This is about a lesson learned about an internet scam I experienced this week….
It started when an email came through from my website from a Theo Schwartz ( email address: firstname.lastname@example.org ). He purported to come from Hamburg in Germany and wanted to buy two paintings. He said that he had a number of items to transport from the UK to Germany and would pay for the items ( we agreed a sum ) then arrange collection from my home.
I sent him a Paypal invoice for the paintings ( easy to do from a Paypal business account ) but he insisted paying cheque through his business account. When the cheque arrived it was for the equivalent of £2850 ( 3306 euros) and when I emailed him to say it was too much ( over £2000 too much!!) he insisted that I deposit it, wait until it had been through the negotiation process with the bank then his courier would collect the paintings…..
I was still very concerned about having someone else’s money in my bank account and my bank agreed with me so I did not deposit the cheque, instead emailed “Theo” requesting that he pay for the paintings through PayPal and send him a photo of the cheque being destroyed…..I have heard nothing from him since…..
Now comes the important part – I have since heard that this is a very elaborate scam. If I had deposited the cheque, it would have cleared the bank negotiations in 1 to 6 weeks and I would have sent the paintings off ( or they would have been collected ) Then either the cheque would have bounced or “Theo” might have requested I purchase something else for him or any number of possibilities.
Lesson to learn – if your buyer pays in advance with a large cheque assume it is a scam. Only accept enough money to cover the cost of the item and postage, no more….Hope this saves a lot of heartache.
Please spread the word!
This is the article written for the local press…..the photo below is from the 2015 event….
H-art is a county wide open studio event, paid for by individual artisans & creative businesses. This is H-art’s 15th art trail with 97 venues and over 250 artists scattered across the county and each venue can be found by following their pink “H-art” signs. In Wigmore you will see such signs taking you to the open house exhibition of Ivan Jones Pastel Artist in Bury Court Park. Ivan is open every day during H-art week between 10 am and 5 pm and entry is free. You are warmly welcome to pop in anytime to enjoy Ivan’s detailed pastel artwork, as well as wander around his wife’s beautiful garden which is open for the NGS on Sunday September 18th. Ivan’s exhibition will also be open for visitors in the evenings by appointment only on 01568 770808. You can find out more at www.h-art.org.uk or www.ivanjonesart.co.uk
I was very pleased to receive notification of the sale of the black impala through the art sale website Artfinder.com It is the second piece of pastel artwork I have sold through this site and they deal with all the payments so that is good news, though they do take commission. The new owner lives in London and spent many years in South Africa so it should bring back good memories……