Thursday, March 25, 2010

I was very close to becoming victim of an art buying scam-From Blaine Fontanta

Blaine Fontana posted this on his blog, something everyone should be aware of.

last week i was very close to being scammed for thousands of dollars. someone expressed interest in buying one of my pieces, coincidently, it was available, for the right price and right person. he had written the title, and all other pertinent information in the email. the check was mailed and things were smoothly moving forward. when the check arrived i let the buyer know, and thats when the weirdness started. first, my gut felt the check was shaky to the touch and look. second, when he(or she, or an entire asshole collective, who fucking knows)found out the check arrived i was instructed with a bunch of eccentric shipping directions and the check had been written for twice the amount. he had instructed to wire the extra money to his "shipper" through western union. he claimed he was moving to london and had a family friend taking care of all his moving affairs.

thats the scam, and kinda clever. you take your cut for the sale of the piece after the check clears and wire the rest. several days later your fucked and the confidence man now has a wad of cleaned cash.

fortunately, my bank is very aggressive with holding checks and verifying funds over several days. my manager was on this every day with the bank making sure it was legit.

this is a new scam, art world beware!!! more info from

Beware of Scammers contacting our Members

Beware Artlanow Members of scammers! We received today an email from one of our members who was contacted by “Stan.” Though we cannot read the replies written by artist Arline, the chain of messages she received reveal the stereotype temptations proffered by the fraudulent schemers who plague many of the internet sites exhibiting art for sale. Member Arline wrote:

I have had email messages from a "Stan Thomas" with an inquiry about buying one of my paintings that is on artlanow website. It is a scam. He wants to send a certified check (I've heard that before), and pay the shipping himself to a foreign country. He didn't say which one. Asked for my address and phone number. I replied, saying that I’d never ever sell a piece to a buyer who did not see it personally. He answered to tell me his shipper would inspect it, and could I send my address and phone number. (Yeah, right). I haven't yet let on that I know it's a scam. I just may confuse him some more. I'll forward his messages to you. You'll note that his grasp of the English language is off. That was the first clue.

Use this information any way you think best. Happy New Year to All !! Arline

Hello, Good day to you over there, My name is Stan thomas and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught...., i will like to have them for my new apartment this month. please let me know if the piece is available, if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you asap.

Kind Regards.


Thanks for the message, I am very happy to know that the Pieces is still available for sale. i must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase.I will like to let you know that your payment will be in form of a Certified Check.You dont have to worry about packing, insurance and tax because my shipper will be in the best position to do that as soon as you get the payment.This is because i will be traveling out of the country any moment from now for a business proposal.So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment I:E :

Full Name
Standard Address
Phone number
Asking price reconfirmation


so that i can proceed in the payment arrangement, consider it sold get back to me asap with needed information.


Its okay but i would have love to do this myself but due to my kind of job,my shipper will be the one to handle the whole of the pieces he will be coming to inspect it and at the same time picking it up for me. so do consider it sold and get back to me with your name and address with your phone # for me to proceed with the payment.

Will await your message. Stan.


  1. Did he tweet this by any chance? This should get out there so more can see it.

  2. this goes on all the time on craigslist, be careful. i had the same thing happen when i listed a piece of expensive furniture. the buyer wanted to send a check (money order) for $4000, although the piece i was selling was only $300. first of all, i assumed it would be a fake check. who sends a real check? what if you were to just keep all of the money? i have always heard they send legitimate "looking" money orders, banks cash them, but then you are screwed, if the bank figures out the MO was fake.

    either or its a lose-lose situation all around.

    i feel for anyone that has been screwed by this.