Art Scammers

I’ve had a few weird scam attempts on me lately. Most of them were pretty obvious. Unfortunately one of them was that my Paypal was hacked. I had a terrible password and never changed it since I rarely use Paypal anymore. Seriously, get a decent password, especially on anything close to money! I knew better, and so do you.

That’s not what I want to draw to your attention, though. I want to show you this email from richardbrowwn@live.com:

Hi,
My name is Richard Brown. I lived in Dallas for twenty years before I had a recent move back to Germany. I found your profile on Google and I’m interested in purchasing an artwork from you for the beautification of my guest room. May I have a few images of your available works. You could send me your website so that I can go through them online.
Till I read back from you.
Thanks.

Richard.

I got this and was pretty skeptical to start. Found my profile on Google? Oddly generic, and especially from the email that I rarely use for any account online. And Is he just looking around for artists before looking for art? But hey, I did just sell a few pieces recently, so maybe? So I replied, keeping it generic, also making sure I don’t send him anything high res in case he plans to do something sketchy with them. Then I got this reply:

Hi Mattea,

Thanks for the email. I went through your website and found the attached work interesting. Can I  have a detailed information about the work, its availability and pricing?  As soon as we reach a concrete agreement on pricing, I can instruct my personal assistant to  process a  check to you  for the payment of the work so that my mover can have it picked up along with my properties that are to be moved to Munich.

I await your email soonest.
Regards,
Richard.
Yeah, this has all kinds of weird scamminess written all over it. Especially for little ole me. Google didn’t find anything as a direct quote from the first email, but a basic search of “art scammers” found me the awesome Stop Art Scams blog. Just a few posts down, a very similar sounding scam was written up with countless other people with their versions.
Another site I found later after googling the email address:  http://www.artquest.com/artquest/scammer-names.htm, a growing list of emails used to scam artists.
I am not sure what posting this will do, but I felt unusually violated by the scammers going after artists specifically. It’s no secret artists tend to be a special breed. We are passionate, emotional, and incredible dreamers. We really want the best and while we are often seen as pessimists, I think it’s our way of dealing with being burned in the past. I know I have often said if I just assume the worst, if it happens it’s not a surprise, and then if it’s better we can be happy. Then, there are these scumbags preying on this realm of beautiful people. I feel the need to make sure they don’t succeed.