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  #26  
Old 09-17-2005, 07:33 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

More on art scams at the Art News Blog and at ArtQuest.
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  #27  
Old 12-27-2005, 03:06 PM
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bluedogshuz bluedogshuz is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

I have been contacted by someone named Anne from England that has customers in the U.S. She claims to have an agent that handles thing in U.S. and wants to know my name adress for purpose of making out a money order. Her e mails are vague and I am suspicious, particularily regarding shipping. I have a piece that is 9' tall. Since I don't have any experience selling over the web, anyone have similar experience?
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  #28  
Old 01-08-2006, 11:00 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

I haven't had any such experience, but you could try getting the name and contact information of the U.S.-based agent, validating it (there are art dealer associations in Canada, and I'm guessing there are similar ones in the States), and perhaps even contacting that agent firstly. If you say that this is merely a formality because of the increasing number of scams, a legit person should be understanding of the situation.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2006, 08:49 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

It looks like I got one for myself too! It seems that they may be using the Sculpture Portfolio page over at the ISC website for their "victims".

I was contacted this month about my sculptures. The guy asked where he could see more of my work; I sent him some basic information and a link to the page on my website with all of the available work; he wrote back for prices on several sculptures; I responded; then he said that he would buy one of them (the most expensive one) and tack on a huge sum of money for shipping. Of course, having read this thread, all of the alarm bells sounded at this point.

Quote:
Dear Julianna
i am pleased to purchase this piece 4:Title: "200lb" Price: $1,200 CAD
The sculpture is a gift for a friend of mine in U.K and as of the transporting of the sculpture pick up will be done and payment will be given to them at the point of pick-up the shipping company is an air frieght company they will be picking up the sculpture and make a special delivery to my friend. I will be adding an extra $3500 CAD for pick-up of the sculpture which will be paid to the shipper at the point of pick-up.I will be needing your contact address and telephone number to issue payment to you.
Regards,
Julius
Happy new year
Quote:
Hi, Julius.

That's an excellent choice---I hope your friend will agree too!

$3,500 is an exorbitant amount for freight. Might I suggest that you switch to FedEx? They are merely charging approx $1,600 for shipping to London.

Also, due to the nature and amount of our transaction, I will only be able to accept a certified cheque---I trust that this won't be a problem. For your security (and peace of mind!), I would like to suggest that you ask for the bank to return the cheque to you after I have deposited it.

When do you expect the sculpture to be delivered to your friend? I will draft an agreement with the details before we "seal the deal". The address and phone number will be included in the agreement.

Thanks.

Julianna
My response was sent on the 10th, and I have not heard anything back since. This is after a very swift exchange of the earlier emails.

I looked back at some of my older emails, and saw that I had been contacted by persons from the internet in February and December of last year, and the writing was similar and they had inquired on many of the same sculptures. It seems that they are now trying to get an artist's hopes up, then make them an offer they can't refuse.

Sneaky.

I'm quite happy with my response, because it's safe for someone who really does want to buy my work (although the circumstances are certainly peculiar; and feel free to take me down a knotch if you disagree ). Feel free to use my response as a "template" for yours if you ever encounter a similar situation. My biggest personal concern was that I was able to delay providing my address until I knew this was a safe thing (I work out of my home).

I want to thank everyone for posting their previous experiences. Although I hope that I would have been alert enough to be suspicious of the transaction, I really don't know whether I would have been too excited about a sale to wonder why they were paying more than twice the price of the sculpture (from an uknown artist, to boot!) merely for the shipping.

A search for 'shipping scam' on Google suggests that this isn't only happening to artists.
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  #30  
Old 01-31-2006, 03:49 PM
A. Dawg A. Dawg is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

i was sent numerous emails by several different folks with really bad grammar. at first i responded, but then i started hearing about all of this business. below is the ones i received with some correspondce. i had priced my work relatively low as i am a student, and i think that may be a reason i was not asked to send large amounts of fake money for shipping..

alanis_mcgregory@yahoo.com
Sculpture Enquiry

I got to view some of your work
from google art directly and am pleased with the sculptures i saw on that note i would like to know if there are sculptures available at this moment for sale and will also like to know when and where your next exhibition will be taking place.Hope to read from you soon.
> Sincerely
> Alanis Mcgregory

Alanis,
at the moment, I am nearing completion of three small sculptures (can be seen at sculpture.org, photos also attached), and also have a couple of the sculptures you may have seen in storage. i am currently in baton
rouge, but will be going back to nebraska over the winter holiday, and will be able to retreive those sculptures. what was it in particular that you saw and enjoyed? where are you located? let me know, and we'll see what we can do.
adam

