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The Art of The Scam

If you are an Artist with an email address (or, photographer, florist, service provider) please read this:

http://stopartscams.blogspot.com/

This above site tracks a common email scam targeted at artists (and applies to all other service professions).

I’m posting the last several scam attempts I’ve received emails, in the hopes they’ll help someone avoid the same bullshit scam. If I have time, I enjoy stringing the scammers along and I try to keep the dialog going.

Gmail has been doing a better job of flagging them as spam/phishing, so I’m not sharing messages I find in the spam folder.

These are listed in chronological order from when I received them. As of late, most of these messages are coming from Kansas or Texas (as shown in the email headers).


10/1/2021
Mark Dave <mark.dave@disroot.org>
(no subject)

Hello,

My name is Mark from Miami FL, am looking for some arts online. I found your contact while searching and would like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Kindly send pictures and prices of some of your arts which are ready for immediate sales within the price range $500- $5000. I hope to see more available artworks in your inventory.

Regards,
Mark

Hello Mark, 
I’ve attached a catalog. Please let me know if you have any questions. 
Thanks! 
Jim
(Note: I sent the same PDF with gibberish pictures and prices that I always send these bozos. Also, this is the first non-gmail scam I’ve gotten – see the address? disroot.org. A quick whois lookup says it was registered in the Netherlands. I haven’t looked at that site, though.)

Hello Jim,

I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the COBBLER. 2018. $880

This piece is so amazing and she will really love it. If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to Canada soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching, so I’m trying to gather some good stuffs to make this event a surprise.
So regarding payment, i would authorize a check to you for payment as soon as i have your full name, bank name, phone number and contact address. My shipping agent who takes care of my personal logistics will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you once we get the payment sorted.

Thanks
Mark


7/15/2021
Samuel Perry <samuelperry2222@gmail.com>
Subject: Art Inquries

Greetings… I am Samuel Perry  from Texas, I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to my wedding anniversary which is just around the corner. I came across some of your works which I found quite impressive an intriguing. I must admit you’re doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

That being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a
surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary.It would be of help if you could send some pictures of
your piece of work, with their respective prices and sizes, which are
ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this
is within the price range of$1500.00 to $3000.00. I look forward to
reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of
inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you
accept a check as a means of payment.

 Regards.


6/26/2021
nelson henry <nelsonhenry67@gmail.com>
Subject: Pieces needed asap

Hello, My name is Nelson from New York, I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to i and my wife’s anniversary which is just around the corner. I stormed on to some of your works which I found quite impressive and intriguing, I must admit you’re doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do. With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some 8 pictures of your piece of work, with their respective prices and sizes( bearing it in mind that my budget is within $500-$5,000 ) which are ready for immediate sale.I look forward to reading from you.

Best regards, 

Hi Nelson, 
I’ve attached a price list of art ($500 – $5,000) which are for immediate sale. 
Check it out, and let me know what you want. 
Jim

(I sent him some gibberish with prices in a PDF.)

6/28/2021
Hello Jim,

Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece I want (  MEDICINE $1,800 ) If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to Canada soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise. Kindly email me the asking price asap.  

As regarding payment,  I would like to inform you that my wife handles the family credit card/bank  and Paypal transaction. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address ( preferably for USPS delivery or P.O box ) cell # Also, as soon as you receive the check have it deposited and it will not take more than 1 to 2 business day to clear according to my bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you. This is to avoid my wife receiving it, if it was shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most.

I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but I am actually going offshore and won’t be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction… trying to kill two birds with a stone.

Best regards

6/28/2021
You can send a check to P.O. Box 1870 Owings Mills, MD 21117. 
Jim

6/28/2021
Thanks for the details which I’ve noted down, I sincerely appreciate your efforts and support towards my anniversary. My shipping agent is due in the U.S. So I will contact a client of mine to issue out a check which will include my shipping agent fees to you right away.  This is done to avoid delay or any inconvenience that may arise from his part and to allow check to clear before pick up. My shipping agent will arrange pick up with you as soon as the check is clear in your account. Please let me know if I can trust you with this, because keeping this present a total surprise is my biggest concern. I will get back to you with the tracking details for the check soon.

Thanks and blessings,

803-281-6232

6/28/2021
Of course! We can totally keep this a surprise for you. 
Jim

6/28/2021
Thank you so much and i will be in touch with you with the payment tracking number and please send your phone number that i can call and text you on thank you.

