Artists Beware.

There have been numerous reports of individuals sending emails offering to purchase work.  All of us would like to think of such offers as legitimate, but unfortunately there are many that are not.

The scam usually is an email followed up with a phone call from someone who has seen your work on the web, in a gallery, or catalog.  The purchaser wants you to ship the work upon receipt of a cashier's check.  In another phone call or email the purchaser informs you that their agent sent more than the purchase and shipping amount and asks you to refund the overage (which will vary from hundreds to  several thousand dollars) by wire transfer.  When you receive the cashier's check, and deposit it, you think the money is in your account.  Beware! It takes two to three weeks for the bank to discover that it is counterfeit.  You are then out the money you transferred by wire, the money you received for the work and the work itself (which will probably end up in dead storage somewhere).  Cashier's checks are not as good as gold--they take time to clear. 

There are variations of the scam, but they all involve a phoney cashier's check.  If you receive such a check report it to the bank it is drawn from immediately and notify your own bank as well.

We have received two such solicitations in the past three months.  One was followed up with a "hearing impaired" phone call in which an intermediary asked you questions and typed your response for the caller.


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