original oil paintings by south african artist

Arcy Art Original Oil Paintings Security Tips

Protect yourself against fraud attempts and scams aimed at artists

Although advertising you art on the internet is an excellent way to expose your art to millions of prospective buyers it also opens one up to attempts of fraud and scams.

One example of how criminals attempt to get money from artists is where the criminal pays for artworks with a cheque larger than the amount agreed upon. Here the criminal will pose as a prospective buyer and ask for a quote on one or more of your artworks. The criminal then will usually pay a third party cheque into your account for an amount larger than what was agreed upon and directly afterwards send an email requesting the balance to be paid back to him by bank transfer explaining that the larger amount was deposited in error. The artist then sends the balance back only to find that the cheque is returned by the bank a couple of days later and the artists loses the amount that he transferred to the criminal as well as any artworks that may have been shipped to the criminal.

This is probably the most common way that artists will be targeted and there are many variations to this scam but it all leads to you having to send money to a buyer out of your account. Some criminals will approach you with the angle that they are moving and have a shipping company handling their move and want this company to handle the shipping of the artwork as well. The criminal will then pay you an amount which includes the payment to the fake shipping company which they ask you to transfer out of your account. The cheque is once again returned by the bank and you lose the money you transferred.

Never send any money to a buyer out of your own account, if the buyer is legitimate and did in fact make a mistake it is up to them to contact the bank to rectify the error. There is no reason for you to ever have to transfer money out of your own account when a wrong payment has been paid into your account.

How to spot scams and protect yourself against scams:
- The prospective buyer will usually have no contact details on the email and use a yahoo or any other free email account to contact you.
- The spelling and grammar is usually poor on these emails.
- Scam emails will usually indicate that the buyer wants the artworks urgently.
- A large majority of these emails originate out of Nigeria so be wary of shipping art to a Nigerian address, in fact many people refuse to do business with customers from Nigeria.
- Be careful when accepting cheques and make it clear that payments for a larger amount than agreed upon will not be accepted, I personally do not accept any cheques for payment of art sold over the internet because although the funds may become available on a cheque deposit it can still be returned as stolen weeks after the deposit.

Click here for more information and some examples of scam emails sent to artists


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