6/28/2021
Sorry – I lost my cell last week! I need to get a new one. 
Is that a problem? I am working from home and can respond to email quickly. 
Jim

6/28/2021
I’m sorry about that and it’s not a problem you can text me on my cell phone when you get a new phone and I’m glad you can respond to email quickly do enjoy the rest of your day ttyl 

6/28/2021
Cool.
Does your wife read my blog, btw? I should have asked… 
Jim

6/29/2021
Nah I’m not sure please be in touch this is a total surprise gift 

6/29/2021
OK! As long as she doesn’t see my blog post about you, you should be good to go (link to this page)
Jim


5/4/2021
Marian Wilson <wilsonmarian53@gmail.com>
Subject: enquiry

Hi,  I  saw your artwork  on google. you’re doing an exceptional job. I would like to purchase one of your pieces of artwork  with a cost range of  $700 and above as a surprise gift for my husband    .. Kindly  send me PDF photos of what is available for sale to enable my choice  .regards

[after a few back and forths about shipping, I sent a PDF with pictures from a retail catalog and arbitrary pricing, having nothing to do with my art…]

Thanks for the response
ok mean while without  wasting no time. Having carefully looked through the photo of your work that you sent to me, I have chosen the ( Athena )  , because I am certain she would love it .total cost : $2000 don’t get confused i am Gay ( lesbian )

In regards to payment, I am choosing a check to keep this a complete surprise as intended. Consequently, I would have my attorney authorize a check to you for the payment of the chosen piece of work as soon as I have your full name and contact address (preferably for Postal service USPS or P.O box). As soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, I will have my  personal shipping agent (who is also moving my other properties) contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you. This is to avoid my husband receiving it if it was directly shipped to my address which would ruin the surprise for the wedding anniversary.

I will be looking forward to receiving your phone number, full name, physical address or PO box the check should be issued to, in your email.I would authorize a check to you for the payment of the chosen piece of Artwork, as soon as I have your full name and contact address and you cell phone number,
I will be looking forward to hear from you , Kindly get back to me Asap.
Regards


4/10/2021
Kara Garcia <karagarcia717@gmail.com>

Hello I actually observed your works on google. I’m impressed and amazed by your level of creativity, you are doing a great job. I would like to purchase one of your piece of Artworks as a surprise to my husband.Kindly send me PDF photos and a price list of some of your artworks which are ready/available for immediate sale within price range $700- $5000.
Best regards.

Hi Kara,

How are you? I hope you are doing well.

That’s great. Before I send a PDF, can you tell me where you live, so
I can figure out shipping? Some of the pieces are awkwardly shaped.

Thank you for your interest.

Jim

Kara Garcia <karagarcia717@gmail.com>
4/14/2021

Thanks for your response. 
TEXAS

I took the email header info and “Kara” is writing from Kansas. I decided to move things along:

I guess your best bet is to pick something from my online store (with a link to my shop).

Thanks!

Jim

Kara Garcia <karagarcia717@gmail.com>
4/14/2021
Thanks for the response. Having carefully looked through the photo of your work that you sent to me, I have chosen the ( Cut-paper diorama price  and others picture below ) total price $210In regards to payment, I have chosen check as a means of payment owing to the fact that my husband  handles the family transactions .I would authorize a check to you for the payment of the chosen piece of Artwork, as soon as I have your full name and contact address and you cell phone number,
As soon as you receive the cheque and it clears your bank, I will have my personal shipping agent contact you to arrange pick up of the artwork from you . This is to avoid my  husband  receiving it if it was directly shipped to our  address which would ruin the surprise for our wedding anniversary.
I will be looking forward to hear from you , Kindly get back to me Asap.
Regards


3/19/2020
Sender: Russell Turner <russellturnerofficial@gmail.com>
Subject: ART PIECE NEEDED

Hello… I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to my wife’s birthday which is just around the corner. I stormed on some of your works which i found quite impressive and intriguing; I must admit you are doing quite an impressive job and good at what you do.

I would like to purchase a piece of your works as a surprise gift for my wife in honor of her forthcoming 50th birthday. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes. My budget for this is within the price range of $500 to $2000.

I would also like to know if you accept check as a means of payment.

Regards.

