The Big Art Shipping Scam

Scott Naismith blog 4 Comments

It seems the scammers have found me again!!
Tip for artists: DO NOT ACCEPT Cheque. Don’t even think that if you wait till the money turns up in your bank account and the cheque appears as though it has cleared that you’re safe… YOU’RE NOT! It can take about 3 weeks for the bank to realize it’s bogus, and by that time the scammer has got you to refund all or part of the cash for some inflated shipping payment or just because they’ve changed their mind. 

The scam isn’t to get your paintings or artwork or product, they want your money. They will flatter you with badly translated complements about your work but they have no intention of even scamming it from you. 
I’d be flattered if a scum bag thought it was worth risking their freedom to own one of my paintings, but sadly criminals these days just don’t have any taste!

I was immediately alerted to this latest scam thanks to a rather amusing blog from Edinburgh based artist Trevor Jones who had documented his encounters of the same art scam. This blog will be out there to warn artists that Paypal is your best friend! Insist your customer uses it, it’s very safe. Other than that, pass the customer to a gallery who shows your work who will be able to take payment by credit card.

Here’s the series of emails I received and my replies:

 Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 19:12:22 +0100
Subject: Inquiry about your work


Good day,

The images on your website are so fascinating and so vivacious,looking
at each piece of work i can easily see that you added so much
dedication in making each work come out to life, unfortunately i lost
the website where i first saw your work but i was able to save your
email address.

I am writing you because i need your assistant to get back to
your website so as to beable to retrieve the details of your work that
interest men or send me images of some of your new works.

– On Wed, 6/20/12, Scott Naismith> wrote:

From: Scott Naismith
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 1:10>

Hi Walter,

Many thanks for your kind words. The website you were on must have been:
Their are lots of links to see my work elsewhere from there, but I do recommend viewing my youtube channel where you can see the paintings being painted in the studio:
Don’t worry if you get lost, I come up lots on search engines.
Best wiishes

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:05:24 -0700
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work

All your works are beautiful Can you get back to me with there cost prices…

— On Sat, 6/23/12, Scott Naismith> wrote:

From: Scott Naismith
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012, 4:52>

Hi Walter,

My prices are based on size:
20 x 20cm: £450
30 x 30cm: £595
40 x 40cm: £795
50 x 50cm: £1050
60 x 60cm: £1300
80 x 80cm: £2100
90 x 90cm: £2450
100 x 100cm: £2900
Landscape Sizes
30 x 60cm: £850
40 x 80cm: £1300
60 x 90cm: £1900
You could also look me up on to see available work.
There is also a list of gallery dealers on the following page of my website!about/component_14104

many thanks

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:17:52 -0700
Subject: RE: Inquiry about your work

Dear Scott,

I keep wondering how much time and effort you devoted into your work to make the following piece a one of a kind and as i can see from the images you sent to me your work as a pleasant and a suiting feeling and am so sure it will bring comfort and happiness into my home and to those that view it. I will be purchasing the following piece listed below

Landscape Sizes
30 x 60cm: £850

30 x 30cm: £595
40 x 40cm: £795

Payment for those piece will be made by UK bank cheque and the  money can be withdraw from my account i will be sending £4,300 to cover the cost of the piece and shipping of the artwork i also still have some things to be moved by the mover to me in Denmark.
I feel it will be will be better if the shippers picking up the my stuffs can come pick up the artwork from you so as to save time and money.
I would inform the movers about it after have heard from you.They will just come over to your area to pick-up the artwork and then have them delivered to me before i can write out the cheque i  will be needing your contact details and phone number to write and send the cheque to you.The address written below can be use to prepare the receipt of invoice for the artwork.

My address
Kastanievej 19


AND FINALLY this was my response shortly afterward:

 Hi Walter,
I would need to know the titles of the pieces you are interested in. Also your estimate of shipping costs is massive, I would be able to organize shipping for you at a far cheaper rate. If you are keen to use your own carrier then I would insist that the payment would need to be made directly from you. Unfortunately I do not accept payment by cheque but would be happy to accept paypal or most credit cards are fine.
Many thanks
NEEDLESS TO SAY I have not heard from him since! The scam here is to get you to forward a large payment to his shipper / carrier before you realize his cheque is rubber. As far as I know, the bank would allow you to spend the money in the few weeks it might take for them to discover the cheque was bogus and the bank reclaim the funds from your account. So even if any artists out there suspect a scam but think your ok because it shows up on your bank balance… THINK AGAIN. 
Don’t accept a cheque at all! If you REALLY have to, then state in advance that no shipper will be paid and no refund offered until a minimum of 30 days.
It seems in these difficult economic times there are more people caught by these bar stewards, so I hope you find this blog before you’re SCAMMED!

Comments 4

  1. The first email would set off alarm bells that it was a scam, phoney request.
    It was just blah, blah, blah and in poor english…oh, and I lost your website address…
    And all the subsequent emails from Walter were so stupid anyone would trash them.
    Artists are sometimes a bit too vain (oooh, someone likes my art) and desperate (finally I will sell something via the internet!) that the can’s see the scam from the spam.

  2. Spot on Shirly. However I frequently get emails from overseas due to my videos hitting all kinds of countries. I also get emails from plenty technophobes who don’t just search google. So only in hindsight did I see it for something other than a timewaster!

  3. Hey I nearly got taken in by this Bstrd! Calling himself Alberto Durrenmatt…. using the same words and flattery!

    Thank you so much for this blogg!


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