.

If you let me know some of the work, style and sizes you are 
interested in I can give you a up to date selection of avail work.
Please reference some of the specific paintings from my website 
[url listed]

I very much look forward to having my artwork enhance your home and 

All the best,


On Jul 12, 2014, at 6:36 PM, rebecca wallace wrote:

Hi there,

I am captivating on your artwork to equip, and beautify my home town
In United Kingdom.
I don't know, if you internationally shipped Out of your region and
Your on-line portfolio or inventory would give me more details of
available works only if you send me more details.
I will wait for your swift response.

Rebecca Wallace

234 Rue Du Fort Sark
Postcode:GY10 1SF
United Kingdom

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Scam Email: Alex Starks

Pretty classic scam email below. So many scammers seem lately to be saying they have a store in Finland. Not sure what the preoccupation with Finland is about...

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Alex Starks []
> Subject: order
> Date: June 28, 2014 10:46:33 AM EDT
> To:
> Good day,
> My name is Mr. Alex Starks,I will like to make a purchase to my store in Finland. I run a small store and I am interested in doing business with you. i will like to know if you can work with my shipping agent in making sure your products get to me safely. My method of payment is via my u.s issued credit card ,so kindly advise which card you would require,Visa or Master Card.
> Your swift response will be highly gratified.
> Regards
> Alex Starks

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scam Email: Adrian Hermes

Here is a scam that is so telling - sent to an "undisclosed list of recipients" (aka huge spam list) and apologizing upfront for not remember your website (they have no way to track the websites of hundreds of thousands of people they spam every day, and really they are not visiting the websites in this case anyway).

What they need for the scam are people to reply to the email and say that's okay... here is my website url. And THAT way when the scammer continues on the steps of the scam, they can make Round 2 of email exchanges a lot more personalized so you believe they are a real buyer when they are not. Then they WILL go to your website and pick out specific artwork to "buy".

In this way, they keep their own efforts efficient and the least amount of work for maximum gain.

What is their gain? With a fake story they will eventually overpay for something and ask the money be forwarded to their [fake] shipper, because they are moving or temporarily out of the country or whatever. And (here comes the kicker), it will need to be wired to them. Hard untraceble cash wired directly to the scammer, who then disappears. While the victim then learns, too late, the original money was either a counterfeit check or a stolen credit card.

How do you avoid this scam? Two simple rules:

1. NEVER accept overpayment for any reason. Just don't.
2. NEVER EVER EVER (can I throw one more in for good measure?) NEVER send money via wire transfer - for any reason. This is the crux of the scam and if you don't do this, you'll be safe from at least this scam.

Check out this scam email:

-----Original Message-----
From: Adrian Hermes []
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Sent: Thu, Jun 5, 2014 2:19 pm
Subject: Inquiry and request about your work of Art

Good morning,
        I was able to view your work from the website you had it displayed in and unfortunately for me i kind of lost the website but i stored your contact,i will like to ask if you have a piece(s) for sale and can you kindly re-direct me to your website. i will be awaiting to read from you soon.

Scam Email: Lesley Donna

Odds are that I, too, am going to receive scam emails directly to my email account, even as I spend so much of my time and energy trying to expose scammers. But scammers don't care - it's a numbers game to them... how many hundreds of thousands of emails can they send, what percentage of people reply thinking it's a real client, what percentage of them get funneled through the entire steps of the scam and actually send their good hard-earned money to a scammer... it's all about the numbers.