Russell


3/7/2019

Sender: paul moore <ppmoore1148@gmail.com>
Subject: Art Inquiry

Greetings… I am Paul from Snyder Texas, I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to I and my wife’s anniversary which is just around the corner. I came across some of your works which i found quite impressive and intriguing. I must admit your doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes, which are ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this is within the price range of $1500 to $5000.

I look forward to reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you accept check as a means of payment.

Regards.

What’s interesting about “paul” is this account has a real avatar associated with it.

I sent a zip file with an animated cartoon in it, and the following:

Hi Paul! 
 
Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! That’s an amazing achievement. 
 
I’ve attached some pics of works for sale. I can take a certified check or money order, no problem. 
 
Works for sale: 
Go Bananas: $1200 Oil on Canvas 2019
The Turtles: $859 Graphite, ink water and oil on wood 2019
Fish Dreams: $1100 Tin, Iron, oxidized copper on wax paper 2019
 
Let me know which pieces you’d like. 
 
Sender: paul moore <ppmoore1148@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Art Inquiry
Mar 13, 2019, 5:01 AM
I am really sorry for the late reply. But i been having issue with email. Please could you send me images again cause i could not open the attachment. Thank you. Regards.
 
Mar 13, 2019, 1:25 PM No problem, here it is! (I sent a zipped up cartoon)

Mar 13, 2019, 7:01 PM  am not able to access the folder…..
 
3/14/2019 Really? What system are you using?
 
I use a windows 7 and I can’t also access it on my iPhone…
 
Can you just attach them here without compressing them .
 
Have a look here: https://jimdoran.art/shop/ (NOTE: The works mentioned above cannot be seen here. The scam follows below…)
 
3/14/2019
paul moore <ppmoore1148@gmail.com>
Subject: Go Bananas: 2019
 
Jim,
 
Thanks for the response. Having carefully looked through the pictures of your works. I have chosen ( Go Bananas , oil on canvas ) asking price being $1200.00. Am presently working on my relocation to Philippines soon, thus, am doing all i could to make this event quite a memorable one. Kindly email me the size of the piece.
 
In regards to payment, my reason for choosing check as a means of payment is owing to the fact that my wife handles the family bank cards and paypal transactions. So am choosing check to keep this a complete surprise as intended. Consequently, I would authorize a check to you for the payment of the chosen piece of work as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx delivery no P.O box). As soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, I will have my personal shipping agent (who is also moving my other properties) contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you. This is to avoid my wife receiving it if been directly shipped to my address which would ruin the surprise for the wedding anniversary.
 
I will be looking forward to receiving your phone number, full name and physical address the check should be issued to, in your email.
 
regards,
 
Paul.
 
“Paul Moore” seems to be in Kansas.
 

7/24/2018
Sender: Captain Thomas <Thomasfred600600@gmail.com>
Subject: Art Piece Inquiry !!?

Top of the Morning to you, I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes some of your art piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work. I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate art work for sales.(Thomasfred600600@gmail.com) Regards Thomas

7/22/2018
Sender: Michael Van <mivaninc23@gmail.com>
Subject: Art


I am interested in your artwork and can you send me attachment of available artwork

Is there anything you in particular you want?

Yes, please! Can you email me attachment of your artwork that is available and pricing along with size.Please let me know how best to contact you promptly,i will prefer any original works that are available,I will want any attachment of your recent or available art work so can choose one best work for me

thank

Gosh this is exciting! Thank you!  I’ve attached three paintings, each with the prices. They are approximately 3’x4′ (NOTE: they were literally photos of garbage).

They look great! I have viewed your attachment, I found this work interesting(the first attachment ), How much are you asking for it and is it available?Will you accept bank check?,I wish to have this work ASAP.

please write me back asap.
Thanks

Tell me, does anyone actually fall for this scam? I suppose they do, since I keep getting these emails.

What are you talking about? 

12/19/2017
Sender: alexis brian < brianalexis278@gmail.com>
Subject: ARTWORK NEEDED

Greetings!
My name is Alexis Brian from Califonia.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. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.

Thanks and best regards


12/8/2017
Sender: Patrick Walter patwal816@gmail.com

Greetings,    
My name is Patrick Walter from Ohio.. 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.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales..
Thanks and best regards..


