Internet and e-mail scams
Beware unsolicited e-mail offers to purchase your work- CARFAC SASK has had incidents reported by members who have received unsolicited e-mail messages from persons offering to buy their work.
We have also been contacted by artists who have websites advertising their work, and who are concerned with how to determine whether an offer to purchase is legitimate.
CARFAC SASK urges you to be very careful in dealing with such requests in order to avoid being scammed.
- don't let the buyer rush you into anything !
- research who you are dealing with: verify their name, address, telephone number; consider checking with their local Better Business Bureau and Credit Bureau
- communicate personally with the buyer, phone them, talk to them, or have a friend who lives where they do meet with them
check out the buyers story, where did they see your work ?, can they describe the work ?
- insist on a written contract or agreement detailing the conditions of sale
ask for references from persons you know or can verify
- if you send digital photos, send only low resolution scans, so that the buyer can't rip you off by making unauthorized copies
- ask yourself, would I trust this unknown person with cash of the same value as the work ?
- ask yourself, can I afford to loose this work and the shipping costs if something goes wrong ?
- use your own shipping company and ship C.O.D. if possible - there have been shipping scams involving fake shippers and requests for payment in advance
be careful about accepting credit cards for payment, buyers have been known to cancel the credit card transaction after you have shipped the works, or the card may be stolen or fake
- there has been a great deal of fraud involving forged money orders and bank drafts and NSF cheques - if the buyer pays by cheque, certified cheque, cashiers cheque, bank draft or money order (payable on a US or Canadian bank) then it is extremely important that you have your bank verify the funds before you ship the work- this process is called "cheque authentication", it takes a couple of days and there may be a charge for the service - - if the amount is large or drawn on a foreign bank, your bank may decide to send the item "on collection" which may take up to a month and may involve service fees of $100 or more (depending on the amount) -DO NOT SHIP ANY WORK UNTIL YOU HAVE VERIFIED THE FUNDS !
- talk to your bank about the safest ways to do business over the internet - most banks also have information on their websites about internet fraud and security
- never accept any transaction where the buyer asks you to keep the transaction a secret from your bank
- if you do receive a cheque from a known scammer, take the cheque, the envelope it came in, and copies of the e-mail you received to the Commercial Crimes Division of your local police
More fraud and scam information
Bogus Art Fair Info
Artists in Canada - Protecting Yourself from Internet Fraud
Artists in Canada - Public Service - Scam Info
Gallery Owe - Artists United Against Unscrupulous Dealers
Art News Blog - Art Scams and Stolen Art
The Better Business Bureau
Export Development Canada - advice, insurance etc for exporters
Your bank and their website
CARFAC SASK Revised 2009-03
>>NEW SCAMS REPORTED