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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Joanne Arbogast
Danville woman dies as logging truck crushes car in Valley Township
DANVILLE — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck collided Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.
- Today's Editorial: One more job appears at risk
Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi
TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.
Docs: Fractures helped save rock victim's life
DANVILLE — Sharon Budd’s condition is progressing nearly a week after a 13 1/2-hour procedure in which a team of surgeons rebuilt her facial bones and removed a damaged part of her brain, said two Geisinger Health System physicians who are part of that team
Magistrate judge sides with Warrior Run
WILLIAMSPORT — A federal magistrate judge says he agrees with a hearing officer that a Warrior Run student does not need special-education services,
Inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival is Saturday
LEWISBURG — Not a beer fan? Not a problem. This Saturday’s inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival, taking place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Market Street from Sixth Street to the Susquehanna River, welcomes brew lovers, barbecue fans, dancers in the street and little tykes alike with an array of events and offerings, organizers said.
Decision coming on police shooting of city man
SUNBURY — Brad Hare, the city’s former acting police chief, will learn by Friday whether he was justified in shooting a city man earlier this month, Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski said Wednesday.
Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4
HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.
BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision
[UPDATED -- 12:18 a.m., 07/24/14]
VALLEY TWP. — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck crashed Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.
Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'
STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.
- More News Headlines
- Danville woman dies as logging truck crushes car in Valley Township