How did I know the below was a scam email? Well, I've been looking at these same "stories" for years and really they don't vary much. Also, lately scammers have been really annoying in when they set up their fake name, they've been picking two first names so that usually tells me it's likely a scam email to look at further. Then scammers do this other very odd thing... and they've done this for years - their name at the end of the email always seems to contain a period. In a place where a real person would NOT be putting a period. I don't know why scammers do this. I think they are just using some template and are too dumb to remove it. They also always have this international thing - their fake story either has them living internationally, moving to an international location or temporarily working or serving in the military in some foreign location. That will set up the later part of their scam story as to why you need to *wire* money to them. DON'T! Step away from the western union counter! Don't do it. For any reason. THAT is what the scammer is after. Not your paintings, not your widgets... they are after your cash. Do not accept overpayments and do NOT wire money to anyone for any reason. P.S. Any credit card they use will be stolen (and not always reported as such yet) so ask the scammer for the billing address on the credit card. Chances are the scammer will end the scam right there because they won't know the billing address. Or they may try to provide you a fake one. Call the credit card company and verify if the billing address is the same one as on file.

Okay, enough venting about these scum bags. Here is the scam email I just received.

Return-Path: []
From: Lesley Donna []
Subject: Interested in placing an order

Good Day,

    I am Lesley Donna from Norway, i want to inform you that your items are most creative & desirable, so much talent! I am interested in purchasing some of your artwork/items into my shop here in Norway, but before this is done, i want to inform that i will be making the payment with my Master card Detail because presently my best form of payment is via credit card.
  This is where i put all my money for any international transaction, so kindly reconfirm your website/contact details and get back to me with it so as to know if I'm right with the site.
  Concerning the shipment, my shipping company will be coming to pickup the items because i already have some merchandise with them in which they will be shipping together to me here in Norway, so you don't need to be worried about the shipment nor handling fee.

Brenneriveien 9 B,
0182 Oslo,
Telephone: + 47 23 32 53 20
Telefax:   + 47 23 32 37 04

Warmest Regards,
Lesley Donna.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Scam Email: Linda Monreal


You are a life saver. Below is my correspondence with one of your known scam artists. I felt like it was going to turn into a legit sale until the last exchange. That's when I googled her name and your site popped up. Now, looking back over the whole exchange I can see all the little signs you mention on your site. I thought she might have been ESL -- I feel like a dope for letting it get this far -- I even fell for her ploy that she wanted to here more about my painting process -- oy! I can't thank you enough!



Hi David,
It is nice to hear back from you.  I will like to proceed with the
purchase of the two pieces. I think they are lovely works and I hope
to give them a good home.

I am presently traveling for my Sister's wedding even though it comes
at a time when I am preparing for a big move to Miami Beach, FL but it
means so much to her and I should be back in few days.

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Meanwhile, can you pls get back with your mailing address and phone
number so I  can inform my husband on where to forward the payment. He
can have one of his PA handle the payment asap.  About shipping , you
can handle it from your side to my new address above or I can forward
your contact info to the local cartage  company handling the shipment
of all our house decors. They can arrange FedEx or UPS 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.


> On May 20, 2014, at 10:40 PM, Linda Monreal wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creative
>> works. I will like to  proceed with the purchase of both pieces (
>> unframed) . Can you pls get back with what inspire you to make the
>> pieces.
>> I will look forward to hearing from you soon.
>> Best Regards,
>> Linda.

>>> On May 17, 2014, at 11:35 PM, Linda Monreal wrote:
>>>> --
>>>> Hi,
>>>> Hope this message finds you well. I saw these lovely pieces on your
>>>> website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are
>>>> still available for purchase.
>>>> Still life with vase and shells,  and  Monarch Butterfly
>>>> I will appreciate an urgent reply.
>>>> Best Regards,
>>>> Linda Monreal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Scam Email: Tim Patty

Hi Kathleen, Thanks for your blog.   Below is an email I received today.  I was skeptical but pretty convinced once I got the response.

From: Tim Patty []
Date: Wed, May 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM
Subject: PAinter Needed

                      I need your services as a decorative painter for my
wife birthday in August.
Are you a faux,canvas or colored pencil painter.
Check your the attach images to this email and let me know if you can make
exact paint for me,awaits your mail.


* My response:*
Hi Tim,

Yes I am able to paint this for you.  I would nee to know sizes.  Do you want 2 paintings or the eagle and the landscape combined.

