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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Scam Email: Jim West

My favorite... when a scammer tries to act all indignant in order to get their victims to act quickly.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: jim west []
> Subject: Re: What is going on? Why?
> I have sent you couple of emails, why are you not replying my messages when you got my payment? is this how you treat your client?

No, it's how we treat a scammer who sends a counterfeit check.

Scam Email: Christopher Benson

Hi KatieMoe,

I don’t see this name on your list but it sounds like a scammer.

> Begin forwarded message:
> From: christopher benson []
> Subject: Artwork Purchase
> Hello, my name is Christopher Benson from Atlanta, I was looking for some artwork online and I found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase one of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. I'll need pictures and prices of some of your art work which are ready for immediate sale within price range of $1,500- $2,500. I hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.
> Thanks,
> Chris.

Scam Email: Mathews Coughlin


Here is another Scammer.  Thank you so much for your information.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mathews Coughlin []

Dear D,

Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece attached. If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a
surprise. Kindly email me the asking price asap.

As regarding payment, I would like to inform you, that my wife handles the family credit card/bank and Paypal transaction. So i would authorize a check to you for the payment as soon as i have your full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx delivery no P.O box). Also, as soon as you
receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address which would ruin the surprise for this event). You both have to sign a proof of pick up at the most.

I would have handled this much differently if I'd been at home but i am actually going offshore and won't be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction... trying to kill two birds with a stone. :-)

Have a Positive Day!


PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your cell phone no. so i can try and call you later as the phones may be working better when this storm passes through.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Scam Email: David Morton

An email I received from a reader:

I wanted to share an art scammers name, email, telephone number and information with you.  I am an artist and I was contacted by a "Mr. David Morton".  The initial email read as follows:

"I am so excited that I came across your work on Internet search, I am interested in purchasing some creative artworks from you let me know their various prices. And how much discounts are you going to give? Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks and best regards!

Mr. David"

I thought it was suspicious, but I had never heard of an art scam so I emailed him back.  We exchanged a few emails and he had me send a list of all the available work that I had.  He picked out one piece that he said would be an anniversary gift for his "wife".  He asked if he could pay me
an extra amount to cover private shipping because he was moving to Canada and he wanted to keep the painting as a surprise for his "wife".  This is when red flags started showing up for me.  I wanted to catch this lowlife so I entertained his emails and he sent me a check via priority mail.  The check was from a company called Ausenco Engineering USA South IN. located at 1320 Willow Pass Road in Concord, CA, 94520.

In a few days, the check came and I immediately got an email instructing me to deposit the check.  I took it to my bank where they immediately flagged it as fraudulent.  "Mr. David" continued to insist that he was interested in purchasing the piece.  He continued to text me until I had enough of this loser conman.

As an artist, I love painting and I love having my pieces in people's homes.  This is why this is such a sick and twisted scam.  These scammers will never understand true beauty and art and I hope everyone becomes aware of these scams.

Thank you for your blog and for fighting these scammers!  I'll include a summary list of this conman's information.

Here is a summary of this scammers info:

Fake name: Mr. David Morton
Fake Profession: Ocean Engineer at Ausenco Engineering
phone numbers: (720)-538-4635 (David's phone),
(409)-600-9495 ("Shipper's Number")
Shippers name and address: Carol Brashear, City: Ravensdale Wa., Zip code: 98051

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Scam Email: Fake PayPal Payment

Here is a good one to watch out for!

The fake email wants you to believe someone sent you a large amount of money via PayPal and that PayPal recommends you withdraw it.

No one sent you money and PayPal is definitely not recommending anything.

The scammer wants you to click on the link, where the link (I won't share it so it won't be active, and I delinked it below in the example) looks something like this:


That can NOT be good. Do NOT click on that link!!! Delete the email and move on. Don't be a victim.

Subject: Lauri just sent you $3,182.00 USD with Paypal. Paypal recommends to withdraw it now.

From: Lauri []

Lauri just sent you $3,182.00 USD with Paypal

Click here to continue 

Best of luck! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Scam Email: Michael Kleemann


I have a website which I'm still working on, from which I sell the odd painting. While I do illustrate scientific journals, I also do "gallery art" or whatever you call it, but I keep it all galleries, no reproductions, low prices, direct transactions and so on.

Anyway, last October a "Michael Kleemann" contacted me, purporting to be a businessman in Texas, on the cusp of moving to Turkey.   He wondered if I had any other paintings to offer but the then relatively few for sale on my website (I still have only posted a fraction of what is available). Not knowing what his interest was, I just said that I did and sent him a few samples.

He choose the [name of piece], and the [name of piece]. The former is framed, so I told him the shipping would therefore be more expensive than if it weren't framed and made some sort of general conversation about my love of Texas, and southwestern birds.   But I admit alarm bells were already ringing in my head as most first-time buyers express their interest in birds or comment on art or whatever, and Michael Kleemann was very terse, polite, but nothing personal.

He said that because he was moving he was in a state of flux and would it be okay if me mailed me the money in advance, with enough to pay the shipper at the door.

I had explained that I normally use a specific courier because I it is a local family-run company that I've dealt with, favourably, for years.

