Amazingly, internet scammers have found a way to become even lower low-lifes, now targeting artists with sales. Just received this email:
I’m Betty Hammond from California. I was going through your works and my eyes caught this particular piece,I want to purchase it as I am moving to a new apartment next month. Kindly let me know if you still have the piece available and also let me know it’s final price and more information about it. I will be waiting to read from you.
Luckily, when I googled “Betty Hammond California,” this post by this fellow artist and anti-scam blogger showed up, exposing the scam. Basically, they get your mailing address and send a check in an amount way over the sale price, then ask you to forward the balance to a fictitious shipper. When the check turns out to be fraudulent, your money and possibly your art are gone.
The sad part about this is that authentic collectors may contact artists via email, and they may have different language abilities, making screening out fraudsters trickier. A commenter at the above blog post recommended only accepting payments via Paypal as one method for avoiding this scam.