Art Email Scams – My Experience

Hi everybody,

after receiving for the third time a “scammy” email, I needed to write something about it, hoping that this will help other artists that came across this annoying experience.

Vintage picture of a group of women manipulated with washi tape and paper. Faces are all covered with colored tape.

Battle Royale.

I received just one email per year, the 16th of February 2014, the 5th of June 2015 and another one today, 24th of February 2016. The emails are different and have different senders names, but the content is pretty much the same:

“Do you still have – name of the artwork – available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon”. 

In all three cases the email object was the title of the artwork, so it was pretty easy to recognize that was a scam almost immediately. Now, all my works are on sale through official websites as Saatchi or Etsy for example, so to me it doesn’t have any sense to be contacted privately for asking to purchase them.

If this is not your case, I highly recommend you to google the email received and the name of the sender. Then it will be easy to identify them, because they send several emails to different artists within the same days, and internet is a precious source of information, especially when we are dealing with these kind of people.

I will write below the email and the sender names of the scammers, so you can be aware once you will receive the same email. I would love to update this list, just to put everything in one place and eventually create a good source for other artists. Please share your experience, the suspicious emails received and if you want, write down on a comment the email sender name, email address and content.

I will be more than happy to create a list of scammers through this post.

Update – 30 June 2016

Another of these scammers wrote on my blog with a public comment (not really smart).

Here it is the message:

My name is Jason Cloud from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and best regards,

Making a quick search on Google it seems that the EXACT message (the guy is an idiot) was sent to another person from Mike Evans and Chana Cohen.

Just stay alert because they periodically send the same shit to all their contacts. Please keep me updated.

Update – 7 December 2016

A new email scam is arrived, this time through my Tictail shop:

Hello Seller,

I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item which payment will be made to you via PayPal. I will like you to get back to me with you reply via my email address below, so that we can talk more better. (jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com)

Reply back to: jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

Thanks.

If you own a Tictail shop too, just be aware that this scammer is operating there. I also received an official email from Tictail warning to not trust this account.

Art Email Scams List

Jason Cloud – jasoncloud2424@gmail.com

Mike Evans – mikee2230@gmail.com

Peter Adams – petadams@live.com

Milton Fred – milfred001@live.com

Debbie Martins – debmart001@outlook.com

James Johnson – jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

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86 thoughts on “Art Email Scams – My Experience

  1. To good to be true, ordering an artwork by email without giving more personal details. I’ll be warned for a “next time”
    I wonder why people behave like that. Is it a sport, bullying serious artists????

    • Hi Boudewijn,
      sorry to hear that but at least you found this post. Unfortunately this is a common scam email and a lot of artists were tricked in the past.
      Feel free to spread the word to many artists as possibile, this is the only way we can help each other.
      Thanks for your comment!

      • Same thing to me. Glad I founc this site to warn other artists…..My name is Petr Jackson from Jacksonville, Florida. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

      • Thanks for that post here is another scammer :Counterfeit check sent to me :
        olay johnson
        11/21/16

        to me
        Hello,

        Do you have artworks for sale? Kindly get back to me .

        Regards.

  2. Hello, I also received an email from “Debbie Martins”, and it was the exact same email as you wrote in your blog post. Thank you for confirming my thoughts about being fake… This was too good to be true.
    But still I wonder: what would she\he have done if I did sent my paypal account? Do you know?

    • Hi Vera, I am happy that you found this post and thanks for your comment. Luckily I never had to deal with these scammers, so I really don’t know how they steal money. I just hope that this message will reach as many people as possibile to avoid this. Thanks again and please spread the word!

    • Do you still have The Don’t bend, don’t break, don’t back 1 available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

      • Hi Robert, yes the messages look pretty the same. Sometimes they just change the sender name and email. If we can share all the info that we have we can prevent this scam to other artists. Thanks for your comment!

      • Here’s what “Mike Evans from Washington, DC” wrote to me on Monday, August 22 from :

        “My name is Mike Evans from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.”

  3. Someone can explain what the matter… I received same email, I didn’t know what’s scam, and I’m on wire with them. But I don’t have a clue how can they fool us… Share your experience, please. What are they doing?

  4. Thanks for posting…. I received the same from our friend Debbie

    Do you still have “The ##” available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon”

  5. I just got the same kind of email so I can tell you what he tried to do – thankfully it didn’t work and I didn’t get scammed because it was all too ridiculous. The guy wanted to buy art totaling $650 and said he was sending a check – seemed normal enough. When the check arrived it was for $5000, looked fake (no legible name on it), and the guy came up with a crazy story about having a personal mover who would pick up the work as part of some larger move. He wanted me to deposit the check and when it cleared, wire the balance of over $4000 to the shipper. It was obvious that it was a scam and the check must have been a fake.