Dear Adam,
*** I will like to know the prices of the sculpture whose images you sent to me.Hope to read from you soon.
Regards
Alanis

crenshaw_prayne@yahoo.com

Art..........
Hello,*
I saw your work via google directory,and i will be
pleased if i can get to view yor work via your website
or link to some images of your work because you have
got some lovely and fascinating work in display.I hope
to read from you soon.******
Thanks
Crenshaw


Jermaine_8076@yahoo.com
ARTWORK
HELLO
*First of all happy new year to you. I saw your works in sculpture.org. i will want to know if you have some works of yours for sale at the moment cos you have some beautiful works on display.hope to hear from you soon
Regards
Jermaine Johnson

I had also recieved this email recently... has anyone had one of these???

Dear Adam,
Greetings from Jaipur, India.
I'm Manisha Patel, Wife of Ankit patel, who is a sculptor, works in bronze, marble & kinetic wind sculptures, He also teaches sculpture at fineart college, Jaipur. He is a recepient of many awards including national award for his sculptures.

I like your sculptures. Congratulations!......

You are welcome to visit our studio, whenever you visit Jaipur.
Jaipur is known for its art, craft, architecture, palaces, forts, museums & observatory.
Best regards

Manisha Patel
22, Patel colony,
Sardar Patel Marg,
c- scheme, Jaipur. 302001
Rajasthan state (India)
ph-0141-23685454
Mobile-098280-17980
asti@datainfosys.net


it sounds awful nice, but in light of all of this, i am a bit skeptical...
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  #31  
Old 01-31-2006, 05:43 PM
arcdawg arcdawg is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

no confusion,

My name is ARCDAWG and have NO involment with *adawg*


thanks -

DAWG
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  #32  
Old 01-31-2006, 08:16 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Well I got one from a yahoo.com address telling me that the sender's high bidder in Ebay didn't come through and that I could have the item I bid on for my highest bid price. There was no reference to item#, description or anything. In other words a "second chance" scam and I knew it was right off as I hadnt bid on anything lately that I didnt win.

I didnt save it- forwarded to ebay, so watch out for those fake second chance offers too- it's easy to see how this scam works, you write back and then maybe they reply with a "I have So many auctions going, can you tell me the item# you are responding about?" Once you reply with that then they know you bid on a certain item and can refer to it by name now and convince you they are the seller and to send a MO or paypal OR give them your credit card # for the purchase.

Last edited by Landseer : 01-31-2006 at 08:18 PM.
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  #33  
Old 02-04-2006, 01:10 PM
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. Dawg
I had also recieved this email recently... has anyone had one of these???

Dear Adam,
Greetings from Jaipur, India....
I got one of those too. Not quite sure what to do with it, so I just filed it away.
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  #34  
Old 02-06-2006, 12:19 PM
A. Dawg A. Dawg is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

did you receive any attachments with it?...i received on called scan 0026, which i am afraid to open on my machine for fear off infectious disease...the sender's name was asti...
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  #35  
Old 02-10-2006, 09:19 PM
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Thumbs down Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Unfortunately I have a friend that got ripped of in one of these types of scams a few years back and lost $2500. He took it to the local police who, in a nutshell, told him, “sorry ‘bout your luck.” Only after the local paper got involved and recorded conversations with the con-artist where they were told they were a terrorist group, did the FBI get involved. At best, the FBI informed my friend that the Nigerian government refused--guess there are many governments that refuse also--to cooperate with the US on any matters like that so there was nothing they could do.

These scams do seem to work from time to time because these idiots–for lack of a better name–are still using basically running the same scam.
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  #36  
Old 02-11-2006, 08:11 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. Dawg
did you receive any attachments with it?...i received on called scan 0026, which i am afraid to open on my machine for fear off infectious disease...the sender's name was asti...
I, stupidly, opened it. It seems to be "merely" a photo of one of her husband's sculptures. Nothing has happened yet, but I'm waiting for Murphy to come a'knockin'.

Googled the artist, and couldn't find anything reliable (mostly posts from the wife which were similar to the emails). I'm not sure what the deal is.

In the same vien, I've also been getting emails for "calls for sculptors", followed by an email from them with an attachment. I deleted the emails with attachments before they got to my computer, because it seemed suspicious. One was for Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum and the other for the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Designs Contest. They sound legit enough, but I haven't had time to look into them in more detail.
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  #37  
Old 02-11-2006, 12:05 PM
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Hi Julianna
The 2008 Olympic Landscape sculpture Design Contest is legit (Its associated with the Beijing Olympics) I've had correspondence with them. There's no entry fee or anything - so I can tell you I have had no problems with that one.
James
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  #38  
Old 02-11-2006, 12:32 PM
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Pyramid Hill is legit. I had a piece there a year ago as part of their first Bi-Annual Sculpture Competition.

