Possible Scam Targeting Authors

Hi Angela,

I received a similar scam email targeted at my fine arts business.

It took about three rounds of emails to discover that the person writing me ordering 5 paintings for her parents’ anniversary was trying to pull a scam. It also had the “my shipper will pick up” line. They said they were in England but they definitely had details about my art and my website that sounded credible…for the first few emails.

What they are doing is a more personalized version of the “Nigerian Banker Email Scam”. They expected to give me a check that included their purchase from me plus an amount that they needed to pay their shipper. They then suggested I deposit their check and pay out their shipper with the excess cash they would pay me. Obviously, had I been naive enough to do this, their check would have bounced and they would have succeeded in scamming “the shipping costs” from me.

It’s the penny ante game from the streets of NYC taken to cyberspace. And while I agree one should never give out home information to a stranger, this scam is about money. I was tempted to arrange the drop- off and pick-up and have a police officer waiting at my door! Alas, when I suggested that they pay via credit card instead, the “client” who wanted to buy five small paintings from me disappeared and never contacted me again by email.

Best wishes for a happy new year!