Updated: Aug 9
With the launch of our new Seller Subscription, in the Facebook group Acrylic Pouring for Beginners, I thought it would be a good idea to share some helpful tips on keeping yourself safe on the internet.
If you've been trying to build your presence online, chances are you've already come across art scammers. They come in different shapes and sizes, but there are only a handful of plays that they attempt.
The majority of art scammers don't want to steal your paintings. They want to steal your money and/or personal information. They do this with what's called, "Phishing emails."
In this article, I aim to educate you on what to look out for and how to keep yourself safe while trying to sell your art on the internet.
Art Scammer Red Flags You Can Identify in a Chat
There are a number of scams that you can spot immediately, and block the user without a second thought.
- Anyone trying to buy your art as an NFT is lying. Period.
- No one buys art without asking questions. If an overly eager buyer wants to pay before they know the prices, dimensions, or any details about the work they are buying, they're not going to buy. They're going to send you a fake email.
- The ONLY direction money should move is from them to you. NEVER the other way around. If they claim they mistakenly sent more, or they will send you money so that you send it back to "activate their account," it's all false. This will also send you a fake email.
Art Scammer Red Flags You Can Identify in an Email
In the event that you're unable to catch the play at the first stage, the next step is usually when they send you a phishing email. A phishing email is an email disguised as a legitimate entity, but is actually a malicious attempt to steal from you.
Don't worry, though. They are actually quite easy to spot. Here's how:
Whenever you receive an email, always check what comes AFTER the @ symbol in the email. For example: (JohnDoe@Gmail.com)
John Doe is the username. Gmail is the domain. You can choose any username that you like, but you can’t fake the domain. An email from a bank or payment provider has its own name as the domain, like this: (support@paypal) and ONLY emails that actually come from PayPal's website can have this.
Fake accounts could look like this: (PayPalSupport@Gmail)
Can you spot the difference?
If you see a username claiming to be the domain (the latter example) that is a guaranteed red flag. Do NOT click on anything in the email. Do NOT send it to anyone to check with you. Delete it, and block this user from your social media.
This is the classic phishing email. They will use this to claim that you've received the money. In the event you are told money has been transferred to you, NEVER check that information by clicking on what the buyer sends you. Instead, go to your bank or payment provider's website or app independently, and check there.
Commonly Seen Examples
- A payment of $300 was sent to you that they need you to send back. This is usually a fake Zelle or PayPal Email.
- Sometimes you will get contacted by people claiming to work for a gallery somewhere. The best way to verify something of this nature is to screenshot the chat, go to Google and find the gallery they claim to be from, and contact them independently to verify. At the very least, they will appreciate you alerting them that someone is using their name.