Image above from Agora Gallery’s post “How to Recognize an Art Scam”
In the last week, I’ve received 2 art scam emails. They read as personalized letters, including the title and size of my painting, mid paragraph. Neither email asked directly for anything, so no red flags, not right away. Below is the first email I received. I deleted the second, but they both followed similar formats:
My name is George Barbara from California. 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 purchase one of your paintings “Emptiness – 68 × 60, Oil on linen”, as a surprise to my wife on our anniversary. Also, let me know if you accept check as mode of Payment.
Thanks and best regards
This painting is the largest painting I’ve ever made, and when “he” said the title along with the brief story about his wife it … well…. I’m an artist so it did actually paint a picture for me. I could see his wife at the computer, and I could see her imagining the painting hanging on her big off-white wall. I was flattered, and yes please send me $5k for the biggest painting I’ve ever made, thank you. I can see how people fall for this stuff. Before I got excited I searched Google for some of the text, and versions of the same letter appeared in many other artist’s posts, including Maggie Sharkey, a new Leaguer. (It helped that the bad news came from a friend).
Have you received one of these? Or something else? Please help protect another artists. Share the letter and your story in the comments section below this post. Your story might help someone, like Maggie’s post