He instead said that he'd have his movers in Canada do the actual shipping.

That seemed strange, but hey, maybe he was a wealthy Texas business guy with all kinds of flunkies working for him, and a finger in many different corporate pots.

So I said, well, okay, fine.

But nothing happened.

Then, last Monday, my stepdaughter said there was a folder leaning up against the front door.  It was from UPS.  It contained a single check (or "cheque" as we write it up here) and it was $3,599.00.   An odd sum.  I had no idea what it was for.  It was a company cheque, and the company was in Manitoba, as was the credit union it was drawn on.  Google showed both existed.but the company manufactures medical equipment.   I have only sold two or three paintings to Manitobans, none recently, no one there owes me anything and I don't produce a darn thing that would be of interest to a manufacturer of medical imaging equipment.

Then I remembered Michael Kleemann.  Could this be the money he had mentioned?   If so, it was way too much, approximately twice what would have been necessary for the arrangements we had made.

Sure enough, I got an e-mail from him after all that time, with an apology for the delay in getting back to me.

The next morning I phoned the company named on the cheque.  "It's fake," I was told by the guy before I had fully explained the situation.  "And I bet it's for more than had been agreed upon."  It was.  It turns out that a lot of these cheques were out there and the company quite annoyed, but helpless to do anything.

It took nearly two days to get a live person cop on the line, but I did this morning, and he opened a file, taking down all the particulars, which will then be distributed to fraud departments worldwide.  

Michael Kleemann (obviously an alias) could be anywhere.  He did write to me the name of the "shipper" (a "company" based in Alberta) and a "tracking number" and so on, but the cop also advised me not to open any more e-mails from Michael Kleemann, as they could include viruses (it appears not, thank goodness, but that could change), and certainly not to respond to him again (my last message was designed to keep him interested as I hoped the police might be able to find him by intercepting the shippers, and I'm more than happy to be part of a "sting" if we can catch this crook.  
But I will take his advice.   I do have a viewing pane so when Michael Kleemann wrote to me this morning that, okay, he'd wait until the new year (I told him I'd be away until then) I was able to read it even if I didn't open the message.  

But the other thing the cop told me was that by virtue of my having responded, this person, or one of his or her colleagues, may try another scam, so I am now more on guard than before.

Frankly, it was a rather clumsy effort, but I HAVE sold art (and developed online friendships) from "cold" contacts, usually word-of-mouth, but a few times via my website, and I have sent art off to first-time-buyers before receiving payment.  A sophisticated businessman I'm not.

I've never been cheated, but obviously I now will modify that practice for the first-time buyers.  

I don't know if any of this will help anyone avoid being taken, but I felt better to tell you all then not.

I will forward his e-mails to you one by one, under separate e-mails (I'm not very computer-adept so it's the only way I know to do it).  


Friday, December 11, 2015

Scam Email: Holmes Raines

Hi Kathleen,

I'm an artist.
I received this email. I did not find anything about the person online, but it smells suspicious.
Thank you Kathleen,
Best regards,


Good day to you over there, My name is Holmes Raines I'm from Leipzig and i
hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes
caught The thinker 60x80cm Oil on canvas, i will like to have it 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.

Holmes Raines.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Scam Email: Jonathan Hashri

It is interesting to me that I can dig through the some of the oldest messages on this blog and in my email and the below email template can be found, basically unchanged word for word, from years and years ago.

But really, that's bad news, because if the format and wording of some of these scam emails have basically not changed in so many years, it means it must work at attracting victims. Which of course, I hate.

Or this could just be a really lazy scammer who is using some basic old scam template to see how well it still can work.

In this case, they kind of make it generic enough that you'd want to write back to them to get a little more information and then they have collected their list of more "qualified" potential victims.

But us artists know real buyers do not ask their initial question this way if they are interested in buying a piece.

-----Original Message-----
From: jonathan hashri []
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 12:18 PM
Subject: info


Saw images of your paintings online, which really caught my attention. I am interested in purchasing paintings from your collection, can you please get back to me with the price range, sizes of your paintings, so i know how to go about my purchase.

Await your prompt reply.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Scam Email: Todd Rieck

Dear Kathleen,

Thanks for your awesome art-scammers blacklist.  Here's unfortunately another one for you. The bad english from someone with an ultra-american name, combined with the clumsy non-knowledge of art and the mention of a cashier's check, give me 100% certainty.  Won't be wasting any more time here!  The IP address from the initial incoming email is also included.

Thanks for all you do and wishing you great success and lots of REAL collectors.  Hope it's okay to send this to you here; I couldn't get onto the website for some reason.

Name: Todd Rieck

Dear M___,

Thank you for your email and more information about "______(DRAWING) ".

I am purchasing this for myself and my family purpose, I know my wife
will definitely like it because she like everything about Art.  Please
email me more details I need to know about the pieces.

Concerning the payment. I based in Illinois and that's where it will
be ship too. The payment I am 100% sure about is to send you a
Cashier's Check or Bank Draft for the total cost.

I will be expecting your email concerning this.


