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Not sure if this is a scam or not. Need advice before proceeding

Someone contacted me through my website email address, not through a DP email. He said his name was Jackson Banks, that he was from California and asked if one of my paintings was available for sale, as a surprise gift to his wife who liked my work. He said he had caught her admiring the painting several times on my website.

He asked if he could pay by check. I told him the price of the painting I had available and said that I normally only take PayPal, but if he paid by check I would either cash it immediately if it were drawn on a bank that had a branch in my city, or that there would be a 10 day bank hold placed on it before I could send the painting.

He replied back the next day to tell me:

*He was fine with the price

*His wife controlled the “family” bank account/credit cards/PayPal accounts so he didn’t want to go through that

*He said he and the wife were moving to Canada very soon and he wanted to get the painting before their fast approaching anniversary before they moved

*He said he would “authorize” a check to me as soon as he had my “full name and contact address (preferably for FedEx Delivery, no P.O. Box)” - my full name is on my website…

*He added “As soon as you receive the check and it clears your bank, my shipping agent who is also moving my truck and personal effect will contact you to arrange shipping/pick up of the piece from you (this is to avoid my wife receiving it, if been shipped directly to my address would ruin the surprise for this event), You both have to sign proof of pick up at the most.” His exact words

*And then he said “I would have handled this much differently if I’d been at home but at the moment, am on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean, (I’m an ocean engineer) with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won’t be back for another couple of weeks, and do not have access to a lot of cash over here to expedite this transaction. So trying to kill two birds with a stone.” Also his exact words.

*Then he added a “P.S. In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your cell phone number so I can reach you when am free.”

So far, I only emailed him back asking if the check was going to be drawn on a US bank. That was 10 minutes ago and have not heard back, yet.

Scam or just a really complicated buy? I know buyers can get my full name and address and phone number through a PayPal transaction, even from a business card. This email just sounds odd. It doesn’t send off all the obvious scammer alarms, but it still is…ODD.

Anyone’s insight would be greatly appreciated.

It sure sounds like a scam to me. Too many moving parts!

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What David said. Way too much information.

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yep, and when I googled “jackson banks engineer” he showed up as the new name for an old scam. So, no dice! Thanks, guys!

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I had a similar “oceanographer”, I want to buy a surprise gift for so and so. I vote SCAM!

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It’s way too complicated. It is definitely a scam. You instincts are telling you the right thing. I’m guessing you might really want the sale but it has too many questionable points. It is such a fantastic story I might write a book! I vote SCAM.

Definite scam! This same shipping agent rip-off theme has been circulating around online for nearly a decade now. I guess it was just a matter of time till it reached here. Too bad. Anyway don’t get cheated or discouraged there are plenty of honest people that are interested collecting art.

If things sound too complicated to me, I usually just say to myself, ‘Forget it!’. I don’t even want to take a chance even if it slightly sounds suspicious.

This is a scam, and it doesn’t just occur on DPW or artists’ sites. We once encountered a guy who “worked on an oil rig and wanted to send a friend” to purchase a car we were selling. David is right; this is way too complicated a story, probably intended to misdirect your suspicions by overloading you with detail. Important thing is you followed your intuition and checked!

I received an similar email last year. It is a scam. I received an check which was far more than the price for the picture. The person wrote the his bookkeeping agent made a terrible mistake and asked me to accept the check and return him the money which was to much! I talked to my bank and they told not to accept the check.
Best regards
Eva

Oh I just got one of these emails! ha ha ha. Yeah… I was born yesterday. :sweat_smile:

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I received an almost identical request, which I thought was suspicious that I have been emailing back and forth with. Then I got a similar one from someone else yesterday then I was sure it was a scam. Now I read your post and really am sure. The last email said the check was on it’s way and has a tracking number which I looked up and the check is on its way. Glad I found your post.

thanks, Betty

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I guarantee that’s a scam. I’ve gotten dozens of the very same thing. When I tell them to buy through one of my online galleries, they disappear. Big red flag when they say they are looking at your work but want you to send pix.
This is the beauty of DPW and online galleries: the money is handled properly with no risk to the artist.

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Definitely a scam, it fits the pattern.

Asks about gift for wife, makes the transaction very complex when it could be simple, wants to pay by check, tries to change the terms of the transaction (it’s your biz, you set the terms), wants phone number which he doesn’t need in order to make a purchase, mentions his shipping agent (for some strange reason, when buyers contact me it’s only the scammers who have a shipping agent).

Glad you didn’t take him up on it!

Re. complicated buy, the most complicated buy I ever had was someone who paid for it and asked me to ship it a couple months later. Also I’ve let a couple folks pay out monthly but these were people I’d known a long time.

Now they are using Instagram. I usually post my new paintings on Instagram and then here on DailyPaintworks. I received a direct message from Instagram from NancyRussel_63 asking me to please DM her the price of one of my more expensive paintings. After I sent her the price and instructions to use my DailyPaintworks gallery, she replied that it sounded good to her, but it was a surprise for her husband and she had to pay me by check. I was puzzled by this, but sent her my address. She immediately replied and said she wanted my phone number. Her grammar was pretty good, but a little off and I realized that this was a scam. I stopped replying to her and she immediately DMed me again and said “where are you?” I need to this ASAP! I ignored her after that.