I've been getting the Olympic Committee info as well. It looks legit, but the process seemed so arcane and arbitrary that I'm passing.
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Last edited by sculptorsam : 02-11-2006 at 05:50 PM.
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  #39  
Old 02-11-2006, 04:59 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julianna
In the same vien, I've also been getting emails for "calls for sculptors", followed by an email from them with an attachment. I deleted the emails with attachments before they got to my computer, because it seemed suspicious. One was for Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum and the other for the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Designs Contest.
Oh no! you just deleted what coulda been the opportunity of a lifetime, similar to the person who doesn't answer the doorbell and later finds out it was Ed McMahon from Publisher's Clearinghouse, and that Ed decided that since this person wasn't home, he would go next door and ring their bell while holding the ten million dollar check

If you had a MAC you pretty much don't worry about that stuff, I've had a Mac the last 8 years, zero virus software zero problems.
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  #40  
Old 02-12-2006, 12:52 PM
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

..." Dear Adam,
Greetings from Jaipur, India.
I'm Manisha Patel, Wife of Ankit patel, who is a sculptor, works in bronze, marble & kinetic wind sculptures, He also teaches sculpture at fineart college, Jaipur. He is a recepient of many awards including national award for his sculptures.

I like your sculptures. Congratulations!......

You are welcome to visit our studio, whenever you visit Jaipur.
Jaipur is known for its art, craft, architecture, palaces, forts, museums & observatory.
Best regards

Manisha Patel
22, Patel colony,
Sardar Patel Marg,
c- scheme, Jaipur. 302001
Rajasthan state (India)
ph-0141-23685454
Mobile-098280-17980
asti@datainfosys.net


it sounds awful nice, but in light of all of this, i am a bit skeptical...[/quote]


Hi. I received this one also. Because my daughter's boyfriend Sati is of Indian descent and I knew that his parents were visiting India at the time, I naturally assumed that this person had been talking to them about my work and just didn't say so. So, I responded as a friend and have not heard from them since. I received this through my regular e-mail address, rather than through my website, so it seemed that Sati's parents had shared my address.
I'm glad to know that others have received this, so that now I will be less naive about such messages. You wouldn't think that sculptors would need to be careful about such things.
JAZ
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  #41  
Old 02-12-2006, 03:21 PM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landseer
Oh no! you just deleted what coulda been the opportunity of a lifetime, similar to the person who doesn't answer the doorbell and later finds out it was Ed McMahon from Publisher's Clearinghouse, and that Ed decided that since this person wasn't home, he would go next door and ring their bell while holding the ten million dollar check

If you had a MAC you pretty much don't worry about that stuff, I've had a Mac the last 8 years, zero virus software zero problems.
Haha.

Yeah, that sounds about right---I also never answer the door! I'm actually planning to switch to Linux, but it'll be a long process.
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  #42  
Old 02-20-2006, 02:53 PM
fused fused is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Holy Crap! You guys are way too paranoid, how about just employing a bit of common sense when dealing with total strangers? Sure some of these email solicitations are totally bogus... how about ASKING FOR PAYMENT UP FRONT? Which is a very common practice in all cultures. IF and WHEN someone does send you money do not send the art until the payment has cleared and the funds are in your bank account and you know the transaction is clearly legit. If this takes a week or two it's no big deal. Someone wants some of your art that's all fine and dandy, once you are paid for it.

I also received an email from India with the attachment, which was images of his work. I have received a lot of correspondance over the years from people whose first language is not the same as mine... cut 'em some slack and try to enjoy a new dialogue from outside your box.

If you bothered googling Ankit Patel you will find there are many people who share that name. With a little patience you will also discover that this guy is an excellent sculptor who has been attempting to expand his network in recent years and if I was travelling anywhere close to his studio in India I would make every effort to meet him.
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  #43  
Old 02-21-2006, 01:52 AM
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

These are some of the oldest scams in the books and it is surprising and sad that anyone still falls for them. If you have a website, or work shown online, you have undoubtedly recieved hundreds, if not thousands of these "offers" per year. Most often, the scam they are running involves counterfiet certified checks. You will notice that most involve some type of move, the "buyers" are always in a hurry. If they mention a third party shipper, that is a guaranteed tip off that they are scamming you with the overpayment scam where they send you a bad check and you forward on the overpayment.
The reason a lot of people fall for these scams is that they think if they take a check to the bank and it "clears" in a week or two, that the check was good. The fact is that the only person who can know for sure that the check is bad is the account holder, and they may not notify the bank for as long as a year. Or, in other cases, it can take at least several months before it is determined that the check was counterfiet.
Bottom line
- be suspicious if the email is coming from yahoo.com or other free email account
- if they mention a 3rd party shipper, run the other way
- if the english is terrible and they say they are from England, you know they are liars
- if they are in a hurry, are mainly concerned with payment and shipping (instead of main focus being on the art and you as the artist), they are scamming you
- if they don't provide any personal information, you have to wonder why
- if they want to buy a piece of your work (sight unseen), and then ask for an inventory or website where they can see it - how dumb is that?

