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Monday, June 11, 2018

Scam Email: Sean Pringle

Hi Kathleen,

I'm forwarding an email I received yesterday through my art website. My immediate reaction was that it looked like a scam so I didn't respond. When I googled art email scams looking for his email address, I didn't see it. But, I did come across your site and thought it would be helpful to other artists to have his info added to your list.

Thanks so much for helping by sharing this info. Glad we can all work together! If you need anything else, please let me know.

And...I just enjoyed looking at the paintings on your website. Hope all is going well for you!

Thanks again,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sean Pringle []
Date: Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 6:45 PM
Subject: Artwork:

Hello ,

I'm Sean Pringle from Pontiac, Michigan. 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 purchase one of your piece as a
surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept
check as method of payment.


Sean Pringle


  1. Hello All,

    Last week I received the same email. I responded even while assuming it was a scam, as is my habit, in the hopes of gaining more info to lead to a prosecution. In this case, I asked which paintings were of interest, and after a few days, I received another, slightly better worded email specifiying one of my larger pieces, including its price and framed dimensions. Neither price nor size are posted on my website, and so I believe the scammer went to the trouble of looking me up on

  2. Last week I receievdd this same email. I responded, asking which paintings were of interest, and offered alternative means of payment.

    After a few days, the scammer sent a slightly more grammaticl email specifing one of my larger paintings and in luding its price and framed dimensions, information that is not available on my website.

    I believe the scammer visited my page on to find this information, and asked for an address to send a check, advising me that his "shipping agent" would be contacting me and thereby alerting me to the fact that this was, indeed, a scam.

  3. I just received one of these from a Victor Walter. Apparently they are going through Etsy store listings. Thank you for posting!

  4. Thanks, I just received the exact same boilerplate email from this scammer. I simply replied that I do NOT accept checks. Thanks for posting.....hate these damn scammers and glad to have found this site. :)

  5. I also received a similar email from

  6. Received same email two days ago. Sean is now out to sea as an ocean engineer and can only send personal checks! Glad I came across your post!

    Becki H.
    Salem, Oregon

  7. I, too, have gotten the same e-mail. I did respond and his reply made me even more suspicious. Here is his first reply.
    Thanks for the response, I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your piece which are ready for immediate sale within price range $1000- $5,000, I could be flexible with price.

    Thanks and I will be waiting to read from you

  8. Thank you for posting this. I just received this exact email from a Sean pringles too. Didn’t feel right to me when he mentioned check. So I decided to check Sean Pringles online and thank god I found this post.

  9. Checks? from strangers? How about Visa MC, AMEX andything but a check from an UNSUB.

  10. This EXACT email came to me this am

  11. I just got one from him. Man F**K him! Like its not hard enough to sell art without scammers!

  12. he is still actively sending these and will respond with:

    Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of two of your piece "Revival $500.00 12 x 24" and Blossoming Branches Vertical Wall Art $600.00 12 x 24". I am okay with the Price i think it worth it anyways .

    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 the check has cleared, my shipping agent will contact you to arrange for the pick-up. I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I'm an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won't be back for another couple of weeks.



    PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

  13. I received the exact same email yesterday.

  14. Got a similar one, but this one came in text message. I just moved and had updated my google business. They guy "Dave" texts that he wants a mural painted and gives me an address and tells me he's in Pontiac, MI recovering from an accident and wants the mural done ASAP for his wife's bday Aug. 10. Wants to pay withe check or credit card. Red flag when I tried to call him back and it went to "google voice mail." Then he called me and sounded like he was in another country and just didn't sound like a 'Dave" and wanted a price ASAP and said he had no budget. RED FLAG! I immediately blocked him.

  15. I got the same message from a "Smith Heap" ( He did mention the title of a work so I gave him the benefit of the doubt but told him I accept Paypal only. H ehas responded with a check scheme and third party shipper.....

  16. I got one scam-email today 07/29/2018. Thank you for your alert!

  17. Received the exact same email from the same "Sean Pringle" a couple weeks ago and almost fell for it! Thank you!

  18. I received an email from Smith Heap ( with an inquiry to a specific piece of my artwork (he listed the title in the email). He wanted to get it for his wife for their anniversary blah blah blah. He also mentioned paying with a check. I'm grateful all of you posted about this so I could confirm the initial 'this is a scam' feeling!

    1. I received the same email last week!

  19. This is how this scam works because I was dealing with a similar one - this is the third -
    It's the SHIPPING that gets ya. No matter how they pay, the shipping company is FAKE. If it's paypal, they just do a chargeback saying it never arrived. You can't contact the shipper and get tracking because they don't exist! I went to the shipper's website a second time when investigating, and it was gone.

    I was suspicious in the first place because if they want a painting, why didn't they just buy one on Artfinder. They were obviously in my shop already.

    They think people will be happy to cheat Artfinder out of their commission.

  20. I received one from Smith Heap today 10/5/18. Thank you all for confirming what I suspected. Y'all ROCK!

  21. I got the same email from Smith heap. Good to know it's a scammer. Thanks for posting this

  22. We got the check today from Smith Heap. Thank God and thank you we checked. He sent it for $2000 more than the purchase price and wants us to send him the difference. My wife sells Catholic art, and the checking account says it's from the St. Joseph Center in Venice, California. Nice touch, rat bastard. Art scam, arrg.

  23. Since this is actually live and in play, is there any law enforcement who would care and want to pursue? Anybody know?

  24. Got this Friday


    My name is Bruce Christopher from Snyder, Texas. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $1,500. I hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

    Thanks and best regards,


    Thank you for this blog very helpful!!!!

  25. FYI, this happened to me via VRBO. He tried to pull the same scam involving my rental property.

  26. I just got this too today boo:


    Hello Harriet,

    My name is Joseph Collins from Seattle.. 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..Also, kindly email me back with some images and price list of your artworks that is ready for immediate sales within my price range ($1,000- $8,000)..
    Hope to hear from you soon..

    Thanks and best regards.


  27. Received this comment on one of my Instagram posts from a Nelson Bill.

    "Hello there I’m Nelson Bill Please I want to purchase a surprise birthday gift to my wife for her 40th birthday, Do you have artworks available for sale that are within the price range of $500- $4,500?"

    I felt suspicious from the start, as his profile had 0 posts and only 31 followers, several of which seemed fake to me. He also didn't look like a Nelson Bill, as his profile had a picture of a brown gentleman. He also had a link to in his bio.

    I replied, and he sent me a DM with a screenshot of a painting shown on my website that he wanted to buy. Of course, like many others in this thread, he asked to pay with check only since his wife handles all credit cards, etc. and it would ruin the surprise... Funny, he couldn't even keep his own story straight and switched it from "his wife's 40th birthday" to "their wedding anniversary."

    So glad I found this thread. I had a fishy feeling all along, but this confirms my suspicions. Hope this helps protect any other artists out there!

  28. This site saved me a lot of headaches regarding a buyer who wanted an anniversary surprise for his wife which would be picked up by his shipper as he was moving to the Philippines soon and had to be paid by check because his wife handles all the credit cards and PayPal. Phew!!

  29. I am ALWAYS so glad to hear when the scammers do NOT get another victim! Good news indeed. Thanks for sharing.