Saturday, May 6, 2017

they all told me it was a scam...


when I ran this by my artist friends on FB but I didn't want to believe it.

I don't remember if I posted about getting an inquiry about one of my Botanica's that someone wanted to buy. Now, there are all kinds of scams out there and a major one is tricking artists into selling a piece and I am well aware of them but they usually involve the buyer sending more money than the amount of the purchase in order to cover unknown shipping costs and once the money has been deposited in your bank, either by cashier's check or credit card, then you are supposed to return the excess amount to the buyer just to find out that the cashier's check or the credit card is fake and the artist loses the piece of art as well as whatever money they were tricked into returning. I know all this. I even told my neighbor who was suspicious of a transaction for a piano she was trying to sell that it was a scam.

But this inquiry was so real I was convinced it was legit. She was forthcoming with a back story. I checked to see if her email was on any of the scam lists...no. I checked to see if the shipping address was real...yes. I checked to see if the international courier service she wanted to use for delivery was real...it is. She said she was having trouble paying through PalPal, kept getting an error message, claimed she had just used her credit card to buy groceries and could we use a different service, Quickbooks/Intuit, which she used for her business which when I checked on it found it was a secure service so I opened a free 30 trial and sent the invoice and she paid it, the funds were transferred into my account so I arranged for pick-up with the courier service for last Thursday.

Two hours before the guy was supposed to come (and they supplied a name and phone number), I got an email with a not very professional looking invoice saying that I had to pay in cash in advance for the courier service, that the courier was not allowed to accept payment, and I could do that by going to Walmart and doing a cash transfer to the accountant whose name and Houston address they supplied (not the address of the courier service) and I was to fax or email the receipt and when they received it, then they would make the pick-up. So now I'm getting a little uneasy. I called the number they gave me for the courier, no answer. Before I could look for a phone number for the 'local' office of the courier service, we got a phone call from a woman in Austin whose job it is to keep an eye on the company's credit card for whom she works. She checks the charges on-line once a week and had just done that when she saw the charge to us and called to say they had not made that purchase and were contesting the charge. So, yes, it was all a scam. Later, when I did an internet search for the address they gave me for the money exchange, I discovered it was a real address but the house was empty and on the real estate market.

This woman/person strung me along for weeks! I cannot tell you how stupid stoopid and gullible I feel. What a fucking idiot, eegit, as they say in Ireland. Would I have sent the money if we hadn't gotten the phone call? I don't think so, I hope I'm not that stupid, but they had me totally convinced up until that point that this was legit. Surely I would have discovered the fake address when looking for the local number for the courier service as it was all getting very hinky there at the end. Just a different spin on the same old scam.

What I do know for sure is that I just had a big withdrawal from my karmic bank.



14 comments:

  1. Dealing with anyone online can be risky. It pays to be cautious.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Look- you did your due diligence. You investigated six ways to Sunday. Stop feeling like an idiot and just realize that scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated in knowing how to cover their cheating tracks.
    It ain't you, babe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do not blame yourself as you did due diligence. This was a very complicated scam. Glad that you did not get sucked in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Moon has it right. I'm so dim I would have done the whole thing and never figured it out. Wow, the lengths some people will go to.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They just get slicker and slicker. The old days were so easy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am just thankful that only some of your "self-esteem" got ripped off-----not your bank account or your beautiful art!!! Cut yourself some slack. You did your best to prevent the scam. I am glad your suspicions were raised, and the credit card people called. A good outcome!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's a jungle out there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. They get sneakier and more sophisticated all the time. Still you sidestepped it. So don't feel dumb! I'm really glad you didn't lose anything.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! That is just scary!! I would have totally fallen for it!! Haha, I guess there is an upside in the fact that lately no one seems to want to pay me to sing!!! I know it would still wouldn't apply but I really need an upside... Many kisses!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It seems more and more dangerous to give people the benefit of the doubt. Practice skepticism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those people are good. I got taken, and I don't discuss it because I was such an idiot. Maybe if they put their intellects to work doing something useful we could have warp drive and go off planet (Star Trek reference, sorry.) Glad the art was saved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. everybody keeps telling me not to feel bad because these people are professional crooks who are getting their scam fine tuned. so I say the same to you. I shared because I wanted to warn others that it's not so easy anymore to tell if it's a scam (although plenty of people told me).

      Delete

I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.