    • Omg, the same thing is happening to me right now. I normally do not sell work out of the studio, but the idea of the anniversary gift was touching and seemed legit. However, as my assistant queried further. This guy: warrendave10@gmail.com – claimed that he was in the middle of a move to the Philippines and that he didn’t want to spool the surprise for his wife and thanked me for understanding his situation.Then, he said he would make the check for extra so I could pay his shipper money and that the check was coming from one of his clients instead of him because he didn’t have cash…ding ding ding. What collector is willing to pay 2000 for a piece and he is strapped for cash. This is highly unusual and I don’t have time for this. I asked for more explicit information and he became abrupt and less grateful in his tone. So, I googled again and found this blog with his email. I had googled before and seen a collector that was similar so had dismissed it. Now he claims to have sent the check to arrive on Monday. I will not accept this mail and I will report him.

      • Hi Symone,
        glad you reached this blog.
        Even they change name and email, it seems that they are behaving in the same way, trying to steal money with this awful scam technique.
        I truly hope that other artists will be able to avoid to be fooled by these assholes.
        Thanks for your comment too.
        Cheers.

      • Same thing to me. Glad I founc this site to warn other artists…..My name is Petr Jackson from Jacksonville, Florida. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this, same story here-also the check story is similar to another that happened last year. They sent me a check for $6000, and wanted me to send $2500 to their “decorator”. I called the bank that the check was written on and it was verified to be fake.

  7. Thanks for putting this up! I received an email from “Mike Evans in Washington, DC” and another one from a “Richard,” both this week. I don’t have time to go into all the details now, but I’ll be back to do that.

  8. Reblogged this on Robert Pennekamp and commented:
    indeed i got an email scam also of Debbie Martins Do you still have The Don’t bend, don’t break, don’t back 1 available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon, thnx for the blog tips, so It’s an art scammer,

  9. Pingback: Art Scam - ROBERT PENNEKAMP

  10. Here’s what “Mike Evans from Washington DC” wrote to me on Monday, August 22. His email address is mikee2230[at]gmail[dot]com

    “My name is Mike Evans from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.”

    My brother-in-law located this site and spared me a lot of trouble.

  11. Thanks for posting these… I received the following message today:

    billjack2230@gmail.com
    My name is bill Jack from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Bill

  12. Thanks for posting these… I received the following message today:

    Hello Seller,
    I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item which payment will be made to you via PayPal. I will like you to get back to me with you reply via my email address below, so that we can talk more better. (jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com)

    Reply back to: jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

    Thanks.

  13. Just found that on my dawanda messages and didnt feel confortable, searched on google and found your writing. Thank you, I could have a problem with paypal which really I dont need.

    ” Hello Seller,
    I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item which payment will be made to you via PayPal. I will like you to get back to me with you reply via my email address below, so that we can talk more better. (jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com)

    Reply back to: jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

    Thanks.”

  14. Yup, I receive one of those every month or so. The latest came in today under the name of “Petr Jackson” (petrjackson1@gmail.com), same message as always, although this time they actually took the time to fill in my website contact form, it was not from a mailing list, so be extra cautious guys!

    “My name is Petr Jackson from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale. Best Regards, Petr.”

    Thanks for keeping this post up to date and hoping it will help other artists!

  15. Just got this today! Sounds like Petr Jackson has been busy.

    My name is Petr Jackson from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

    Best Regards,
    Petr.

      • I think you are probably right… but a lucky imaginary wife is better than none! Really appreciate you posting this article ; the email was so badly written I had doubts but it’s good to get some confirmation too. Is there any way to report this guy because he’s clearly been active for years…

      • You are welcome! I am truly happy to know that this post was so useful to many artists, scam is just annoying! I am not informed on how to report these emails, because from what I can see they periodically change their contacts, emails and also their way to approach to people for their scams. Maybe there is a way to report to the postal police?

  16. Thanks for this. I just got the identical message from Petr Jackson in Jacksonville, FL. It looked scammy, so I searched on google and your post came up. I appreciate it! Thanks

  17. Thank you all for this post, allways trust your gut, thats why after receiving the petr jacson from Jacksonville Florida email… sounded fishy to me so I decided to look it up.

  18. WOW. I cannot thank you enough for this. I received the same email from a Petr Jackson (petrjackson1@gmail.com) this week. His first message seemed a bit cold, made me think of a spam for sure:

    “My name is Petr Jackson from Jacksonville, Florida. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.
    Best Regards,”

    I answered, and he replied:

    “Thanks for getting back to me Sophie, I love the attached photograph of Pitbull with roses you sent me, How long can you get me this? Kindly get back to me with more info and pricing. I will be waiting to read from you.
    Petr.”

    — I had a weird feeling and decided to google his email address, which is listed in this blog. THANK YOU for this. We artists have to look out for each other, and I am grateful for this. I won’t waste my time with this poor excuse of a human being.

