Email scam targets Yukon artists, offering to buy artwork
Scam easy to detect, says painter Simon Gilpin, as the proposal often 'doesn't make sense'
Yukon artists are being targeted by scammers hoping to steal thousands of dollars from them but the scams have been easy to spot, so far.
Yukon artist Leslie Leong says she was immediately suspicious after receiving similar emails from different people wanting her to email them photos of her work.
"My work is available online, so if a person just searches my name then they would see images of my work," she said.
Leong says it's unfortunate the scammers are preying on artists.
"It's exciting if someone else likes your art and then to find out it's a scam? How disappointing."
Simon Gilpin, an artist who shows his work at the North End Gallery, says the scams are usually easy to see through, citing an email from someone named Brown White.
"Quite often, right from the start, it doesn't make sense," he said.
"Like the one we had that said they were interested in the piece — it was an original oil painting — and they said they wanted seven of them."
Gilpin says the scammer eventually sends a cheque for more than the price of the art and asks the artist to send the difference to a third party.
He says the gallery took a cheque it received to the police but because it was bogus, there was no way to trace it to the sender.
Gilpin says even if artists don't hand over cash, they can be manipulated in others ways, such as when scammers use photos of the artist's work in a fake online catalogue. In that case, Gilpin says the scammers are hoping to get credit card information from unaware art buyers.