Art & Design Magazine

Artists Are a Target for Scammers

By Abstractartbylt @artbylt

When someone shows an interest in our art, and in fact says they want to buy it, we are naturally excited and eager to make the sale.  We have more artists producing art than buyers ready to buy it.

How many artists do you know who sell out everything they paint or sculpt as fast as they can produce it?  I don't know any.

Unfortunately, scammers prey on this fact.  I've gotten so many emails from scammers about purchasing my art that I can usually identify them immediately and hit "delete."  Artist friends of mine will sometimes forward an email they've received in order to get my advice on it.

Some telltale signs are poor grammar and spelling; being vague about what piece they want to purchase; being general rather than specific.  An obvious clue is if they say they have their own shipper who will pick up the art.  That one's been around for a long time.

But this week I got an email that was iffy.  It was from someone in Saudi Arabia (or said he was), but he listed all his personal information, so I googled him.  There was a person by the same name listed on Linked In who lived in that area of Saudi Arabia and was a professional business person. 

Unfortunately, the name he used is a common one.  There were 20 people on Linked In with that name. 

Finally, I googled the guy's email address and found that he had tried to scam another artist.  That artist posted the email he had received, and the wording was exactly the same as the one I got. 

Bingo.  Scam.

While it's disappointing not to be selling those 9 paintings the guy said he wanted to buy, at least I won't be wasting my time looking up shipping costs to Saudi Arabia. 

Here's one of the paintings my Saudi friend said he was interested in:

  Abstract Art Forty-Three, 24" x 24" acrylic on canvas.

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