    It just baffles me the extents to which some people go, to steal and scam. Just wow.

    Thank you!

  19. I was initially contacted through my personal website contact form. So glad I googled his name before giving any personal info!!!

    Dear Amy,
    Thanks for the message, I must tell you I intend to give my wife a surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece. Also If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to Ireland soon and our wedding anniversary is fast approaching. So I’m trying to gather some good stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying The “Calm Sunset” acrylic painting on canvas, Size is 36″ across and 30″ high, art piece as a gift to her. (I would prefer if the painting is framed, Can you help me with this? Let me know the total amount if you can work on the frame). Let me know the last firm price you are selling this to me, I think it’s worth it anyway, so I’ll be sending a check.

    As regarding shipping, you don’t have to worry about that in order not to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.

    I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I’m an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won’t be back for another couple of weeks.
    Regards,
    Petr.

    PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address (preferably for FedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

    First Message was:
    My name is Petr Jackson from Jacksonville, Florida. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

    His email is: petrjackson1@gmail.com

  20. However, I have sold artwork through the contact form on the website with no problem at all in the past!! He liked a certain piece, asked if it was available and if I would ship it, and then promptly deposited the price into my Paypal account. If I had read this blog before that, I would have been wary. Not every contact will be a scam, remember!

    • Hi Amy,
      thanks a lot for your detailed comment.
      Let’s hope that more artists will google this email and find this blog.
      I believe that many artists are contacted through their personal websites from clients, but in my case was not quite right. I rely on online galleries, so they don’t have to contact me before a purchase.
      As I wrote in my original post, most of the time scam emails are pretty similar (if not identical), they just change the email and the sender name.
      I suggest to all the artists that are selling by their own, to double check if these emails are genuine and come from a real person (or at least from a person who has an online presence of some sort).
      Thanks again for your contribute!

  21. Thank you for this post – I received the same exact message from “Mike Evans” yesterday: “My name is Mike Evans from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.” Not knowing the deal, I responded with some info about available work. We emailed back and forth until my dealer alerted me to the scam. So bizarre – from some googling it sounds like this scam has been going on for years!

  22. Add “Allen Nakachi” to the list! Got this today. (Weirdly, the email address leads to a super-strange website in Tiruchirappall, a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.)

    J. C
    7:09 AM (2 hours ago)

    to bcc: info
    Hi there,

    I came across your contact online (Artwork Artist link). Please I am interested in getting my darling wife one of your piece of work as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. It would be nice if you email to me some images of your available work within these price range $500-$5000 ready for immediate purchase or kindly send your main website so as to explore more into your works.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Allen Nakachi.

  23. I am so grateful for your blog about this. Just yesterday, I received an email from Petr Jackson. It didn’t immediately raise red flags for me because last year, I made a real sale to a real person who reached out to me “out of the blue” to purchase something from my website (that real person was also from Florida, and I am in California). However, “Petr Jackson”‘s reply back to me moments ago, after I emailed him a catalogue, was very suspicious. So I immediately Googled the name and email address petrjackson1@gmail.com and ta da! Your blog came right up. Here is his first email to me–a match to those above : My name is Petr Jackson from Jacksonville, Florida. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale. For the record, the follow-up email was almost an exact match to what Amy posted–and lots of red flags in that one!

  24. I noticed this blog entry was posted on February 24th 2016 and I can tell you that the information above stills holds true as on March 9th 2017 I received the same kind of email. Yes I had heed the warning signs and googled the so called billjack2230@gmail.com first and thus I found this blog. As a Thanks in airing and sharing this information, I wanted my fellow artists of the world to know that it may be 2017, but these such scams have not gone away. Beware of the vultures, they are out there!

  25. I’m glad I searched the email address because I found it in the replies here. I also received the same exact email from petrjackson1@gmail.com. I will say I was skeptical when I read the words “for immediate purchase” and the English was little “strange” which isn’t always an indicator but it can be sometimes. Thank you for putting this together it was very helpful. I will share on my Facebook and art Facebook pages.

    Best,

    Cassy

  26. I hate these scammers. Get emails from them in batches of around 3 or 4 once a year. My latest one is a variation on one you have listed here…

    ‘Mike Evans’ from Washington wanting art for his 20th wedding anniversary NOW lives Arkansas, has changed his name to ‘Mark Johnson’, and it’s his 15th wedding anniversary. – Sent from ablegod0110@outlook.com

    I have also received the following email several times, each time from a different sender & email. This is the most recent:

    “Greetings,
    My name is Walker Dora from Oregon.. 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.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales..
    Thanks and best regards..” – walkerdor4@gmail.com

  27. Scammer’s email: billjack2230@gmail.com
    He wrote:

    My name is bill Jack from Washington . I was looking for sales online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about what am buying in your inventory

    Thanks and best regards,

    Bill

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