View Full Version : Yet another email purchase scam
I guess it's going to get more and more common - but for the second time in the last year I got hit up for a
This time ( as opposed to the Lichtenstein routine ) is was from an Amy Howard. She/He generally uses davidhowardd etc gmail
address and may sign off as Sonjia or Joy or a couple of other names.
Anyway it's pretty textbook - they are interested in ( name the pieces ) and want to know if they are available.
They then follow up with a check via fed- x. Most of the time the checks are fake, sometimes they are valid but
written stolen/well forged checks.
They scam is that they write them for a lot more than the asking price and ask you to wire back money for the
"mistaken" overpayement. Even if the checks initially clear, the fraud is discovered eventually and you are left
holding the bag ( with no money in it ).
I thought the Lichtenstein one was a bit more creative. This one is pretty run of the mill.
Just wish I was as popular with galleries as I am with scam scum.
This scam is already more and more common. :)
I've been getting these kinds of emails for years, in quantities I can't even estimate... and I don't sell anything. I get those scam messages for anything from photographs to nuclear weapons. I don't have either to sell!
Lately I've been getting a lot of scam messages about my YouTube videos. I've had them accepted, nominated for awards, etc, etc.. and I don't have even one of them.
Email scammers are as annoying as telemarketers. I delete more electronic messages without opening than I open. I ignore more phone calls than I answer. It takes a lot of effort to ignore people and for all of that time I'd like to be compensated!
p.s. Welcome to the club. :)
I hear ya. As for the phone calls, when I notice repeats, I enter them in the blocked call list. Sadly, it only accommodates 20 numbers.:(
I have a friend, a ceramicist, who has received numerous emails such as this because he markets his pottery through Facebook, etsy.com, and other internet venues, quite successfully I might add. His customers usually pay with PayPal. He has gone to the trouble of doing some research and investigation, and he has posted his results in a blog.
The other day he was showing me a cashier's check that he had recently received. While the check was printed on legitimate cashier check stock under the name of a major bank, there were several errors, for example the routing numbers at the bottom of the check were in reverse order, one digit at the bottom was missing for the check number, etc.
My friend contacted the officers of the bank listed on the check. They informed him that they get hundreds of these checks every day. It takes about four weeks for the certified check to clear. When they discover the check is a phony they reverse the credit. They do not bother to pursue the fraud.
Some things that are typical about these emails is:
(1) They contain way too much personal information regarding the sender,
(2) The senders are usually 'disorganized' because they are in the process of moving internationally (e.g. from Brooklyn to London),
(3) The sender has had other calamities such as "broke my leg going to my sister's wedding",
(4) The wording of these emails is similar with the names and locations varying,
(5) The solicitation usually does not name a specific piece until the recipient requests more information
(6) There is always a personal shipper involved who will contact the artist and make arrangements for packing and shipping the piece (If the shipper is located in New York, what would be the cost of his making a trip to a small town such as Pagosa Springs to pick up, say, a $200 work).
My friend wrote the blog about these frauds because local artists receiving these emails are enamored of the attention and become defensive when he points out that it is a fraud. We have reason to believe that a number of local people have been taken in by this scam and know of one instance for certain.
Now it strikes me that one way to discourage this fraud is for everyone to respond so they receive their certified check via FedEx, or whatever, then do nothing further. The scammers would be bearing the cost of sending out the phony certified check but never receiving money from the artist. But then again, maybe there are enough chumps out there that these costs are a small expense compared to their take.
Now it strikes me that one way to discourage this fraud is for everyone to respond so they receive their certified check via FedEx, or whatever, then do nothing further. The scammers would be bearing the cost of sending out the certified check but never receiving money from the artist.
... now that's a thought I never had. but it is very similar to a scheme my friend engages in withregard to signature collectors in support of various ballot initiatives. I won't sign to support a ballot initiative I don't believe in. He signs every one he disagrees with because he found out that the signature collectors are paid a bounty by the initiative supporters. He signs as often as he can using as many different names as he can think of. His theory is that if enough people sign for the inititives they'd rather never vote on, one way is to try to bankrupt the supporters before it ever gets to ballot.
... it is very similar to a scheme my friend engages in with regard to signature collectors in support of various ballot initiatives . . . He signs every one he disagrees with . . .
Fraud is one thing, people exercising their rights as citizens is another. I think we all should value fair-play in public policy, even if we don't like the specific initiative. With his "scheme," your friend is diminishing his own democratic rights, as well as the signature collectors.
I have the link to my friend's blog and I think it is worth sharing.
This scam is so old the emails are sent from a retirement home.
just one word.... paypal
i think i have seen it all.... i have a long list of scam ideas .... my favorite way of payment is a post office money order..... cashed at the post office before i ship....
Phone and mail scams are really prevalent also.... My fathers retired and 89 years old you would not believe what comes in his mail box everyday ... My brother has a box that is over flowing with scammers mail and we have to change his phone number every six months....
Sending a check for more than the amount of the purchase and then asking for cash back is the original ebay scam, very primitive. You're right to view it with disdain, most scammers have become far more sophisticated and creative. Even the the Nigerian scams, while crude and not believable, at least told interesting stories. I'd send a message back to Joy or Sonja, telling him/her that he/she is going to have to do much better than that to cheat you out of your money.
Sending a check for more than the amount of the purchase and then asking for cash back is the original ...
That scam pre-dated ebay, by a long time.
That scam pre-dated ebay, by a long time.
I know. I didn't say it started with ebay.
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