Artist Beware! How to Avoid a Scam
It was probably my turn to be visited by a scammer. Fortunately the tale ends happily, but the story may be helpful to you.
I recently received an order for a few paintings via e-mail. The person posing as a collector requested an invoice which I supplied. Shortly thereafter I received a proof of payment that looked exactly like a Standard Bank EFT form.
With hindsight I should have felt something odd about the deal. Buying and selling art is always an exciting event for both artist and collector. But this time there was none of that. Too clinical!
The collector asked for overnight delivery, but I had to frame the paintings first. The next morning I received a mail asking for the tracking number for the paintings. Red flag! This was looking strange since I had not received notification from my bank that the funds had cleared.
I let another day pass and still nothing. It was now clear that this tirckster was looking for a quick overnight delivery based on his fraudulent proof of payment. Fortunately my paintings remain safe and sound with me.
The moral of course is to never release goods until the payment is cleared and in your own account. Never trust a proof of payment alone no matter how authentic it looks.
On a lighter note it reminded me of a Fawlty Towers episode where Basil is conned by someone posing as a lord. Basil Fawlty's reaction at the end is how I felt too! I found part of the show - good for a laugh!
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa