Art Email Scams – My Experience

Hi everybody,

after receiving for the third time a “scammy” email, I needed to write something about it, hoping that this will help other artists that came across this annoying experience.

Vintage picture of a group of women manipulated with washi tape and paper. Faces are all covered with colored tape.

Battle Royale.

I received just one email per year, the 16th of February 2014, the 5th of June 2015 and another one today, 24th of February 2016. The emails are different and have different senders names, but the content is pretty much the same:

“Do you still have – name of the artwork – available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon”. 

In all three cases the email object was the title of the artwork, so it was pretty easy to recognize that was a scam almost immediately. Now, all my works are on sale through official websites as Saatchi or Etsy for example, so to me it doesn’t have any sense to be contacted privately for asking to purchase them.

If this is not your case, I highly recommend you to google the email received and the name of the sender. Then it will be easy to identify them, because they send several emails to different artists within the same days, and internet is a precious source of information, especially when we are dealing with these kind of people.

I will write below the email and the sender names of the scammers, so you can be aware once you will receive the same email. I would love to update this list, just to put everything in one place and eventually create a good source for other artists. Please share your experience, the suspicious emails received and if you want, write down on a comment the email sender name, email address and content.

I will be more than happy to create a list of scammers through this post.

Update – 30 June 2016

Another of these scammers wrote on my blog with a public comment (not really smart).

Here it is the message:

My name is Jason Cloud from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and best regards,

Making a quick search on Google it seems that the EXACT message (the guy is an idiot) was sent to another person from Mike Evans and Chana Cohen.

Just stay alert because they periodically send the same shit to all their contacts. Please keep me updated.

Update – 7 December 2016

A new email scam is arrived, this time through my Tictail shop:

Hello Seller,

I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item which payment will be made to you via PayPal. I will like you to get back to me with you reply via my email address below, so that we can talk more better. (jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com)

Reply back to: jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

Thanks.

If you own a Tictail shop too, just be aware that this scammer is operating there. I also received an official email from Tictail warning to not trust this account.

Update – 19 May 2017

I already wrote this info through the comments below, but it can easily get lost.

If you are UK based you can report these scams here:
http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/scam-emails

I believe that each country has this section dedicated to report online scams. Feel free to put the link of your country in the comments, I will update the list in case.

I am happy that you are actively commenting and sharing your experiences, but the best way to do something it’s to report them to the postal police. Continue to share and to comment because it’s a good way to be found from other artists on the internet, but also report to the police too.

Art Email Scams List

Jason Cloud – jasoncloud2424@gmail.com

Mike Evans – mikee2230@gmail.com

Peter Adams – petadams@live.com

Milton Fred – milfred001@live.com

Debbie Martins – debmart001@outlook.com

James Johnson – jamesjohnson11963@gmail.com

357 thoughts on “Art Email Scams – My Experience

  1. SOOO Thankful I decided to google the body of the email juuuuust in case! Received one today from a “Smith Avan” – mr.avan.smith@gmail.com. Thank you for documenting this!!!

    My name is Smith Avan from Washington, DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Smith.

  2. Add to the list….
    Message: Greetings… I am Scott from Snyder Texas. I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to I and my wife’s anniversary which is just around the corner. I stormed on some of your works which i found quite impressive and intriguing. I must admit your doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

    With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes, which are ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this is within the price range of $1500 to $5000.

    I look forward to reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you accept check as a means of payment.

    Best Regards.
    Email address: Scottwilfrey123 at gmail dot com

  3. Just received an email almost word-for-word as the one in your post, from a man named ‘Davin Kells’ – didn’t take long on google search to find out the email was a complete scam. Thanks for this post!

  4. A new one, received today:

    Agost Emiliano
    12:00 (3 hours ago)
    to me

    Do you still have — available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

  5. Yup, very glad I checked. I received from ag.emil0003@gmail.com as well. Asking for: Full Paypal Name And E-mail

    Email Address:…………………

    Full Address for the pickup:……………..

