Oh my gosh I got such a chuckle reading these, as I’ve gotten the same “phishing” messages! (on my old website with Artspan; fortunately Artspan would “flag” the message warning the artist that it might be a scam).
Thanks for sharing, and I will share my experiences here too, and hopefully by doing so we can help our fellow artists avoid falling for these scams.
After getting a few, I noticed that many had the same story line, sent by different gentlemen (and yes I’m using that term sarcastically!)…
. ie “ I found my wife’s laptop open on your website so I know she likes your art and I want to get her an anniversary gift” blah blah blah…
Besides the repetitive storyline, there are usually a few other giveaways that this is NOT a legit purchasing inquiry:
•They don’t mention any particular painting by title, just a vague “your artworks.”
•They ask for a list of available paintings and prices (when that info is already plainly shown on my website — which, um, they had supposedly visited!)
•The language is stilted, and liberally sprinkled with grammatical errors (as many of you have noted)
•The insistence on paying by check, rather than using a secure payment system like PayPal.
With the first few “inquiries” I didn’t really know what was going on, but I knew they sounded they sounded “off.”
So, on one of them I replied asking which particular painting were they interested in ? No reply!
On another I replied that I only accept payment via PayPal since it is secure and protects both buyer & seller from scammers… No reply!
On another I figured I’d waste a bit of his time too, so I replied that I was confused () about the request for prices when they are clearly listed on my website, and was he perhaps trying to contact another artist??? Yep, no further reply!
After that I just began immediately erasing those messages as I had learned to spot them for what they were, and did not want to waste any more of my precious time replying to them.
Good luck everyone!