I recently got an email request through my website for price information on several works. I replied quickly. Always pleased to have inquiries and a potential sale. The response from the person who made the inquiry was that they indeed wanted to purchase one of the works and wanted to know where to send the check. I replied that the website had a Paypal option and that getting a check from out of state even a Cashiers check had been somewhat risky for other artists I knew. They replied that they preferred sending a Cashiers check and that they had problems with Pay pal. I agreed to accepting a check if I could thoroughly authenticate the check as real and after a reasonable waiting period to see if in fact the check was good I would then send off the work to them.
I was getting somewhat more suspicious about this transaction.
A check arrived. It was a cashiers check. Well no not really. It looked like a legitimate cashiers check from a real bank. However, it was made out to me but for an amount almost twice what I had stated as the price. Secondly the check was supposed to have a watermark which I couldn't see when holding up to a light and the letter seal in the lower right hand corner of the check that was supposed to be able to wipe off didn't. I went by my bank to ask them what they thought about it and they too said it was bogus.
I responded to the scammers that the check arrived but that it was for the incorrect amount and I would gladly send it back to them.
They replied and here is the scam.
They want you to deposit the check, send them the difference and send off the artwork to a given address. Their check will bounce but it takes some time. Meanwhile your out almost the sales amount for the work as well as your work. The address you may send it to may be bogus or has nothing to do with these scammers. All they want is your money.
Fortunately, I was somewhat aware of this scam because it was attempted some years ago on one of my artist friends. We encouraged him not to go for it and it saved him some money and frustration.
I saved the check and the emails along with the envelope the check came from and turned them all over to the U.S. Postal Service. That won't stop the scam but it made me feel like I was doing something.