    Contact Telephone Number:…………………….

    What can they do with that info?

  6. I received this one too, 12 and 14 April
    Agost Emiliano—————————-ag.emil0003@gmail.com
    1) Do you still have The Coral Reef And Moving Ocean available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

    2)Thanks for your mail, I will like you to kindly send me the list of the works you have for sale at the moment and their various price to see if anyone of them could interest me

    • Hi – I received this one also from Agost. Emiliano and I believe the scammers have pilfered this name from another artist on Saatchi Art – legit. person with a facebook page as well. The scammers have seen the painting I have for sale on Saatchi Art. I knew it was a scam straight away as they say they asked if “pick up is acceptable” and I live in Australia!~! LoL! I loathe this type of scam as most artist are desperate to sell their art and vulnerable.

  7. A family member who sells his art on Saatchi just got the same email from ‘Emilio Agost’ just today 😡
    Thank you for this article!! So glad we googled and found this!!

    I’m guessing it’s best to just ignore? What has everyone else done when they received these emails??

    I wonder what Saatchi are doing / can do about this..?! Or the real ‘Emilio Agost’….

  8. Recieved today:
    Agost Emiliano
    I really appreciate it. I Am Agost Emiliano from Argentina. I am a marine biologist and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through Paypal as i don’t have access to my bank account online as i don’t have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my Paypal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through Paypal,So please kindly get back to me with your Paypal details and your best price for the item so i can proceed with the payment and after the payment has been done, i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the item up so don’t add shipping fees and will be done after i have made the payments for the item

  9. received as well! thank you for this – i knew faster that it was a scammer!!!

    Le 11 juin 2019 à 13:14, Agost Emiliano a écrit :

    I really appreciate it. I Am Agost Emiliano from Argentina. I am a marine biologist and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through Paypal as i don’t have access to my bank account online as i don’t have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my Paypal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through Paypal,So please kindly get back to me with your Paypal details and your best price for the item so i can proceed with the payment and after the payment has been done, i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the item up so don’t add shipping fees and will be done after i have made the payments for the item

  10. Here is another one for the list from williamelizondoofficial@gmail.com:
    My name is William Elizondo from Washington,DC. I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to I and my wife’s anniversary which is just around the corner. I stormed on some of your works which i found quite impressive and intriguing. I must admit your doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

    With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes, which are ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this is within the price range of $1500 to $3500.

    I look forward to reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you accept check as a means of payment.

    Have a Positive Day!

  11. Received today from Agost Emiliano (ag.emil0003@gmail.com)
    Email subject: *** (Name of the painting)
    Message: Do you still have *** available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

    Thank you for this post helping us to fight scammers. All my paintings are available on Saatchi Art, Singulart and other platforms so I was very surprised of receiving such e-mail.

  12. Hi I got an email yesterday from ag.emil0002@gmail.vom
    I checked my website analytics for a suspicious IP location (Nigeria) and did a Whois reverse lookup, below.
    I reported this to Paypal for what its worth.

    % This is the AfriNIC Whois server.

    % Note: this output has been filtered.
    % To receive output for a database update, use the “-B” flag.

    % Information related to ‘41.203.78.0 – 41.203.78.255’

    % No abuse contact registered for 41.203.78.0 – 41.203.78.255

    inetnum: 41.203.78.0 – 41.203.78.255
    netname: GLO-1
    descr: GLO-1
    country: NG
    admin-c: PA2-AFRINIC
    tech-c: PA2-AFRINIC
    status: ASSIGNED PA
    mnt-by: GLO-ONLINE-ADMIN
    source: AFRINIC Filtered
    parent: 41.203.64.0 – 41.203.95.255

    person: Prasoon Agarwal
    address: 1- Mike Adenuga Close, Victoria Island
    address: Lagos
    address: Lagos
    address: Nigeria
    phone: tel:+234-805-557-1050
    phone: tel:+234-805-557-4458
    phone: tel:+234-805-557-4458
    nic-hdl: PA2-AFRINIC
    mnt-by: GENERATED-UZTCTD5VGK2EFW6UYFASG27JFJHXEZUQ-MNT
    source: AFRINIC Filtered

  13. Received a new one yesterday :
    Good morning ***,

    I am sending this email to make inquiry about your paintings I came
    across on your website which are available at the moment, the pieces I
    am talking about are below.

