Out of the blue, I received an exciting email from firstname.lastname@example.org. ” My name is Whiteney Jackson from Washington DC. I actually observed my Husband has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess he 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 Two of your Ceramics “Red River Platter” – food-safe stoneware And “3 Fabric Platter” – stoneware serving platter”, as a surprise to my Husband on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept CHECK as mode of Payment.”
Now, I am an ex-New Yorker, so I was immediately suspicious. Besides, the strange syntax and random capitalization sounded like it was from that Nigerian prince, or perhaps Trump. But I responded, letting Whiteney know that the Red River Platter was sold, offering two others that are similar instead. She said she’d take both!!!
I’d quoted a price that included shipping. I hate to pay shipping when I shop online, and I usually include domestic shipping in my pricing. That’s when things got weird with Whiteney (she couldn’t even spell her own name right!) There was this story about how she’s travelling, working overseas, but she’s moving to Canada and has a shipper handling all her stuff, and since it’s a surprise for her husband, she doesn’t want me to send it to her home. Instead, she wanted to send me a check from her employer, with extra funds to pay her shipper, who she’d put me in contact with after I received her check. WTF???
A simple Google search of her email address turned up article after article about art scammers. The goal of this scam would be for me to turn over the extra money for “shipping” (and, I guess, my work) to the “shipping agent” before I realize the check’s no good. I mean, how stupid does she think I am?? How often does this scam really work?
I stopped communicating with her. But a week later, she contacted me from a different email address, and then actually sent a “check” for $2000 on a $600 sale. I guess they would pocket the $1400, and who knows what would’ve happened to my work. I looked into reporting it to law enforcement but decided it wasn’t worth the time. So instead I’m trying to alert all you artists out there, with websites for their Art, that if someone contacts you out of the Blue, telling you that You are doing a great job, with offers to buy your Piece of work – sorry, it’s a scam.
Hey, thanks so much for posting this! She just contacted me with the very same email, and luckily I have a habit of always looking email addresses up, so I found your post. You saved me!
Same here! Thank you so much.
Thank you for writing this as I got the same one.
Thanks for posting your experience, Deb! I just got an almost exact same email from the same person who now wants one of my paintings. I got suspicious immediately so I decided to look her up and the first thing I noticed was your post!!! I am very thankful for your detailed description of this scam, you are helping all artists out there!
brilliant, I just got exactly the same email. I realised it had to be too good to be true.
Thanks. I received and email from her to day.
Omg thank you ! I got contacted too and replied. Glad I don’t have to waste more time on this scammer
Ok Deb sign me up to the club! Thank you for this post. I just received the very same email and got suspicious about the CHECK (capital) and other weird details.. your story is providential!
I get these all the time. The narrative is exactly the same, though the names and genders change. I did hear from an artist who fell for it, shipped the work, and was out some money and the piece. People think artists are so gullible, and many are. Thanks so much for posting this. I hope it save a lot of artists from falling for it.
My thanks to you also. The wording and random capitalization raised flags for me, also, and also the spelling of the first name. White-ney, instead of Whitney Jackson, who is a real person of note in DC. The string of numbers after the name in the email is now up to 1383. A celebrity doesn’t usually need an email that’s been used so much, another flag. Also, it’s a freebee Yahoo account. Strange thing, probably just a coincidence, I just finished shipping a large genuine sale to DC. Yes, always look up an offer; I also researched that sale before I worked with the customer to make sure he was real.