“Hey there Sonya I wanted to touch base and ask you if you’re ever going to do an episode about scammers and how they prey on artist. I would love to hear what your viewpoint is. I know lots of artist who get scam emails and how to detect them”
Thank you, Alberta
Hey there Alberta thank you so much for writing in.
Well, it is no secret that scammers have been trying to steal money from unsuspecting individuals for as long as I can remember. But with the age of the Internet and the creativity of the scammers the solicitation can look quite real and sincere.
I have received more than my fair share of scam he emails, everything from the the old scam where scammer will pay you to do a money transfer or I will pay for the shipping with interest if you send me your artwork, and for those of you who might be new to selling yard online or even new to the Internet, I always go by the same rule “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”.
I had one of the most creative emails that I can say that I received was from man with an average name, and what I mean by average name was John Brookstone or Robert Middlefield, something like that and their request was that they had been on my website and located some artwork that they really liked and he happened to notice that his wife had been Perusing my website and thought it would be a really nice thing to do is to gift her some of my artwork.
Well being that this is close to the holidays I thought it would be it seemed appropriate. But there was just something askew about the email. First, he referenced that he was interested in a specific artwork but didn’t name the artwork, he also there was also some gaps and some of the spacing on the email as well as some verbiage inconsistencies.
Now, I have a general form submission on my website so he went ahead and fill that out, so he did not have my email address first hand. And typically with request that I receive I’ll pick up the phone and make a phone call for individuals who are interested in my artwork, I’ll have one of my gals in the studio call to arrange a phone meeting. But like I said, something about this email just seemed “different”.
I decided to copy his email and put it in Google to see if anything came up, and boy did some things come up! I happen to locate a number of artists who had received the same style of email from this individual. Some of the artists where unsuspecting and proceeded to start a dialogue with this guy, and some people did the same thing that I had done, checked him out online.
I don’t want to say that this is a bad thing, and I want to say this is a good thing. But you have to protect yourself and if something sounds too good to be true, and go with you guys and research it. I would say 8 times out of 10 the requests are legitimate and the client is sincere. Especially when you can contact the individual by way of phone and really have a conversation.
I happened to notice that there was a website called stop art scams, it was not only a blog but it was also a Facebook group more people would share their stories and share the name and email of the person who had contacted them.
Now, I can see where a scammer would totally reach out to an artist, every artist wants to sell the work, correct? And they obviously think that artists are suckers and will fall for this ploy. So, they have gotten very creative with their approach.
No, I’m not saying that every person is bad, but if you read the emails over and over that you can start to detect who is a good eggs and who are the rotten eggs, and if you have any reservations, Google it!
I’m going to note the name of the website and the link to the page in the show notes, so you can read more about it for yourself. I love hearing one artist can make a true connection and sell their work, and it also saddens me when I hear that somebody has been close to being taken advantage of or has been taken advantage of. It’s disheartening, it’s shocking and it’s pretty awful.
Don’t let this happen to you.
One thing I want to point out is if you find out that this email is truly indeed a scam, do not reply to the email to confront the person. It’s almost as bad as confronting someone in person. But by doing this now this individual has your email address and this will just be an open invitation for heartache. My advice is to delete the email.
Alberta, I hope this helps address some of the questions and concerns that you have. I do wish every artist continued and enormous success with booking commissions and getting people interested to connect with you to purchase your work.
If you would like to learn more about myself, Sonya Paz and the Rockstar Mentor along with the Rockstar Mentor podcast visit us at RockstarMentor.com on
I have created my own product line based off of my artwork, I have owned Galleries and have been successful in this art business from Street craft fairs in the Northern California area all the way to Art Expo International in New York City.
I not only do these free podcast to help you as an artist move in the right direction with your art business, but I mentor and coach individuals so that you can learn from me with my expertise and years and decades of experience to not only market your art better but how to create art that will be branded well and how you can also create your own product line.
Many thanks again to Alberta for her fabulous question.
I hope everyone here has a great weekend and a fabulous Friday, sell lots and get prepared for this bustling holiday season! Thanks for tuning in everyone, peace out!
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