Pillow Talka blog by Deborah Goodwin
Out of the blue, I received an exciting email from email@example.com. ” 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.