Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artists Beware of Potential Scam

The Maine Arts Commission has received an email from a Maine artist who came exceptionally close to falling prey to an elaborate online scam involving the purchase of her artwork. In the last 24 hours 5 other artists have contacted us with similair stories.

This incident is now under police investigation and we would like to share the framework of this potential scam to prevent further artists from facing this risk.

The scam involves a woman from South Africa who says she has a home in Texas too. This woman and her husband found artwork online that they wanted for their home in South Africa and hoped to purchase it. Here is a blog entry from another artist in New Jersey who was also contacted by these people; luckily he pasted his email exchange with this person online The emails are identical to the ones received here in Maine.

The couple says that they will send a check and have a shipping company come to the artist to collect the artwork. They then ask the artist to deposit the check, and to send the difference to the shipping company, who will in turn come for the artwork.

When the check arrived this week, the artist received a call from a gentleman proclaiming to be the husband and asking after the check. When the artist mentioned she had discussed this with the FBI out of concern, the man, who had a heavy foreign accent, put down the phone immediately. This confirmed the suspicions of the artist.

This incident is currently under police investigation, but the artist wanted to share this incident with all artists in Maine in an effort to avert any potential losses.

If you have received communications of this nature please email Darrell Bulmer at the Maine Arts Commission, who can then pass along the information to the investigating officers,

1 comment:

Kpeters said...

I have had scam inquiries like this
many times before. They have been around for several just need to be very careful about inquiries when you have your work out there on the Internet.