Artists - beware internet and email scams!

There are several scams targeted at artists at the moment. Here's a source of guidance to help artists avoid getting caught out. (Updated September 2014).

The latest one seems to come from an Australian email address... the supposed buyer arranges a cheque to pay you for items plus shipping. This is likely to be a stolen cheque from a large company.
The cheque clears, you then release the goods to their supposed shippers. Several days/weeks or possibly months later.... the company report money being drawn from their bank account, cheques discovered as stolen.
The company's bank then recalls the money from your bank account.  You are left with no money, no pictures and NO knowledge of where they have been taken
to by these supposed shippers.  IT’S A REAL SCAM.......Don’t get caught

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Several members have recently reported that a number of free advertising publications are targeting artists and craftspeople. From a cold call, you can find you have spent hundreds of pounds. Highly pressurising salespersons phone, offering to do a feature on your work. When it turns out to have a financial implication (unmentioned at first), they manage to get you to spend far more than you want to or can afford – if possible through four issues of their magazine:

1. The first approach may be - we are producing a special issue on the arts and we’d like you to be the one painter/ potter/weaver/printmaker that we feature; you are special.

2. Everyone in the office is raving about your work. We’d really like to put you on the cover of the next issue. You deserve no less…

3. Amazing news! Our annual meeting has awarded you this year’s prize for… (painting/ pottery/ weaving etc.) That entitles you to a big prizewinner’s piece in the next issue…

4.  Now we have to have a follow-up picture of you holding the prize, don’t we? You must agree, so as not to let the others down…

Each stage costs you money. If you’re running out of money, it’s “I tell you what I can do: I have a special budget and can put £300 of my own money towards this, to halve the price”.

If you ask for time to think about it, it’s “Sorry, no time, the deadline for the issue is this afternoon, we must have a decision now”.

Following this, you may receive unsolicited leaflets into which your details and copyrighted imagery have been pirated, accompanied by an invoice, both illegal. Pressuring phone calls, legal threats and letters from alleged debt collectors may follow.

You can report your concerns to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau at www.actionfraud.police.uk    

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Another common scam currently operating is where the artist is contacted and asked to ship a piece, via a nominated courier. The artist receives a cheque, and is pressurised to send the cost of shipping to the shipper. After the transaction is made, the artist is contacted by their bank to say the cheque has bounced...

For other useful information
Visit www.artscams.com here...

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