Sender IP:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scam Email: Valdmir and Rebecca


trick? or real?  trick!!!!  ;) d

Begin forwarded message:

From: Valdmir And Rebecca []
Date: November 11, 2015 9:51:23 AM PST
Subject: Art Inquiry

Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creative works on your
website and I will like you to get back with more details if they are
still available for purchase.

Blue Heaven            36”x36”
I will appreciate an urgent reply.

Best Regards,

Never a good sign when they can't remember how to spell their fake name....

Scam Email: Michael Draxler


I just received this email this morning and I knew it was a scam the moment I read it. I’ve seen a few similar to this one over the years.

No signature, bad English, certified check, and last but not least, they want to pick it up instead of having me ship it. 

Thought you might want to add the name to the list. 

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Michael Draxler" []
> Subject: Lovers
> Date: November 11, 2015 at 8:09:46 AM MST
> To: 
> Do you still have The Lovers available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept certified check as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scam Email: John Tiger

Here's another one to watch out for:

From: john tiger []Date: October 21, 2015 2:50:08 PM PDTTo: Subject: info @ artwork
Good to tell that i saw few picture of your work while browsing
through the internet, im John from California; I'm interested in
purchasing some of your artworks. Can I have have your main website so
as to see more of your  recent work.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scam Email: Greg Hembree

This was an obvious miss on the scammer's part but they could care less - they play a numbers game. They send out thousands of these emails seeking that small percentage that reply so that they can funnel those people closer to the heart of the scam - stealing their money by pretending to overpay and asking the "extra" be sent via wire (either back to them or to some non-existent shipper).

Heartbreaking and annoying for this husband, though.

Hey name is Craig. My late wife was a very accomplished artist before cancer took her at a young age. This person below is clearly a scammer. He emailed her account. It's clearly a scam. I did not email back. Thanks for your blog post on the topic of scammers. Feel free to add this scum bag to your list. have a great site and blog....

Sent from my iPad
> On Oct 14, 2015, at 5:43 PM, Greg Hembree [] wrote:
> Hello,
>  I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website (piece in subject field above) on my laptop and i guess she likes that piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work. I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
>  Peace and blessings,
>  Greg

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scam Email: James Chavez

Yes, even someone who hosts a blog and Facebook page about scammers, warning people how not to fall victim, receives these stupid emails as well.

To entertain myself, I removed the name of my art piece from the subject line and replied and asked which piece they were interested in. Now they won't be able to match what they said before. They may decide who cares and just pick another piece and see if I fall for it. Obviously I won't.

So I wonder to myself - are we all getting smarter? Are we googling names and emails before we send anyone money for any reason (particularly when WE are the seller!)? Are we making the scammer's life a harder one?

While I ponder this, here is the email I just received:

From: james chavez (
Subject: [Name of Piece] 
My name is James chavaz from south carolina. 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 receive further information
about your piece of work and what inspires you.

I am very much interested in the purchase of the piece (in subject field
above) to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate
Thanks and best regards,
In so many ways these emails haven't change over the years. Lately, it's a little less about them moving to some obscure country or that they are out of the country on "assignment" but you'll always know it's a scam if they overpay the amount (saying some scenario about a shipper) and ask the "difference" be sent via wire transfer. Your transferred money will be good but their money will be a counterfeit check or stolen credit card. That's the crux of the scam. They could care less about your art and they disappear with your money long before it even gets to the shipping stage.

So never accept over-payments, no matter what and NEVER ever ever wire money to anyone when you are the seller. No matter what their story is.

'Nuff said.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scam Email: Steve Wood

Yup, Tom - it's a scam. Delete it and do not respond.

Hi Kathleen,

Its been 2 years since my last email about the scam I was in the middle of – and got out of with your help. I received another email yesterday from 'Steve Wood'. The punctuation in his message is strange, and he only
answered one of two questions I first asked him, in his response. He didn't tell me how he ran across my work:

*I want to have the beautiful painting ("name here") purchased immediately for my wife as a gift for our anniversary.I'm presently on deployment in Afghanistan,so i have limited access to communication,i will only be able to respond through email at the moment. I would have personally appreciate to have it purchased in person and to meet with you could have also been a great privilege The price is totally acceptable by me $2,000  i'm sure its framed? i will authorized a check payment to you immediately i can get hold of your information,and i want it to be delivered as a surprise to our new home.Please consider the beautiful piece of the artwork sold to me.

However,you don't have to worry about shipment,my shipper will handle it.I'll notify my shipping agent who's moving my belongings from our old home in Florida to get ready for the pickup of the artwork from your
address. I will appreciate if you can forward to me your Full details,(which you want the check payable to ) such as your Full name,contact address and mobile number.The payment will be sent to the address provided,i will not want any delay due to my inability to access to easy communication.I expect your prompt response.Thank you
Best Regards*

I'm not going to respond as I think its a scam. Two years ago, the other scammer spoke in an inflated way about my work, was unavailable to talk by phone, was 'in transition' between homes, has a 'shipper' who would handle delivery, and asking me for too much info... (who asks for a mobile number?). And the interest sounds 'urgent' and he doesn't want 'any delay'.

Your thoughts?

thanks, Tom