    *** 5 names of paintings, copy-pasted without punctuation, seems weird ***

    I will be expecting your reply with more details and their prices if available.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Marit Blake
    maritblake@gmail.com

  14. Add this one, Agost Emilino from Argentina, marine biologist, buying a painting for his dad’s birthday, not asking for the price, wants to pay via paypal, didn’t respond to my question about how he found me and insists on sending his own pickup. I have found a lot of exactly the same messages he sent me on google by other victims. E-mail: ag-emil0003@gmail.com

  15. I think this guy has been listed before, but now I can contribute his explanation why he doesn’t pay from the normal website, after I sent him the link where he can easily buy my painting:

    Agost Emiliano
    “I Am Agost Emiliano from Argentina. I am a marine biologist and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him, he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through Paypal as i don’t have access to my bank account online as i don’t have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my Paypal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through Paypal,So please kindly get back to me with your Paypal details and your best price for the item so i can proceed with the payment and after the payment has been done, i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the item up so don’t add shipping fees and will be done after i have made the payments for the item “

  16. Thank you for posting this. I also received the same email:

    ” From: Agost Emiliano

    Aug 13 at 3:36 AM
    Do you still have The Clear Sound of Jewels available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon ”

    The name was taken from a Saatchi account. Sorry, Emil…

  17. Wow. Thank you SO much. Just received two messages (identical) from Mike Evans; that was a red flag right there…indicating some sort of mass-mailing. Did not open it, just googled “Mike Evans art scam spam” -which led me to you. You are helping many artists out here, not all of them are taking the time to relay their story to you; just know that you are making a very positive impact on us, and we greatly appreciate this information. Keep updating. We need this source.

  18. Hi,

    I just received an email today and immediately googled the name and mail adress because the messaged seemed a bit strange.
    I replied that the work is stuck in Italy due to the lockdown and I can’t provide it, I also asked where he is from and how he found me. I don’t think I will get an answer…

    Christel

    Here is the mail from “Agost Emiliano” ag.emil0001@gmail.com:

    Do you still have xxxxx available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

  19. Just received the same email from ag.emil0001@gmail.com

    “Do you still have The _______________ available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon”

  20. Hi, I just received the same email from Agost Emilano. When I google this name I get an artist on the Saatchi website, so not sure if someone is also using other artists’ names.. The email is word for word… “Do you still have The bla bla bla.”

  21. I just received the exact same text from a person calling themselves ‘Agost Emiliano’. Last week a guy calling himself ‘Nick Botting’ tried to con me. It seems like they always pick names from other artists…

  22. Yes I had this request about a man wishing to buy “an artwork” for his wife’s birthday months ago and had similar years ago. I replied saying his letter looked like a SCAM as any real buyer would have taken the time to look at my website and see what work he was interested in. That for the price he offered – hundreds to $8,000 I would be prepared to personally fly to America and paint one especially for her!! lol. I did not insult either of us, further, by saying that his grasp of the English language for someone apparently so well off was rather suspect! Of course I did not hear more and normally just delete such rubbish without even opening as I use mailwasher!

