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Beware the Art Scam

theft of Mona Lisa


Stay savvy my artist friends! There are a few scammers out there who target artists via email. Knowledge is your weapon though so here are some tidbits and a link to examples of scam emails that will keep you on your toes in case someone tries to pull a fast one on you.

I haven't come across any of these scams personally but was grateful to have the opportunity to read through the examples so that I can be better prepared. You can read all of the scam emails at which is a website whose mandate is to help protect artists from art scams by sharing them with the public.

According to the first email will seem like it's possibly a legitimate inquiry to purchase your work. Often they might mention that they are moving or live out of the country and they may ask you to ship somewhere remote.

The goal of these scammers is to either get your money, steal your artwork or validate your email address so that they can sell it to others who might spam you.


thief on a computer


There are a few earmarks that you can look for in your communication with someone who is up to this typical form of scam.

One thing that they seem to often have in common is poor grammar and spelling. Also, during email correspondance with a scammer they may mention that they are moving or live out of the country and are dealing with a second party like a mover or agent. They say they will have to send you more money than is owed for the purchase of the artworks. This how they get the money because they then ask you to send the difference between the cost of the paintings and what they say they are going to send you back to them. They may even send you a fraudulent cheque or offer to pay you with a stolen credit card number.

If you feel uncertain- try googling their name or try to look up their IP address of their computer and see if matches where they say they are. But above all trust your gut!


Image source [1]

Image source [2]

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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