*His Response*
tim patty
12:30 PM (1 hour ago)

to Erin
Thanks for your swift response and her birthday is on August 2 so i want
you to to make a replica of the 2 image the landscape and the eagle
separately but my wife loves nature,presently am in Philippines doing
social work to the victim of typhoon  haiyan also its a surprise for her
and i want it ready before her birthday.

How many weeks will its takes you to finish the 2 painting and size is 24
by 30 and what is the total cost?

I want canvas painting and i want  to present it to her on her birthday as
gift,awaits your  mail.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scam Email: Alvin Folkman

Hi Kathleen

I unfortunately got my hopes up for a few minutes in these dry and difficult times that this was a genuine enquiry but noŠ its a scammer. Its hard to believe they will actually spend the time looking up obscure specific individual works. Here's another name for your scammers list with email thread:


From: Alvin Folkman []
Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 12:00 PM
To: Geoffrey

Thanks for taking your time to reply back! Here are the list of works

' name of piece ' (charcoal study )
48" X 60"      CHARCOAL ON PAPER   ..............:QTY:1

Meanwhile, don't worry about the shipping cost actually i have my personal
shipping agent in USA that will come for the pick up of the package in your
destination and i have inform them about this and they told me the best way
to come for the pick up is for you to email me with the information needed

* Your Name and Address ?
* Time the package will be ready for pick up with your convenience
time and date?
* Contact Person for the pickup arrangement ?
* Telephone Number ?
* Weight of the package and how many boxes are they ?
* Total cost?

So, please kindly get back to me with this details along with the
total of my order.So I can instruct my p.a to  process a cashiers
check/personal check to you  for the payment of the work so that my mover
can have it picked up along with my properties that are to be moved to

Best Regards

> From: Geoffrey
> Date: Friday, May 2, 2014 6:01 AM
> 02/05/14
> 07:01:06 AM
> first_name : Alvin
> last_name : Folkman
> email :
> phone : 6789234567
> message :
> Hello,
> My name is Alvin Folkman.  I found your profile on the internet. I
> am interested in purchasing your work for the decoration of my
> guest room at my new residence in Sweden. Would appreciate if you
> can send me few pictures of the works you have available for sale
> so that I can make an easy choice of mine. Better still, send me a
> web link where I can have a view of your recent works.
> I look forward to read back from you.
> Thanks.
> Alvin

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scam Email: Corbett Bonilla

Below is an example of how scammers are using skype. Skype doesn't make them any more legitimate. In fact, you will discover scammers always some some made-up reason for why their camera on skype is NOT working but okay to text back and forth - keeping them anonymous and as slimey shadey as hiding behind disposable email address and fake names.

Do not use skype to sell things. It's usually scammers.

Email message attached from "Corbett Bonilla"
Dear Bill,

I have received your email and the information concerning the cost and
the method of payment that you choose.

Concerning the shipping and delivery I will handle the delivery and
pay the delivery fees by adding it on the same Cashier's Cheque which
am going to issue.

My concern about appointing a good secure shipping company for the
delivery is because I want the delivery to be save to my destination
here in Glasgow England without any damages or lost of art which has
already happen in the past by using FedEx and UPS.

We will need to discuss the sending of the cheque directly to you for
the payment of the painting in order for the pickup to take place. We
need to appoint a time and date for Skype communication. My Skype id
is corbettbonilla add me on your Skype list or send me your Skype id
and I will add you.

Please email me back with the below information for the Cashier's
Cheque to be issue..

Name on Check:
Full Address:
Phone Number:

If you don't have Skype id kindly go to and register
with them and download Skype. I will be available on Skype tonight
night from 8:30 pm England time.

Note: I will handle and appoint a good secure shipping company that
will come for the pickup and the shipping fees will be added.

