ARTIST: BE AWARE OF NEW ART SCAM

I almost fell for a scam aimed at artist. I have just confirmed that the person was indeed attempting to scam me and has posed the same ploy on a number of other artist and has no doubt taken a lot of people for a lot of money. It is a fairly complicated con, and I normally do not fall for scams, but this person was very believable. Please be aware of anyone posing as an overseas art buyer who wishes to buy a large number of artwork for a gallery. This person generally claims to be a worker on an oil rig, and makes claims of difficulty to communicate because they work on an oil rig. This con is called a cheque/credit overpayment fraud. You can find details of it at http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20130710... This person goes by a number of different names. He sometimes ask for the art to be sent to Dubai and sometimes Saudi Arabia. This person also frequently orders a large number of expensive art, but is vague as to art preference. From what I understand of how the con works, the person orders a bunch of random expensive paintings from random artist. He pays them using a fake PayPal or uses a stolen credit card. The person then claims to have over paid and demands a money wire to pay back what he has over paid. Once the person gets the money wire, they disappear. The artwork is shipped over seas to a random address leaving the artist to either let their work be destroyed or pay expensive international shipping fees. This is a very bad convincing scam as the person appears to be legitimately purchasing the artwork and is good at playing on people’s desires to be ‘discovered’ as an artist. Please forward this post on so others don’t fall for the same scam.

The emails I received are as follows…

>>Hello,

I’m an art collector, who intends opening a gallery of my own. I have been on the lookout for artists worldwide to buy wonderful paintings from, also recently saw a beautiful piece of your painting online and would love to buy paintings from you. Kindly send me your price range? And I hope you accept credit card as a means of payment as that is the most suitable for me.

Await your response soonest.

Sincerely,
Mohammed Al Harbia.

>>Hello,

Very nice reading back from you with a response to my inquiries about your paintings, It would gladden my heart to inform you that I would be interested in purchasing ten paintings from you as not only do I find your paintings wonderful and attractive but I am buying these paintings for my upcoming gallery in Saudi Arabia.. Do send me a list including pictures and sizes of paintings you currently have for sale within this price range 150-400USD. This will enable me make my selection.

Because of the tense conditions working offshore as a safety person on an oil rig to be honest it would be difficult for me going through your website selecting paintings of my choice. Please find it suitable in assisting me with selection of wonderful and affordable paintings.

I can also see us building a wonderful business relationship with each other and helping ourselves achieve our goals in life, looking forward to working with you and also building a good bond with you based on trust and honesty.

Regards.
>>
Find below paintings I have selected and willing to purchase from you; kindly get back to me with the shipping cost to Riyadh then we can proceed to payment.

1) Chang’e 18″ × 24″ – $280

2) Mardi Gras 18″ × 24″ – $250

3) Rape of Daphne 16″ × 20″ – $150

4) Stairway to Heaven 20″ × 16″ – $150

5) Flower Fairy 15 .5″ × 16 3/4" – $120

6) Bathing Beauty 18″ × 11″ – $120

7) Effeuiller la marguerite 36″ × 24″ – $400

8) Fall of Knight chess 24″ × 17″ – $150

9) Rainbow Bridge oil painting 10.5″ × 13 3/4" $80

10) Still Life- Bacchus Table 13.5″ × 10.5″ – $100

>> Hello,

Thanks for the update and emails am very certain we would have many successful business transactions and we can both help each other achieve our goals and dreams in life.

In regards to the shipping after discussing with my colleague he told me i will pay huge custom charges here but if we use Package Ready TO GO Delivery Service, their charges includes shipping packages and custom charges/taxes, Saudi Arabian customs is one of the most difficult in the world to deal with. If the paintings are not well shipped and accepted by the customs officer (due to the religious beliefs here) they will be seized and destroyed. Customs duties in Saudi Arabia are very expensive and corrupt. To avoid all of those potential charges their email is (packageready2go@fastservice.com)

Just let them have the full pick up address, delivery address plus zip codes respectively and also the weight and sizes of the paintings, he also said they would do the packing themselves.

Also I would like to inform you that I would be purchasing some other paintings from your collections in future and my preferences are (abstract, landscape, contemporary, (wildlife, floral &oceans) acrylic/oil paintings) but in the meantime i want to finalise this order first, also my colleague will like to order paintings from you as well, should I send him your email address? Kindly contact this courier service asap and we can proceed with payment soonest once everything has been finalised.

Regards,

Thanks.

PS: My full shipping address is: Al Ma’ather Street,Al Wazarat District, 11464 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(NOTE: Address turns out to be a Marriot Hotel)

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