11/14/2017

Sender: Skip Hauf <skiphauf.m@gmail.com>
Subject: ART

Hi,
 I am interested in your artwork and will like more details about your
 available artwork.,I will be glad if you can send me an attachment of
 an available artwork or email me a website to view your available
 artwork?
 Thanks

Skip Hauf
718 487 9204

Hi Skip.

Artwork is attached. Here is my website https://www.flickr.com/photos/spazticus/

Thanks for the interest!

After a good look at your website,i found this work interesting(the
third attached picture on portrait),May i know their pricing and there
availability.
Any additional information about the artworks will be highly of
assistance, will you accept bank check?,,I wish to have these works, I
hope this goes well with you.
please write me back asap.
Thanks

Hey Skip. 
 
Yes, I will accept your bank check and pay you shipping carrier while you are out of the county. 
 
Why not? 
 
Jim 

11/3/2017

Sender: Joel Chandler <0joelchandler@gmail.com>
Subject: Interested in purchasing Artwork.

Hi, good morning. I,m Joel Chandler from Lansing Michigan . 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 10th Anniversary. Please kindly send some pictures and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sales within a price range of $500- $5000. I look forward to hearing a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sales.

Thanks and best regards.

These are coming in more frequently. I downloaded photos of shoes, bananas and raccoons. And then I wondered, what happens if I don’t send any photos at all? Here is my response, with no photos attached:

Hi, good morning. 
 
Joel Chandler, I’ve attached 3 images for your perusal. ?How wonderful it is to be married for 10 years!!!!!! 
 
Here is what I have for sale 
1) Portrait of the Artist at Work: $800: Oil Paint and waterboard 12″ x 24″ 2016
2) The Fruit of your Loom: $1800: Acrylic and oil stick on frisket paper 24″ x 24″ 2017
1) Over the Ocean: $1500:  Letterprint coldpressed gesso and wax 6″ x 12″ 2017
 
I thank you for your interest. 
 
Also, may I ask, how have you kept your marriage going so strong? What’s the secret?
 
Thanks and best regards.
 
The response came quickly:
 
I do appreciate your quick response, is not a easy task to be in a marriage for 10yrs, that’s i want something precious for our anniversary. i think the secrete i hold on to is love and loyalty, and you have to respect your partner hun!. kindly send me the picture for (fruit of your loom) i think am interested in that. I wait for your quick respond. Thanks! 
 
I attached the photograph of bananas, and said:
 
I’ve attached the image of the art – I’m sure your wife will love it, as I painted it with much love. 
Bananas!!!!
 
Subject: Choice seen.

Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece (The Fruit of your loom ) If you’d like to know, I’m relocating out of state to Ottawa soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m trying to gather some good stuff  to make this event a surprise. 

As regarding payment,  I would like to inform you, that my wife handles the family credit card/bank  and Paypal transaction. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for USPS delivery no P.O box). Also, as soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most. 

I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but i am actually going offshore and won’t be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction… trying to kill two birds with a stone. :-)

 Have a Positive Day!

 Joel.

Clearly, he didn’t look at the bananas. Now, I’ll start mixing up the names.

Hi Joe, 
 
I am represented by a gallery, and all payments must be made out to them on my behalf. Will this be a problem? 
 
Joel
 
No problem, let me have your full name and contact address where the check will be direct to and also your phone number.
 
I’m using City Hall’s info below, minus the fake gallery name:
 
Please make the check out to:
 
The Dead Chicken Ranch
100 Holliday St, 
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 396-3835 
 
I let The Dead Chicken Ranch know to expect payment from you.  The owner’s name is Catherine Pugh, and she’s okay with the whole thing. 
 

Hi Jim,

My shipping agent is due in the U.S sometime this week. So i will contact a client of mine to issue out a check which will include my shipping agent fees to you right away.  This is done to avoid delay or any inconvenience that may arise from his part and to allow check to clear before pick up. However, courtesy demand i must first appeal to your self-interest and ask for your help in remitting the overage (after deducting your fee for the piece) to the shipping agent as soon as the check clears. I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but am a bit pressed for time as our anniversary is fast approaching and do not have access to a lot of cash  over here to expedite this transaction… Kindly deduct any IRS tax incurred on the overage before giving the balance the shipping agent. As i do not want you to involve any of your personal funds in this transaction that is why all fund are made available to you. They are not sending any bill or hold you responsible for the payment of my shipping contract with them. I am really sorry for the mix up and will appreciate if you get back to me asap to know if i can entrust you with this transaction. Many thanks and talk to you soon,

Sincerely.

