Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
From my friend artist Greg Strachov ...
There was an incident which the art community should read about in hope that it acts as a warning. I received an email from someone who was interested in surprising his wife with one of my paintings. He said that he was a biologist who was out at sea doing research. He also said that he saw that his wife, in California, loved my work and that their anniversary was soon approaching. I sent him some images and prices of my work and he selected a $4,800.00 painting.
A week later, I received a check for ten thousand dollars and later that day, he sent me an email asking me to "please pay the shipper when he arrives to pick up the painting". He then sent an email asking me to send the balance of the check to California, to the main office of the moving company. My bank had a twelve day hold on the check! He became upset when he learned of the hold and said the he will call his bank to get it cleared sooner. A few days later he emailed me and said that the check had been cleared and to go to a specific bank to send the check to the shipper. I waited and then went to my own bank and asked if the check was clear and learned that it would be less expensive if I go to the bank that he recommended. I asked the bank representative to investigate if the check that he sent was in my account. When she opened her computer, she found that the ten thousand dollar check had a stop payment put on it ten minutes ago. If I did not stop at my bank and simply went to his, the funds would have come out of my own savings since his money was no longer there.
My advise to all artist is be careful when you deal with email or telephone customers. I called the FBI about this and they instructed me to go to their website and file a report. I was a little surprised at this too because I would file this report and never know if there was something done. Be aware!
Has anyone else recently received one of these "opportunities?" Do you have any suggestions for the rest of us?