The information in this post was provided by Alpha Rho Tau member Karin Cermak who received the information listed below from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Karin has also shared that she was also the recipient of one of these contacts but that fortunately her instincts told her that something was fishy about the proposed transaction.
We want to bring to your attention an art scam that is currently circulating in the hopes that no one will fall prey to the scammers.
An email claiming to be from Sarah Cammarata from North Lima, Ohio is sent requesting to buy a piece of your artwork. After hearing back from you, they send a reply stating she would like to purchase it via a check. Reports have stated that the check is fake and written for too much. Artists are then supposed to return the balance. They will lose that money, plus never be able to cash the original check.
There may be accurate information in the email making it appear legitimate. The scammers seem to be gathering information on artwork through artist websites and possibly the OVAC Virtual Gallery.
Many wonderful art opportunities and commissions stem from initial web searches and we receive numerous thank you’s for the resource the Virtual Gallery provides. However, if a scenario sounds too good to be true, feels suspicious or if there is pressure to complete the transaction quickly, chances are it may be a scam.
We appreciate you passing along this information to any arts contacts you have as well.
Thank you and keep creating great work!
Kerry M. Azzarello
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition
Information about a variety of similar scams can be found at http://artscams.com/artscams.html