Art Scams
Find Out About the Latest Art Scams


Here is a message that an ArtSites artist got this morning:

Am interested in your artworks because am an art lover, am so excited to search through your artworks online, it really attract my attention and am willing to purchase from you directly. I would appreciate your response for availability with total cost. cashier cheque payment will be issued upon your name before my shipping company come over for pickup.

This one has several really big red flags:

  • Focus on payment and shipping long before there is any conversation about the specific art to purchase
  • Wanting to use a "cashier cheque".  Many people think that these are good as cash but they can bounce and if they are drawn on a foreign bank, it can take as long as a month before you know it was bad.
  • The buyer wanting to use their own shipping company.  The scammer will likely ask to send you extra money in the cashier cheque and that you will pay their shipper via Western Union.  It seems unreasonable that you should be paying their shipper.  Also paying any shipper via Western Union is a bad idea.  Shippers usually have more reasonable and less risking ways of paying them.

So the basic scam is about you sending money to "the shipper" via Western Union after you think that you've been given a "good as cash" cheque.  That's when the scammer will disappear.