The following is an excerpt from the March 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, from an article titled “Beware Internet Art Scams” by C. Sharp.
Tips from the experts on precautions you can take against fake check scams:
• Never accept a check or money order for more than the selling price of the artwork. There is no legitimate reason for anyone to give you an overpayment and then ask you to send cash anywhere in return!
• Be aware that just because your bank accepts the check and credits your account, it doesn’t mean the check is good. It can take a bank weeks or months to chase down the source and discover a check is counterfeit. You are ultimately responsible if you draw funds on a fake check.
• Insist on a cashier’s check drawn on a local bank or a bank that has a local branch. Have your bank confirm that the out-of-town cashier’s check is good by calling the bank directly.
• Don’t operate off the grid. Don’t wire money or send checks for overpayment. If you have an account with eBay or PayPal, conduct your business on their official websites, and carefully check their fraud security measures.
• Report any suspicious inquiries or crimes. FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson refers artists to the following websites to report Internet crime: