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Attempted Art Scam

I need to post about something that occurred during the past week. I was the target of an art scam.

This is how the the scam works. I received the following email from a person named Josh Goldfield.

My name is Josh Goldfield from FL. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too, : ) You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you. I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales. Thanks and best regards,
Josh Goldfield

Being interested i responded stating i had works available and asked what pieces he was interested in. This is the response i got back.

Hello : MotleyArtist
Thanks for the message, however, I would greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed original piece within my budget $450- $2000 ready for immediate sale… Just need something within that price range for a surprise to my wife (can tell she likes your work). I would appreciate if you can figure out a piece of work that would serve that purpose. Kindly email images and prices of any available works in that range. Thanks and blessing

This made me very suspicious since I don’t list any paintings over $400 on my web site. At this point in time I did a Google search for “Art Scams” and found several interesting articles. I found many articles like “How to Recognize the Signs of an Art Scam” and “7 Signs You are Dealing with an Art Scammer” All the various posts pointing to this being a scam. I have heard about scams where they buy an item, only pay by check or bank payment and include in the payment is fees that you are the then pay to the shipper. I responded back again asking about what subject would be of interest and a couple of images that I like, but stated I need his feedback.

Dear : Ron,
Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece. Also If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying the any painting you recommend for $600, s a gifts to her. I’m okay with the price, I think it’s worth it anyway, so I’ll be sending a check. As┬áregarding shipping, you don’t have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up. I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I’m an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won’t be back for another couple of weeks.
PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address (preferably for Usps ,fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

I’m now sure of the scam and want to see haw far it will go, not that I want to waist time but figured I could post here about it, I stated that i could only do credit cards and have it processed through my web site of invoice through Square. He responded.

Ron,My wife handles the family credit card/paypal issues, and in order not to leave any clue to her for the surprise, i can only make the payment via bank transfer payment …so let me know if you can accept bank transfer if yes kindly get back to me with the follow info; Bank Name , Bank Address , Acct Name , Acct Num , Routine Num , THANKS

This is where I stopped responding to the emails. I want this to be a warning to other artists that scammers are out there and we are a target group. It appeals to ego and they use money as the bait.

Be wary, and if it sounds to good to be true – it is.