Yesterday I received an email from a certain "Andrew Hembree" (I googled the name & there are one or two actual persons of that name in existence, though they don't seem to be the type to indulge in email art scams). I also noticed that I'd had a couple of hits in my web site stats from Nigeria...
The email address of the sender was "firstname.lastname@example.org" -- notice the "01" in there.
The email went as follows:
I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website (piece in subject field above) on my laptop and i guess she likes that piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work.
I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales.
Peace and blessings
For a few seconds I entertained the idea that this might be a legitimate communication, but a few things stood out. I'd already noticed the possible Nigeria connection, and the slightly odd syntax and grammar was another clue. When I took part of the email & googled that, I came up with a number of sites concerned with exposing scams that target artists, such as this one:
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page (as of this writing), you will find the exact same email from "andrew hembree". Luckily, scammers are quite lazy...they will copy & paste the same email message over & over again, as they know out of every hundred or so they send, they will get 2 or 3 bites. The body of the email is exactly the same in all cases, the only thing that changes is the subject line of the email, which contains the details of the art piece they're interested in, which is just another copy & paste from your website...
Apparently the actual scam occurs when they send you a check which will ultimately bounce, but not before you pay their shippers a handsome fee...
Buyer beware. I'm posting this in the hope that it saves someone from actually falling for the scam.