  23. Art Email Scams
    Gil Bottin – gilbottin@hotmail.com

    I received a scam email yesterday. The email title is the names of the artworks. The content is pretty similar to the scam email in comments about purchasing artwork for his wife for anniversary. I found him odd, insisting on paying me directly through the bank (he would have to make a wire transfer from America to Hong Kong which is more complicated) even though I provided him my Singulart profile link. Also suspicious that he didn’t seem to be interested in verifying the artworks he claimed he wanted to buy. I forwarded this email to Singulart and haven’t heard from him since. If he is that interested in buying, he would have at least replied me and said he will talk to Singulart, but he didn’t. Just received an email from Singulart about your post. Now I am even more certain it is a scam. I am so thankful for what you’re doing and I would like to share this experience and help other artists.

    Subject: UNTITLED CADEAUX ADVERTISEMENT WITH THYLANE BONDEAU PAINTING &
    UNTITLED AMERICAN LOVING COUPLE PAINTING & UNTITLED JOHANNES VERMEER
    PAINTING & UNTITLED MONROE PAINTING.
    From: Gil Bottin
    Date: Tue, April 07, 2020 7:13 pm

    Good morning Michael,

    Am excited visiting your website viewing your beautiful paintings creation, I am really amaze with your artworks and how amazon they are.

    Sending this email as enquirer about your below paintings viewed from your website.

    UNTITLED CADEAUX ADVERTISEMENT WITH THYLANE BONDEAU PAINTING & UNTITLED AMERICAN LOVING COUPLE PAINTING & UNTITLED JOHANNES VERMEER PAINTING & UNTITLED MONROE PAINTING.

    Email me more details about each and their prices only if they are available.

    I will be expecting your response.

    Wishing you a happy and healthy day ahead from corona virus.

    Gil Bottin

    Date: Tue, April 07, 2020 11:32 pm

    Dear Michael,

    Thanks for your email, yes those are the same paintings I talked about.

    Email their prices.

    Gil Bottin

    Sent: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 5:03 PM

    Dear Michael,

    Thanks for your reply about their prices and more information regarding the paintings.

    Yes I am truly interested in purchasing, I want you to know that I am purchasing the paintings for a Wedding Anniversary and it really need to be at my destination as quick as possible because the date of the anniversary is around the corner.

    I am purchasing this for my family purpose, I know my wife will definitely like it because she love everything about Art & Sculpture and this is the time to fulfill my promise to her during the anniversary ceremony.

    Below are the ones I choose…

    1. UNTITLED CADEAUX ADVERTISEMENT WITH THYLANE BONDEAU PAINTING
    2. UNTITLED AMERICAN LOVING COUPLE PAINTING
    3. UNTITLED JOHANNES VERMEER PAINTING
    4. UNTITLED MONROE PAINTING

    Concerning the payment, the payment I am 100% sure about is to pay direct into your bank account for the total amount, base on the advise given from the bank because it’s more safe and secure.

    It will be better to discuss the payment and the shipping on skype either verbally or typing due to the urgent of the anniversary, if possible it will be better to view the artworks on skype video for assurance purpose.

    My location address of delivering are below.

    25 Crosswoods Path Blvd
    Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054
    USA

    My skype name is live:.cid.1068a7b34dbf8642 I am available throughout today on skype to discuss and conclude.

    If you don’t have a skype name kindly go to http://www.skype.com and register with skype then download it and fix a time to skype today.

    Cheers

    Gil Bottin
    213-529-6215

  24. same here this is a sample I got from him: I was just about to make the payments when i had this little problem with the picking up of the item , I am currently on sea and i am buying the item for my Dad as i explained earlier on and i tried to book pick up with my pick up agent, but they asked me to pay first before they can make the booking, and they only accept Money gram Transfer for payments and they don’t accept Paypal or bank transfer and I tried to send the money online but i couldn’t and I am on sea and there is no way i can find a Money gram agent to make the transfer to my pick up agent, so i wanted to ask if it was ok for me to include my pick up agent’s fees in the payments I am about to send through Paypal, my pick up agent charged $950 plus insurance and all of that, please can i include their money in the payments I want to send then after i have made the payments you will help me forward the $950 to my pick up agent through Money gram Transfer,this I would have done myself and not bother you but the for the fact that I am currently on sea, so after I have made the payments you will help me send $950 to my pick up agent through Money gram Transfer,I just want to seek your consent before going ahead with the payments,I will more than appreciate if you mail me back, and I will be making the payments shortly.