Joel.

Joel, 
 
Why not just pay your shipping agent directly, and pay me for the work? I’m not sure I follow what you are asking me to do. 
 
There is no tax, as you are not in this state. 
 
Thanks a bunch. 
 

Thanks for the message, i would have come purchase the piece my self but at the moment am on a training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean, (i’m an Ocean engineer) and i won’t be back in couple of weeks. Don’t have cash to expedite this transaction that’s why the check am going to authorize will include both piece and shipping fee, i am very sorry for the mixed up. I await for your quick responds to know maybe i can still move on with this purchase. Many thanks.

What does an Ocean Engineer do? Design things for the ocean? Interesting job! 

Can you send a check to the shipping agent, and a check to me? That will make it easier.

Thanks for the message, yes we do design equipment needed for a marine research. Have already contact a client of mine to issue out a check to you, i will get back to you with the tracking number as soon as possible. many thanks and talk to you soon.

Sincerely.
Joel.
 
A few days later, I responded with:
What’s the tracking number?
 
The gmail account had been deactivated . Whomp whomp.
 

10/22/2017
Sender: daniel hopkins dh7435628@gmail.com
Subject: pic inquiries

Greetings…My name is Daniel hopkins from California. 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 10th 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

I responded on 10/23/2017 by sending a zip file with 3 random images from the web that are nothing like my art, and I made up titles for them. I’m particularly proud of permanent wax oil stick on frisket board. I also copied “daniel’s” general tone. I wanted to see if they even bother looking at the images. 

Greetings daniel, 
 
I’ve attached 3 images of work that’s for sale! I just know your wife will love it. 
 
Apres Moi (2016) is oil on canvas – $800
Lost, at Last (2017) is permanent wax oil stick on frisket board – $800
Mori 3 (2018) is graphite on parchment, $900
 
Thanks for writing! 
 
Thanks and best regards
 
Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece (Acrylic on Canvas 20×40 inches framed). If you’d like to know, I am military man, a soldier and am on a 3weeks missions   to  Egypt and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise. Kindly email me the mori3 (2018) graphite on parchment  picture  asap.   As regarding payment,  I would like to inform you, that my wife handles the family credit card/bank  and Paypal transaction. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx delivery no P.O box). Also, as soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most. I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but i am actually going offshore and won’t be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction… Have a Positive Day!   In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your cell phone no. so i can try and call you later as the phones may be working better when this storm passes through
 
So, this is kind of fun. I look up the address of FedEx in Annapolis, change my name and make up nonsense about perfume.  I also sent a pencil drawing of “Hello Kitty,” also found on the Web. Again, they didn’t bother looking at the art.
 
I hear offshore is nice this time of year, I hope you have a great trip! 
 
I’d also like to say that I admire how devoted you are to your wife. She must be very lovely and nice! Does she like perfume? Because I would like to send her a bottle for your anniversary. You seem so nice. It’s my mother’s perfume. 
 
Jim Doran is just my artist name. All payments must be made out to my real name:
Dr. Mervin Ding
2341 Forest Dr a, Annapolis, MD 21401 
 
As for my phone, I lost it – so sorry. Haven’t had time to buy a new one yet. Maybe after this transaction, though! 
 
I can’t wait for you to celebrate with your wife! 
 
Thanks and best regards,
Dr. Ding
 
Thanks so much for the perfum… Am very sure she will like it, you her a very nice person and thanks for the details which I’ve noted down,  So i have contacted a client of mine to issue out a check which will include my shipping agent fees to you right away.  This is done to avoid  delay or any inconvenience that may arise from his part and to allow check to clear before pick up. However, courtesy demand i must first appeal to your self interest and ask for your help in remitting the overage (after deducting your fee for the piece) to the shipping agent as soon as the check clears.
 
 I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but am a bit pressed for time as our anniversary is fast approaching and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction… Kindly deduct any IRS tax incurred on the overage before giving the balance the shipping agent. As i do not want you to involve any of your personal funds in this transaction, that is why all fund is made available to you. As an aside, they are not sending any bill or hold you responsible for the payment of my shipping contract with them.
 
I am really sorry for the mix up and will appreciate if you get back to me asap to know if i can entrust you with this transaction.
 
