Artists paint magnificent paintings, draw spectacular scenes, and create some of the most amazing characters that many people love to admire and purchase. The general public is keen on buying an art piece here or there for their living room and has negotiated with artists at one point as to how much they want to spend on their art piece.
However, there are also people with bad intentions that admire artists’ work for the wrong reasons, they want the artist’s paycheck rather than the art they have created. Hence why scammers have come upon the art world to try and steal artists’ hard-earned money and in some cases even their artwork they worked so hard on.
How Are Scammers Able to Scam an Artist?
- They ask if they can give you non-traditional forms of payment. This could include money orders, wiring, or a cashier’s check. Traditional forms of payment would include using a credit card or paying with PayPal. Usually, if someone isn’t willing to pay with these two forms of payment, they either don’t want their payments getting tracked or they are sending you a bad check.
- They have bad grammar or will give vague details about what they are saying. If someone has a bunch of misspelled words, periods in the middle of their sentences, or you can’t understand what they are saying then it is probably best you avoid this buyer. They could also give you vague details about your piece like it’s pretty or beautiful without giving you detailed information as to why they loved your work. The excuses as to why they want your piece could be vague too, such as “I want to give this to my wife” or “I want this for my new home”.
- They ask you for personal information. These buyers should only care about your artwork that they want to purchase, not the address in which you reside. If they start prying for your financial information, address, name, SSN, etc. then I would block them immediately and wait for a legit buyer to purchase your work.
- They tell you that they need extra money to ship it to their country. They give you a fake check with the amount your painting costs plus an extra $3,000 so that you could supposedly give that to their personal shipper. If they give you more money than the piece is worth in the form of a check, it is most likely a scam.
- They pressure you to complete their purchase immediately. This is a tactic that scammers like to use so that you can’t think about if their offer is legit or not. If you think about it too much, then you’ll realize its a scam and will want to back out immediately. If a scammer is impatient regarding your decision, block them immediately and move on to the next buyer.
- The offer is “too good to be true”. If they are offering way more money than your piece is worth, chances are you aren’t going to be receiving that money. They want to strengthen their bait to reel you in, and then steal your money and possibly artwork with a false offer.
- Trust your gut. If you’re starting to feel like something isn’t right about this purchase, trust your intuition and move on to the next potential buyer. Nothing is worst than having your funds or artwork stolen from you that you worked so hard on.
How to Avoid Art Scams
- Reverse search with any given information. If a scammer has an email, picture of themselves, phone number, or name they gave you then you can reverse search it to make sure that they are who they say they are. If the reverse search can’t find any information on this person from what you gave it, then the person is probably a scammer.
- Don’t give out your personal information. If they as for any personal information regarding finances, SSN, or where you live then block them immediately and do not give that to them. If you have given anyone your personal information, make sure to file a report with the FTC and call the police immediately.
- Don’t accept paper checks or any non-traditional form of payment. Only accept credit/debit cards on your website, or if you are selling in person only accept cash. If someone hands you a paper check, do not accept this form of payment since this is how scammers get away with scamming their victims. If you cash a false check, then you’ll have to pay the difference of what was given to you.
- Do not open any attachments or links in your emails. If a buyer emails you a link to open for any reason, do not open it. There should be no reason as to why someone sends you a link when all they want to do is buy your art. They could easily go to your website and complete the purchase there if they are really interested in buying your work.
No sales pitches, no games, and one-click unsubscribe.