Email Scam Targeting Artists
When I first received an email from Ruby Sanchez interested in buying art I was a little bit wary, obviously she wasn’t a native english speaker and she had a gmail account. Neither of these should mean that someone is necessarily dodgy.
I replied to her, she asked for more info about the work, I sent her links to my blog info about the meaning behind the paintings info on the size and materials. All sounded legitimate.
Anyway how could someone scam you if they want to buy from you? They are not asking for money they are buying from you.
After deciding she wanted to buy 2 paintings I received this email:
“Hi Shana , Good to hear back from you. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of both works. I think they are lovely works and i hope to give them good home. I am presently away in Lombok for my twin sister’s wedding even though it comes at a time when i was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days. Meanwhile,i will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so i can inform my husband still shutling between our home in Sydney and London on where to forward the payment . He has just been transfer to head the IT section of their head Office in London. I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange FedEx pick up of the artworks from your studio. I will look forward to hearing from you so i can know how best to proceed.
Cheers. Best Regards, Ruby.”
I replied still thinking this was all above board when I received an alert from Artsphere who do my website with a link to this page.http://stopartscams.blogspot.com.au/
New email from her today this is some of it:
“Hope this message finds you well. I am very sorry that i couldn’t get in touch immediately. I was hospitalized in Lombok immediately after my twin sister’s wedding. I almost had miscarriage but thank God, i am now feeling better and can’t wait to have my baby and settle down.”
I really hate the way unscrupulous people prey and the fact you will feel sorry for her after hearing an elaborate story to build trust. Apparently the rest of the story is that they buy the artwork with either a cheque that bounces or a stolen credit card. But they overpay and then ask you to forward the balance to them via Western Union where the money cannot be traced. You never receive the money and are out-of-pocket by about $1000. Thankfully I didn’t even get close to this stage.
Do not trust this email address: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Just got the next email from “Ruby Sanchez con artist” in this one she gives me her Sydney address and her London address, when you google it it comes up as a million dollar property which has just sold. Very plausable for the story that she is moving to London. These guys are pretty sophisticated.
All sorts of things happen! We’ve just got to be on the alert and try not to get greedy. Greed makes people gullible. And over ambition too!
Thank you for this. She has also just been trying to scam me! Interestingly, I just happen to live across the street from her false Sydney address. The story she told me is identical to the one you have outlined above. She sent me a Bank of America Cashiers Check from their Hudson Mall address in New Jersey dated 20/03/2012, posted from Birmingham UK on 19/03/2012!! (I didn’t notice this obvious error until now). It was for $3,900.00 – the cost of the paintings was $915 – if I had been suckered in she/he would have received $2,985.00 !!
I now plan to alert all my artist friends, as well as all the Australian art Societies that I can find.
The more people who know about it the better