These people must be pretty succesful at scamming trusting artists like us, which is why this scam is so prevelant. Awareness is your best defense. Of course there are a lot of legitimate buyers out there too that contact you via email, and it usually isn't difficult to determine which is which.

Oh, as a side note, if you teach, the conterfeit check scam also reaches into that arena. Typically, someone will send you an email saying that their son will be in your area for 3 months or something and they want to pay upfront to have them take lessons from you. Of course after you deposit the check, something unforseen happens and they need to cancel and ask for a refund. Thinking their check has cleared, you send them back real money from your own account.
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Last edited by Buster : 02-21-2006 at 02:29 AM.
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  #44  
Old 02-21-2006, 01:09 PM
fused fused is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Here's a scammer who didn't get away.
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  #45  
Old 02-23-2006, 09:22 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Here's one from Ebay, keep in mind I did NOT bid on anything and this guy did not include ANY auction info:


From: "Imad Hamdi"
Subject: Let me know if you are interested !
To: xxxxxxx@.com
Reply-To: imad4ebay@yahoo.com
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 16:45:18 +0200
X-Library: Indy 8.0.25


Hello,
I've seen that you had a bid on my auction and the winner of the auction couldn't ended the deal. I will offer you this item at your last bid price using second chance offer. If you are interested to buy let me know. Best Regards!
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  #46  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:22 PM
Studioinde Studioinde is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

I know this is an old thread, but I just need to relate my experience with this sort of thing. A little more than a year ago, last february, I was contacted by email from somebody claiming to be Bonzena Mitrovic, the assistant manager of a 5 star hotel on the Adriatic Sea. There was a link to the hotel website in the email. Very professional.

He was interested in purchasing existing sculptures for display in the hotel, which was undergoing remodeling. The back and forth communication went on for two or three months working out the details. Some red flags went off from time to time so I was cautious. I was mailed a cashier's check drawn on a US bank for $12,000 dollars. I waited 10 days until the check had "cleared", and checked with the bank to make sure the money was still in my account, before using Western Union as requested to send the "shipping" funds, just under $1000 to the "shipping company" in Ireland.

The very next day, my bank contacted me and said that the check that had supposedly cleared was bogus, and that they were sorry but I was out of luck. Not only was I out $1000, but I was planning on using the $12000 as a downpayment on purchasing a house for my family. In fact, I had met with the realtor the night before. A few days more and I would really have been in trouble, having bought a house with non-existent funds. I contacted the police, but of course got nowhere, it being an international case and all.
I was even more amazed that neither my bank or Western Union would do anything, and that there is no fraud protection against this sort of thing.

I learned these lessons the hard way, and believe I got off cheap in the long run. If a commission seems too good to be true, IT IS!

I still cannot believe that somebody would put in all that effort, literally months worth of emails back and forth working out all the details, all for a little under $1000 dollars (the limit that can be sent Western Union at a time).
If the criminal responsible had put in an equal amount of time at something legitimate, they probably could have made more then they ended up with.

I googled the name of the recipient of the "shipping" funds in Ireland, and found out that the name had been used previously in similar scams perpetrated by Nigerian gangsters. I was pretty upset that Western Union had access to this same information, but did nothing to prevent the fraudulent transactions, and to my knowledge still has done nothing. I was also surprised that the tellers and personnel at my bank were unable to spot a fraudulent check, and took 11 days to discover the fraud.

