Here is a scam that is so telling – sent to an “undisclosed list of recipients” (aka huge spam list) and apologizing upfront for not remember your website (they have no way to track the websites of hundreds of thousands of people they spam every day, and really they are not visiting the websites in this case anyway).
What they need for the scam are people to reply to the email and say that’s okay… here is my website url. And THAT way when the scammer continues on the steps of the scam, they can make Round 2 of email exchanges a lot more personalized so you believe they are a real buyer when they are not. Then they WILL go to your website and pick out specific artwork to “buy”.
In this way, they keep their own efforts efficient and the least amount of work for maximum gain.
What is their gain? With a fake story they will eventually overpay for something and ask the money be forwarded to their [fake] shipper, because they are moving or temporarily out of the country or whatever. And (here comes the kicker), it will need to be wired to them. Hard untraceble cash wired directly to the scammer, who then disappears. While the victim then learns, too late, the original money was either a counterfeit check or a stolen credit card.
How do you avoid this scam? Two simple rules:
1. NEVER accept overpayment for any reason. Just don’t.
2. NEVER EVER EVER (can I throw one more in for good measure?) NEVER send money via wire transfer – for any reason. This is the crux of the scam and if you don’t do this, you’ll be safe from at least this scam.
Check out this scam email:
From: Adrian Hermes [email@example.com]
Sent: Thu, Jun 5, 2014 2:19 pm
Subject: Inquiry and request about your work of Art
I was able to view your work from the website you had it displayed in and unfortunately for me i kind of lost the website but i stored your contact,i will like to ask if you have a piece(s) for sale and can you kindly re-direct me to your website. i will be awaiting to read from you soon.