Many thanks and talk to you soon,  
 
Daniel, 
 
The total, including shipping, will be $729. 
 
Thanks, 
Dr. Ding
 
But you wrote  Mori 3 (2018) is graphite on parchment, $900 
 
$729 is fine, though. 
 
Okay, okay. You’ve twisted my arm enough! $692 is the highest I’ll accept. 
Happy Anniversary. 
 
Aww thanks
 
So, how does your scam work? You mail me a check, and then I give you some money for the overage, and then your check bounces? This is the part I’m not sure about…
 
Omg!!! That not true is not scam I can’t do that OK..

9/27/2017
Sender: Klien Moon <klienmoon@gmail.com>
Subject: PIECE INQUIRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My name is Klien Moon 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
 
I responded:
 

Hi Klien,
Can you pay with paypal?
Jim

and then, because you never know:

Hi Mr. Moon,
You didn’t answer me – will you pay with PayPal? I’ll need a $1000 deposit to start.
Thanks!
Jim

klienmoon@gmail.com
Subject: Check!!

Check only…


2/1/2017

Sender: Jefferson Alexei <jeffersonalexei@gmail.com>
Subject: Artwork

I’m Jefferson Alexei from Miami, Florida. 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. Kindly send some pictures and prices of some of your other art which are ready for immediate purchase within the price range of $500- $5000, I could be flexible with price. So I hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.
 
Thanks

3/4/2016

Sender: Michael & Melissa Smith <mesmith311@gmail.com>
Subject: ARTWORK IS NEEDED

My name is  Michael Smith from CA. 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. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece  to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
Thanks and best regards,
Michael Smith

By now I’ve seen enough of these, so I play along:

Hi!
I presume you can pay with PayPal?

Tell your wife hello from me!

Jim

Hello Jim, i will be making my payment by check.. Let me know if this works for you..

Thanks

Money orders are fine. Once they clear, I can mail the art.
Thanks.


Steve Acevedo,’ writes to me from inthengineering@yahoo.com and  saven1212@gmail.com.

“Steve” says:

“Greetings!
My name is Steve Avendano. I was looking for some artwork on-line and i searched for artists which your name came up.  I am impressed and amazed with your works, : )  You are doing a great job. I must tell you, I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.

Please I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend few available work in your inventory within price range $500- $2000 ready for immediate sale (I can be flexible with price though). So you will be hearing from me lots more. However, i am on a training voyage (offshore the North Atlantic Ocean) to Russia and won’t be back for another couple of weeks. So email would be the fastest way to reach me though.
Thanks and best regards,
Steve.”

Playing along, I wrote:

Hi Steve,
What do you think your wife might like?
JD

Steve replied:

“Hello Jim,

Thanks for the message, I would greatly appreciate if you can recommend any available piece within price range $500-$2000 from your inventory ready for immediate sale that can serve as a gift for a 20th wedding anniversary.

Please kindly send your recommendations. My wife is strongly drawn to the blue-green mix of turquoise. I will be delighted if you can work things within my budget (any size). Kindly email images and prices of your available works ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and blessing,
Steve.”

Knowing what’s coming, I ask:
Steve,
Can you use PayPal?
Jim

Using a different email address, they deliver the scam:

Dear Jim,

I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of your piece. If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So kindly send your recommended piece of work.

As regarding payment,  I would like to inform you, that my wife handles the family credit card/bank issues. So in order not to leave any clue to her for the surprise, i would authorize a client of mine who is owing me an outstanding debt that amount to a considerable sum to issue out a check to you for the payment, as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx delivery no P.O box). Also, as soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most.

I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but am a bit pressed for time myself and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction… trying to kill two birds with a stone. :-)

Have a Positive Day!
Steve.

PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your cell phone no. so i can try and call you later as the phones may be working better when this storm passes through.

You can identify the scam with their inability to pay with a credit card – that alone should warn you that something is phishy.


The following came from

Karen Langley klangley002@outlook.com
subject: Artwork Acquire??

Hello,
I am emailing to inquire about availability of artwork for sale in your gallery/inventory, if you can ship international and also if you are able to process Visa and Master Card for payment.
Let me know so that i can communicate with you on the artworks that interest me then you can also indicate to me which of the arts are sold and which are available on your website furthermore you can respond with your recently updated website.
I will be looking forward to reading from you soon.
Sincerely
Mrs Langley

The next one

This from
Dorothy Brooks dorothybrooks333@outlook.com
subject: “Art Piece”

Hi,

My name is Dorothy Brooks. I’m in the process of moving to Italy to expand my business field. I just bought a house in Milan, Italy and I’m interested in collecting an artwork for a space within my house to make it unique and beautiful.

