View Full Version : Sale to South Africa?

Dot Hoffman
10-27-2006, 07:01 PM
I received this message the other day from a woman in South Africa:


Hope this message finds you well,I came across web page while searching for good artworks and I will like to buy some of these creative artworks from your stock.

Still Life with Fruit ,Orange Slice , Pacific Shore and Splash

I will be happy to have these selected artworks in our new home.What are their prices exclusive of shipping cost? We are moving to our new apartment in Jo'burg, SA. Regarding payment,I will be happy to pay you with a Certified US Cashier Check. I will appreciate an earlier reply. Thanks.

Best Regards,

I am suspicious, and debating if I should even respond. And if I do, I think I'd ask for cash because I've heard too many stories about cashiers checks bouncing. :eek: What do you think?

10-27-2006, 07:14 PM
I agree, there are a lot of scams that look similar to this, complete with bad English for someone with such an English name (Jane), and it always seems that the would-be buyer is moving.
In similar threads people have advised insisting on PayPal for payment, as it is apparently safer.

Donna A
10-27-2006, 08:50 PM
And I've also had "weird" emails solicitations from South Africa. Suspect that it is not a valid customer. Unfortunately we have to be even more careful these days!!! Now, the old Latin saying "Caveat emp....." (can't remember the correct spelling! Argh----) but means "Buyer beware!!!" and the Seller must beware, especially with email enquiries today!!! Very best wishes!!! Donna ;-}

10-27-2006, 09:46 PM

I still don't understand all this fuss about this subject.
Unless I'm wrong, it's easy : bank transfer. Not check (a check can be canceled). If I'm not wrong, with a bank transfer, after the money is in your account it cannot be removed. BUT talk with your branch manager.
Of course : money first, painting after. Or at least a first payment that will at least cover materials, shipping and a bit more.

Kind regards,


10-27-2006, 10:06 PM
I wouldn't do this. I haven't done it. I've actually gotten an email like that before, and I just blocked them so they couldn't email me again.


10-27-2006, 11:20 PM
I don't see why you should be afraid. This is business. Recommend another form of payment, paypal or wire transfer and if she doesn't comply, no deal. Stay away from checks. Usually people who can afford authentic art have credit cards.

Laura Shelley
10-28-2006, 12:03 AM
IMO, don't bother following up; that offer has ALL the classic earmarks of this unfortunately widespread type of scam and isn't worth a second thought. South African origin is a gigantic "seller beware" all on its own.

Paypal is NOT safe, by the way. Scammers simply claim they never received the item and get their money back. The majority of "online escrow" sites are also scams.

Scammers rely heavily on certified cashier's checks, because those are very easily forged. Having the check clear your bank and the funds appear in your account balance means NOTHING; it usually takes a couple of weeks for the forgery to be confirmed, and then that money goes "poof". Then the FBI may come a-knockin' on YOUR door for bank fraud.

Want to learn to spot the red flags? Go take a look in the General Art Business/Internet Sales forum. Or these sites:



10-28-2006, 12:07 AM
I'd be a bit suspicious. If it's a scam, they often send a check for more than the amount and asking for a refund of the difference. And it takes some time for international checks to fully clear. If you do a search on WC! alone you'll find a number of threads on purchase scams. And a zillion more if you Google it.

I'm sceptical because of the plan to pay by a Certified US Cashier Check (since I'd think they would have to be in the US to get one) as well as the request for pricing without shipping.

But, I'd follow it up to be sure. Why take a chance on missing out on a sale?

Dot Hoffman
10-28-2006, 12:13 PM
Almost all of you confirmed what I thought. This just smells of SCAM. I can live without the sale, but I don't want to "donate" $ four figures to some crook. I also am extremely leary of providing bank info for a wire transfer. So, as far as I'm concerned, this is "thanks, but no thanks."

Thank you all for your input.

K Taylor-Green
10-28-2006, 12:40 PM
Sadly, this is a classic South African scam, though the English is better in this one.

Deborah Secor
10-29-2006, 11:52 PM
I copied and pasted Hope this message finds you well,I came across web page while searching for good artworks and I will like into Google and got many hits with the same wording! Look at this one: Art News: Art Scam. (http://www.artnewsblog.com/2005/09/art-scammers.htm) or this one: Information about fraud schemas (http://www.gallery-worldwide.com/ex/mHelp.jsp?help=SCAM01)Or you can just do the same search. It's a scam for sure, my friend! I always Google any crazy request I get by copying and pasting, and it's amazing what you will find out.


Dot Hoffman
10-30-2006, 10:42 AM
Dee, what a good idea, and so simple!!! To make it even more scary, my grandson (military - 2 Iraq tours) told me that this scam gets even worse. If you follow up on it, they keep sucking you in deeper and deeper, and if you don't want to play, some people have even been murdered!!!

So, everyone, beware!!!!

He, and his father who is military MP instructor, also said Interpol wants to be notified of these emails.

11-01-2006, 09:31 AM
I just remembered something else funny about the email I'd received. They said the same thing, "I stumbled upon your website. . . . " And, they were inquiring about buying, but I use Yessy, which is a commercial site. If they were legitimate, they would have just clicked and purchased. No need to contact me by email.