I've received a good number of these emails over the years, so I thought I would share a recent one in case any of you haven't heard of this scam. Here's the initial email.
Am interested in your Artwork I saw in your website, The work am talking about is below....
Bring Forth the Tides of Night 2012 Oil on Wood Panel 30" x 30"
Please email me the details of the work if they are still available and their price you want to sale them.
I will be expecting your reply,
First of all, all the details of the work are in what she copied and pasted off my website, and there is a price for the piece on my website. Also, the "I will be expecting your reply." is a pretty much a dead give away that it's a scam. For some reason they feel like they should create this air of urgency on the transaction, but all it should do is create a red flag. At this point I know I'm dealing with assholery... but just in case I send an email back.
It's still available. It's $3500. It would ship from the US. $40 for domestic and $100 for International
What else do you need to know?
-Short and wasting as little of my time as possible because I know what's coming.
Thank you for the Information about the Artwork and am happy to read back from you.
Regarding the Payment Am not using PayPal due to my past experience on PayPal, I will issue you a Check it might be a cashier or Bank Draft, "according to the advised given to me by my Bank" I will inform you as soon as the Check is been sent out from my office here in Glasgow Scotland.
I will need your information to process the Check. We may also speak on Skype if you wouldn't mind in other to discuss about the transaction verbally and for you to be able to know more about me.
Name on Check:
Also i want you to know that i will appoint a secured shipping company that will come for the pickup of the pieces in your destination. The shipping fees will be added to your payment.
So I guess a guaranteed secured shipper will be preferably considered and appoint for the pickup.
Am on Skype as: hollyfriedman, or call me on 447024073077 for any question concerning my purchase
Annnnnnd there it is. It will be a check coming from Scotland and she has her OWN "secure shipping company" that will pick the piece up. Well that's convenient! As soon as the personal and secure shipping company pops up, you know someone is trying to rip you off.
So if I continued with this, a couple things could happen. I would receive a check that was double or triple the amount I asked for, and I would be asked to send the remainder back with the "secured shipping company."
Or the check would be a few hundred dollars more, and a personal tragedy or financial crisis would occur before the "secure shipping company" had a chance to pick up the piece. They would then ask you to refund the money straight away to deal with this terrible, terrible tragedy. Either way, the check would be bogus and your bank would take that money out of your ass. Instead of getting thousands you get shorted thousands. That's a raw deal.
Even though it's happened before, having someone trying to pull one over on me pisses me off. I thought of some mean spirited things to do, but I just ended up having some fun with them.
Great! I'm so glad you're interested in my piece. I've been hoping and praying to sell this piece so I could finally afford the double bi-pass surgery for my sick Iguana, Chaka Khan.
I don't accept checks, I only accept gold ingots or ammunition. Preferably 9mm Luger, .45 ACP and 5.56 x 45mm NATO.
As for shipping, I actually have my own shipping service so no need to worry about that. My friend, Dan, is an avid outdoorsman, sailor and mountain biker. He always delivers everything for me and has never failed me. It might take him a while to get to Scotland since he insists on using a one man skiff to cross the ocean. Then once he gets to Scotland, he will hike and bike his way through the Scottish highlands to find you and deliver this precious, lovely artwork to your doorstep. Dan will probably be pretty starved and exhausted by this point, so would you be able to feed him and let him crash on your couch for a few days? He'll need to regain some energy for the long trip back to the States. And if it isn't too much of a hassle, could you show him the place where William Wallace was executed, and where the Battle of Falkirk was fought? He's a huge fan of that movie... and don't be surprised if he yells, "FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!"
Please let me know as soon as possible. I told Chaka Khan about this sale and he is very excited and hopeful. I haven't seen him this heartened in years, but he is very ill so please hurry.
Also, I've informed Dan of the job, and he is getting geared up for the trip across the Atlantic.
I will be expecting your reply,
-I am still waiting for a reply. Hold on Chaka Khan!!!
It looks like Holly sent the same email to my brother, Ben. Here is his response.
Thanks you so much for the interest in my artwork. You copied and pasted some of my most personal works to date. Unfortunately I donated all of my artwork to help out my brother's iguana Chaka Khan so I have nothing available.
But I hear you are going to purchase a painting off of my brother Andy. This is such a blessing! Little Chaka may just pull through with that sale and I may be able to afford to make more art.
Here's a picture of Chaka… he's really pepped up since learning of his imminent life-saving surgery:
We plan on re-naming his aquarium on your honor. It shall henceforth be called "The Holly Freidman Life Giving Aquarium".
Is there any way I could get a picture of you? I know a master sculptor that works in bronze… it was would be amazing to have a miniature statue of you in the aquarium. I am certain that you are a beautiful person… I just hope he can capture your inner beauty. This will probably be the greatest test of his lifelong passion and skill.
Thank you again and God bless!