Oh well, I hope this helps somebody else, although by now I think everyone has heard about this scam or other variations of it.
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  #47  
Old 04-29-2006, 12:31 AM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Here's another Ebay scam mail, text and screen capture, so watch out for these, this is the second one Ive rec'd recently. The biggest flags are my name is not included even though it says it IS, then there's the bad writing skills, and then there are NO details such as WHAT item he is inquiring about. Lastly the header and the "respond to" address are bogus, Ebay doesn't sent mail thru Russia, and ebay's web site doesn't use an ip number in their mailing urls like this in part;

ttp://212.5.79.133/signin.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll

The ip in that is
212.5.79.133 = [ u005.alta.psiline.ru ]Everything else down to the inline images, paypal button etc were stolen off the real site.
Lastly, I looked for this "hankwan" who in the email showed "member since bla bla and such and such feedback rating- came up "no such user"
(should be "No such LOSER") I munged the urls so they wont link;

=================
From: "eBay Member: hankwan" <member@ebay.com>
Subject: Message from eBay Member

eBay sent this message from Jack Holland (hankwan).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.
ttp://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/confidence/name-userid-emails.html Learn more.
Question from eBay Member -- Respond Now

eBay sent this message on behalf of an eBay member via My Messages. Responses sent using email will not reach the eBay member. Use the Respond Now button below to respond to this message.

Question from hankwan
Activity with wireless-usa (last 90 days): - I have bid on 0 items from hankwan

hankwan ( ttp://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=hankwan 137 ) Positive Feedback: 96.0% Member Since: Sep-02-04 Location: NY, United States Registered On: www.ebay.com

Hi,
I was wondering if your item is still available for sale.I`m very interested to buy it.
Please advice me where are you located(the exactly address) and also what payment option do you want for it.
I hope to hear from you as soon as possible so we can go ahead with the transaction.
Thank you!

Respond to this question in My Messages.

(URL MUNGED SO IT WONT MAKE A WIDE WINDOW

ttp://212.5.79.133/signin.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll%3fSignIn&

co_partnerId=2&pUserId=&siteid=0&pageType=&pa1=&i1 =&bshowgif=&

UsingSSL=&ru=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.com&pp=&p a2=&

errmsg=&runame=&ruparams=&ruproduct=&sid=&favorite nav=&

migrateVisitor=1/sig


Last edited by Landseer : 04-29-2006 at 12:35 AM.
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  #48  
Old 04-29-2006, 01:05 AM
fused fused is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Hey Studioinde, I too thought everyone was wise to this kind of scam and then a few weeks ago a guy who works for the company across the street from me got nailed with the same bogus check scheme.

He has never sold anything on the web and had a classic motor vehicle that he decided to sell at AOL. When he received the check he took it to the the bank, WELLS FARGO BANK. He proceeded to tell the bank teller what he was doing and where the check came from and asked them if the checks were ok. She said no problem and deposited them. He waited 2 weeks for them to clear and figured everything was ok.

Then his house payment bounced, his truck payment bounced, his utilities and everything else bounced. When he called WELLS FARGO BANK to find out what was going on they asked him to come in and see them. When he got there he discovered that WELLS FARGO BANK had removed $6,000 from his account without notifying him and that money wasn't part of the scammers check. The bank manager threatened to press charges against him and offered no help or suggestions as to what he could do about it. The police claimed they were unable to do anything either as it was "out of their jurisdiction," even though the scammer had an accomplice within the state who had Fed-Exed cashiers checks to him and was supposed to come pick up the purchased vehicle.

This isn't over.... but he is out $6k so far.

When he started to tell me the story a few weeks ago, I already knew where it was going.
Very sad for him and his family, it will take him a long time to recover from this fraud.
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  #49  
Old 04-29-2006, 12:44 PM
ilona ilona is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

I sold a piece once to someone in Europe, and he paid with western union. It does cost a bit extra, but the security is nice.

I paid the shipping on it because it was a small piece. I think that receiving a check from a client is fine though, as long as they know you are going to make sure it clears (at a legitimate bank!) before you send them anything.

Thanks so much for sharing this information, I am glad to know to watch out for these scams.
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:45 AM
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MountainSong MountainSong is offline
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Re: Beware of sculpture scams!

Edited out what I was going to say because it was a duplicate of Buster’s post.

There’s absolutely no recourse if you fall for the scam. The FBI/CIA/Interpool aren’t tracking the guys down because there’s so much of it going on that’s that’s all they’d be doing, plus when it originates out of your country of origin there's not much that can be done and your bank is not responsible for you trying to cash a hot check or money order. So if you fall for the scam your just out the dough and maybe even liable for trying to cash a fake whatever depending on the laws of your country. Odds are no one is ever going to actually pick up the art though because that was never the point – the point is to get you to send them real money in exchange for fake money.


This woman has a site set up just for busting these guys. She has a lot of fun with them first. Pretty entertaining reading and gives you a good feel for all the different variations of the scam so that you can spot a real buyer easier and not miss them among the run of the mill scammers:

http://www.bustedupcowgirl.com/scampage.html
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Last edited by MountainSong : 04-30-2006 at 05:06 AM.
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