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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Scam Email: Todd Rieck

Dear Kathleen,

Thanks for your awesome art-scammers blacklist.  Here's unfortunately another one for you. The bad english from someone with an ultra-american name, combined with the clumsy non-knowledge of art and the mention of a cashier's check, give me 100% certainty.  Won't be wasting any more time here!  The IP address from the initial incoming email is also included.

Thanks for all you do and wishing you great success and lots of REAL collectors.  Hope it's okay to send this to you here; I couldn't get onto the website for some reason.

Name: Todd Rieck

Dear M___,

Thank you for your email and more information about "______(DRAWING) ".

I am purchasing this for myself and my family purpose, I know my wife
will definitely like it because she like everything about Art.  Please
email me more details I need to know about the pieces.

Concerning the payment. I based in Illinois and that's where it will
be ship too. The payment I am 100% sure about is to send you a
Cashier's Check or Bank Draft for the total cost.

I will be expecting your email concerning this.


Sender IP:


  1. I have also recently received emails from a Steve Avendano ( Acevado (, with basically the same wording as all the other emails. He didn't seem to want to give me any contact information and his grammar was pretty bad. My suspicions were really piqued when all of a sudden his last name and email address changed. And especially when he was asking me to pay his shipping agent the overage, etc. What legitimate collector would ask an artist (or anyone for that matter) to pay a shipping agent? Thanks to you and your contributors for calling out these scammers.

    Thanks for

  2. Hello Kathleen, and thanks for your info. It validated an experience, and made the difference between wisdom and a disaster. Please add this name to your list:

    Todd Rieck

    He pulled much of the same stuff listed on your site:
    -terrible grammar, that looked like it had gone through a translator.
    -a request for "more information".
    -claims to be "based in Illinois".
    -asking for a few paintings.
    -not answering questions I had, such as "where did you see my work?"
    -an "urgent" need for the painting, as a present for someone.
    -arranging his own shipping logistics. "Adding it to the same check".
    -a request for my Skype ID.

    Thanks again, and let me know if there's anything else I can add regarding this creep.


  3. Nearly identical wording and format, including the "Cheers" closing.

    Used the email and said he was in Santa Cruz, CA.

    Sellers beware! This person initially inquired about nearly $10,000 worth of artwork!!!

    Glad I found this website!!!

  4. I just received an email from a man purporting to be in Budapest who wants to buy thousands of dollars of art work. A friend cautioned me and pointed me to yr FB page. This may seem like s stupid question but if they are will to pay all expenses, what's the scam? I wouldn't ship anything until I had wired funds in my bank. Credit cards can be disputed. But, my trepidation comes from see the format of these letters...eerily similar to the one I received.

  5. Scammers using this scam are not going to wire you money. They want YOU to wire money. Their story will be some variation of they are moving and their shipper is handling everything and they will send you a check for the art AND the shipper and please wire the extra amount to the shipper. The shipper doesn't exist and its the scammer at the other end of that wire. And then they are gone.

    Red flags are over payment, asking you to wire money to someone for any reason. Never accept over payment for any reason and never agree to wire money if you are the seller.

    Also, and it's just an aside, but if someone is emailing me out of the blue from Budapest who wants thousands of dollars of artwork, that would give me pause to do more homework. Without telling them your website or giving them your name, can they name the work specifically they are interested in? Most scammer can not. Some figure out your website and randomly pick off the website to seem more legitimate. Real art buyers are specific, scammers are typically vague, use boiler plate stories (i.e. I saw my wife browsing on your website, I'm relocating to another country, etc).

    Given it is out of the blue and is international and from Budapest, assume it is not legitimate and prove to yourself it is otherwise. Odds are it is not legitimate.

  6. Hello Kathleen,
    I have just been approached by a man named Joe Blain and there were red flags all over the email that propelled me to do some research.The suspicious interest, the urgency and horrid command of English were just a few sticky points. Thanks for the information on your blog. I am going to warn members of our local art association in the likely case they are approached as well.

  7. I got one very similar yesterday:

    My name is Samuel from Laurel, MD I actually observed my wife viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your art work. I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, You are doing a great job. I'll love to purchase one of your art work as a surprise to my wife for our anniversary that's coming up soon. kindly send me the images with price of each that I can view which are ready for immediate sale within the price range of $1000 - $5000. I hope to hear a lot more about any available art work in your inventory ready for immediate sale. Also let me know if you accept check or PayPal as mode of Payment.
    Kindest regards...
    Samuel James...