    PS:the shipping company’s Head quarters and any pick up fees to be paid is sent to their head quarters by the payee, so the money for pick up will be sent to their head quarters through Money gram Transfer(this can be done from any post office) at Money gram office

  25. Thanks for posting about this scam!
    Today I received this email below. Good thing Singulart, where my work is available, warned me about it. It’s sent via a form on my website. I’m not responding to it and put it in my trash.

    Name: Agost Emiliano

    Email Address: ag.emil0003@gmail.com

    Subject: UAU

    Message: Do you still have The UAU available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

  26. Hello !!!
    This villain has not yet reached me.
    But over the past 5 years, I have been subjected to their attacks at least 5 times. These are always different names and different countries, different methods of fraud.
    But all of them are united by one and this is their constant feature.
    As soon as you begin to rush in private messages, this is usually a hoax !!!
    As soon as you are offered to pay a small amount for their special courier, this is a hoax !!!
    As soon as you are offered to send a confirmation from the bank about the payment for your work, this is a hoax !!!
    Pay Pal, as a payment method, sometimes flashed in the conditions, but this is not always the case.
    I read one lady’s comment here. How can one be so naive? And I immediately realized that she was not an artist, like most of us. I would like to see your reaction when you wait for at least some sales for weeks, and then you get an offer to buy several of your paintings at once.)
    Naivety is the wrong word. Rather, people are driven by despair if they agree to such deals.
    Be careful in all circumstances, especially these sad days.

  27. Thanks Marikokado and all others for sharing!
    I received one of the same scams. The fraudster used the name of an artist of Saatchi. Before I received this mail, my website was visited by an IP address from Lagos, Nigeria. Just like someone wrote in an earlier post.
    Email address: tus.mar002@gmail.com.

  28. Hello!
    I got recently a warning from Singular about the scam email.

    I got my email today 10/04/20. In my case the name of the guy is Tusek. It comes over my website http://www.yorjander.com
    I share here the message I got, but it is the same:

    Name: Tusek

    Email: tus.mar001@gmail.com

    Website:

    Comment: Do you still have The Happiness Workshop available for sale as i am highly interested in it and do you accept Paypal as a mode of payment and also if pick up is acceptable, hope to read from you soon

  29. I also received a ‘can I buy’ mail from this supposed Agost Emiliano (name taken from a bona fide artist!), today. Same wording as all the others. Have previously received similar messages from Nigeria and other places, all scams.

  30. I get these emails about 2 or 3 times a year. The latest one is just like all the others already listed on your site. You can add the name Michael Weber of Wichita, Kansas to your list.
    The first time this happened we almost fell for it. The person contacting me wanted to do something about the shipping by sending money to me and I was supposed to refund the difference through Western Union. When I said I thought that was a poor idea, he dropped it. He was attempting to buy a $6000 painting and sending me a $10000 check to cover the painting and any added expenses. In the mean time we got wondering about the whole Western Union thing and called Western Union. It turned out that the Western Union office that the money was to go to didn’t exist. Then we started to research on the internet, which my wife Shirley is very good at, so by the time the $10000 check arrived we knew it was a fake. I sent a very nasty message saying I had no intention of cashing a phony check and to F— off. The check has been pinned to my studio wall ever sense.
    I read the comment in one of you earlier posts about losing money in the shipping part of this scam, but I can’t see how they expect to get anything using Pay Pal or how some of these scams are supposed to work.
    The other unfortunate part of this is that earlier this year I got a legitimate inquiry, which I almost blew away. Again My wife Shirley went into action and found the sender was someone who lived only about 30 minutes from us and we made a sale that was perfectly OK, which I almost lost because about 95% of these things are phony.
    JOHN DAWSON

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