Best Regards
Corbett Bonilla

Scam Email: Thanh Nguyen


i wish i had come across your site earlier! ive been working on an art sale with  a "thanh nguyen" with the email "" . i researched him, his company, the bank the check was sent from, etc. i didnt know to look up art specific check fraud, so i wasnt aware this was an ongoing problem. anyways, i stopped the process before anything could happen. heres the original message:
Hi there,my name is Thanh im an art collector from Hawaii ,was
browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work
on the subject,will like to have it for my new apartment probably this
month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me
have the detailed price and more information about it.kindly reply me
with your phone#.

and a few  later to discuss shipping arrangements:

"Hello,Thanks for the details which Ive noted down and have also
forwarded it to my shipper.He's due in the US sometime next week and
will definitely be getting in touch with you for the pickup.The truth
is,i would have handled this much differently if i would be at home
but Im a bit pressed for time myself. Im moving to Cairo this month as
im being transferred.As it is, I'm sending you an overdraft which will
include my shippers fees as well.He has asked for an upfront before
coming and since I have no access to a lot of cash, Im trying to kill
two birds with a stone.So, once you've received and cashed the
check,deduct your funds and PLEASE help me send the remaining funds to
him(shipper).I'll forward his contact details to you once you've
received the payment.Now I'm concluding you are a responsible person
and I can therefore entrust you with this arrangement.Ill let you know
Immediately the check is sent out
to you so you should be looking out for it.P.S:I`ll require that a
reconfirmation of your address is done for me now. I await your reply."

then this after receiving a check

"Yes you got it Rebecca,Im so glad you finally received the payment,the
payment should clear to your account within 24hours.
Below is the shipper's information in sending the remaining fund via
Western union;

Curtis  A Westbrook
6232 Greenwood Pl
Huntsville Al 35702

Once you have the money sent, do email me all the necessary
information which will be needed for the collection of the money I.e;

Sender's name
Amount sent after Western union charges

Once he receives the money, he will get in touch with you and set up
the best time and date with you for pick up this week.

Thanks for your help and understanding and I await your quick response."

yikes! another to add to your list! thanks!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scam Email: Paul Newman

The use of a famous name like Paul Newman doesn't make this any less of a scam.
Kathleen, Thank you for your post about scammers trying to buy artwork. I have received an email before from someone saying that they were in the process of moving from California to Africa and listed several piece of art work that they wanted to purchase. The way it was worded from the beginning made me question it. However, recently got another email that I think should be added to your list.

[]  "do you still have this artwork for sale? (a specific piece was mentioned). I responded, "Hi Paul. I do still have this piece. Feel free to give me a call. (Telephone number included). Thank you for your interest in my work. Laura.

He responded, "Thanks for the message, I am very happy to know that the item is available for sale. i must tell you that my wife  browse through the net and saw your artwork (  Title of Artwork 24" x 36" Acrylic on Canvas $300) now, and we are very much interested in the immediate purchase because we need it for our new apartment,we will like to  buy it before someone else requested for it, and I know this is worth more than the price, So i agree your selling offer I agree that After payment clears, Then shipping agent will do the pick up of it and collection at your location. I will be paying through a Certified Bank Check so once you have it clear and you have your funds at hand the shipping agent will be coming to pick it up. Here is the information needed, Kindly Text me Your,
Full Name:
Home Address
Cell phone number
total cost
kindly get back to me So that i can proceed with the payment arrangement and relay it to you, consider it sold and get back to me with the details of yours in which the Check  will be written,i await your quick response...

Thanks & Regards
So I responded, "give your full name and address. So I can calcuate shipping)

They responded, "Kindly text me your...." (Above information)

I wish I had come across your blog the first day that I tried researching this!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Scam Email: Steve Borgatti

How many years have I been doing this blog. How many personal emails have I sent for years before I started the blog. Really, this scam has changed VERY LITTLE since it began. Why? Because it is still working for the scammers. Because they are still making money. If it wasn't, it would have changed long ago.