Can I look through your website so as to pin point my choice , request for a quote and more information?

I look forward to hearing back from you soonest.

Sincerely,
Dorothy.


The Original

Here is another one, from
Alison McCoy a.mccoy009@yahoo.com

Hello,

My name is Alison McCoy. I found your profile on the internet. I am interested in purchasing an artwork from you for the decoration of my guest room at my new residence in Munich, Germany. Would appreciate if you can send me few pictures of the works you have available for sale so that I can make an easy choice of mine. Better still, send me a web link where I can have a view of your recent works.

I look forward to read back from you.
Thanks.

Alison.

Hi Allison!

I’m sorry I’m just now responding – this message was in my spam folder.

I only have a few items in my shop at the moment: http://jimdoran.art/shop/
Just about everything I make is for sale, and I have a lot of work in my studio. If there’s something in particular you are interested, please let me know.

Thanks for writing!

Jim

OKAY JIM THE SPAM FOLDER IS A GREAT WARNING UGH

Hi Jim,
Thank you for the email and sorry for the little delay in response. I went through your website and found the work “Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle, 4.25″ x 3″ x 1″” interesting. Can I have a detailed information about the work, its availability and pricing? As soon as we reach a concrete agreement on pricing, I can instruct my p.a to process a money order to you for the payment of the work so that my mover can have it picked up along with my properties that are to be moved to Munich.

I await your email soonest.
Regards,
Alison.

Still slow, I said:
Hi Alison,

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle was made in 2011, and is one of my earlier dioramas. It’s one of the most popular pieces on my Web site (according to Google). http://jimdoran.art/art/like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle

I almost called it There’s Always a Bigger Fish, but that seemed too obvious.

I’m asking $XXX for it, plus priority flat rate shipping. Thanks, again, for writing.

Best,

Jim

Hi Jim,
Nice to read back from you. I’m ok with the price of the work and I’m interested in its immediate purchase. Can you provide me with your full name as you want it appeared on the money order, your full address which includes(street name, house number, city, state and zip code) to ensure safe delivery and your working phone number where my mover can easily reach you at. As soon as I get these details, I will fwd it to my p.a so that he can go ahead with the processing of the money order to you.

I’m happy to have this piece purchased as it would look good on the wall of my guest room.
Thanks.
Alison.

“GUEST ROOM”

I remember thinking something was odd, but kept it going:

Hi Alison,

You can use Paypal, which is the fastest/easiest way to complete this transaction. There’s a paypal button to buy this item here:

http://jimdoran.art/shop/index.php#fish

If you really prefer a money order:

Jim Doran
P.O.Box 1870
Owings Mills, MD 21117

I can be reached at work during the day here: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Thanks so much! I’m glad this art is going to a good home.

Jim

HERE IT COMES:

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the info. I will process a money order to you because I can’t make use of paypal or my credit card because of my recent move. I spoke with my mover this morning as regards the pick up he has to make at your end. To my understanding, he has insufficient funds to get to your place for the pick up and to also get some major errands done. So I have decided to let my p.a have an overdraft check sent to you. And when you have the check cashed, you can easily deduct the cost of the piece I purchased from you and get the remaining funds across to my mover so that things can go as planned. I really do hope I can trust you on this. Please give me your words on this arrangement so that I can further instruct my p.a to issue out the check to you today or tomorrow unfailingly.

I look forward to hearing from you soonest.
Thanks.
Alison.

Hi Alison,

I’m sorry, but I am not willing to meet anyone in person, nor can I
“get the remaining funds across” to your mover. So, here’s what I can
do, if you are able:

If you send me $XXX.XX via paypal, I’ll mail the art anywhere in the USA.

If you want me to ship it outside the USA, then send me the mailing
address and I’ll calculate shipment.

I understand if you can’t complete the transaction right now.

Thanks,

Jim

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO HELP ME ON THIS.
ALLISON

No need to shout – it just seems a little phishy. :) And it looks like I was right!

http://stopartscams.blogspot.com/2011/04/scam-email-thomas-mccoy.html