The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Breaking News

News

October 19, 2013

Valley artist’s brush with shyster

By Joanne Arbogast

The Daily Item


Everyone dreams of being “discovered,” and artists are particularly susceptible.

When a talented Danville artist received an email from Amanda Gray in Norway seeking to buy his prints, he was excited ... and in the next moment, suspicious.

In broken English, the “Norwegian” wrote: “I am interested in purchasing some of your unique artwork you have in stock right now and their prices for commissioning. I will like to know if you will be shipping to Norway, and you don’t have to worry about the shipment because my freight forwarder will be coming to pick up the order directly from your location and then deliver them to me here in Norway. Let me know if it possible to order them with my U.S. credit card information for payment?”

He quickly responded that he could produce his art in any sizes she wanted, could mat and frame them, could also make canvas wrap prints mounted on stretcher bars and that credit-card purchases would be fine.

His cautious side tossed in another question: How had she discovered his artwork?

Her reply, more suspicious and in even worse English:

“... I want you to know that I was opportune to see your artwork on Facebook through a friend of mind who attended a seminar together, so I will like you to kindly get back to me with your website for reconfirmation or you can likely sent some of the available artwork you have right now in stock and their prices list so as to proceed.”

At this point, the artist Googled “art scams” and found plenty of people who have received similar emails from “Norway.”

“Apparently, it’s just another way to get people to accept fraudulent payments, which you are then responsible for paying back,” the artist said.

But how had the scammer found the artist?

He doesn’t have a website but is listed on a site called Fine Art America, which includes a link “so people can contact me if they wish to purchase any of my art,” he said. “That could be the source.”

A quick look at Fine Art America, which offers membership plans, reveals that a lot of information about the artists is provided to anyone visiting the site. There are artists from all over the Valley listed, along with plenty of their personal information, photos of their artwork and links to their websites and emails.

Fine Art America claims “more than 95,000 living artists and photographers currently offer 2 million images for sale on FineArtAmerica.com — with thousands of new artists and images being added each week.”

All are vulnerable — to scam artists as well as legitimate art buyers and are urged to use caution.

“I just wanted to alert my fellow artists of these scumbags,” the Danville artist said.

n Have you been scammed? If you think you have, contact your local district attorney, police and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, at (800) 441-2555. Seniors are encouraged to also notify the local Area Agency on Aging office. Let us know so we can help others avoid finding themselves in a similar situation. Send your story to Joanne Arbogast at The Daily Item, 200 Market St., Sunbury, PA. 17801, or jarbogast@dailyitem.com.

1
Text Only
News
  • Tawny Dog owners not surprised to learn pooches get jealous

    DANVILLE — Dogs are often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows that pooches can get a little green over how much time you spend with other canines.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lottery Big lottery payouts pay off for seniors

    HARRISBURG — State lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.