It's simple:

1. DO NOT use wire transfers very ANY reason in your business dealings. Period. This one tip will destroy the effectiveness of 99% of this type of scam. They need you to wire your good money to them so they can disappear with it without a trace - before you've discovered their payment is a faked check or stolen credit card or faked paypal payment.

2. DO NOT do any one any favors in selling your work. Don't forward money for them to some non-existent shipper. Let them pay their shipper themselves (there is no shipper so the scam will end here).

3. DO NOT accept overpayments. Just don't. If a buyer overpays, offer to void their check and have them send a check of the right amount (and remember, no favors for forwarding money to a non-existent shipper) or if it's a credit card - call the card company first and verify that the card number matches the billing address (it almost never does), and if it's a paypal payment - actually manually log into your paypal account in a brand new browser and double check that they've paid anything at all. What scammers do with paypal is they fake a payment confirmation email and hope the victim never logs into their account (in time) to check.

And this bit about moving to Russia or moving to Malaysia or they are at sea or in Afghanistan or out of the country for some other odd reason...huge tip-offs that a scam is in progress. It helps setup why they are asking you wire them (or a shipper) money. But don't do it.

Okay, here's another one I receive today:

Hello Kathleen, my artist husband was almost scammed.  I was suspicious and finally went to the Internet to do some research and found you.  Please add the Steve Borgatti name to your list of despicable characters. I'm going to make a donation to you!

At the very bottom is the scammer's message.  When mail is sent to my husband's art address, a blind copy goes to my Gmail account so I copied the header info.

Thank you,Nancy

Delivered-To:[Links to]
Received: by with SMTP id k77csp28622ykb;
        Sat, 5 Apr 2014 07:41:26 -0700 (PDT)
X-Received: by with SMTP id j107mr2728669qgj.81.1396708873079;
 Sat, 05 Apr 2014 07:41:13 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with HTTP; Sat, 5 Apr 2014 07:41:13 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2014 15:41:13 +0100
Subject: Payment and pick-up...
From: Steve Borgatti (
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=001a113aa9803c108704f64ca0df

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Hello Mrs. [last name],
Hope you are good. I'm just reading your email now as I have been so busy.Thanks for the details which I've noted down and I hope to visit your studio with my wife in the nearest future after our anniversary. Also in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise, I've contacted a client of mine to issue out a check which will include my shipping agent fees to you, so please you may have to help remit the balance to the shipping agent as soon as the check clears your bank. I would have handled this much differently if I'd been at home but am a bit pressed for time myself and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction... trying to kill two birds with a stone.

Moreover, they are not sending any bill or hold you responsible for the payment of the contract between us. all I'm asking from you is a favor to help me send the extra funds on the check to the shipping agent who will be coming over to your location to pick-up the piece and have it delivered safely to me at my residential address.

Mrs. [last name], I want you to understand that I'm concluding you are a responsible person and I can therefore entrust you with this arrangement.please i will appreciate if you get back to me asap to know if i can entrust you with this transaction.
Many thanks and talk to you soon,

 -------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Hello
 From: Steve Borgatti (
 Date: Thu, April 03, 2014 9:33 am

Dear [last name],  Thanks for the message, I must tell you I am very much interested in the immediate purchase of the piece to surprise my wife.  I can be reached at (323) 374-5218 (feel free to leave a voice mail or text message if am not available but E-mail would be the fastest way to reach me though).If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Russia soon and our anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying yours as part of gifts to her (quickly before someone else grabs it). I'm okay with the price, I think it's worth it anyway, so I'll be sending a check.
As regarding shipping, you don't have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.

I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, I'm currently out of the country on a conference trip and won't be back for another couple of weeks. Regards,Steve.
PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) and contact address (preferably for fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

 -------- Original Message --------

My name is Steve Borgatti from Nevada. I'm reaching you to inquire about your works. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes that piece, I'm so impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, : )  I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.  Thanks and best regards,