Overseas Artist Job Offer Scam
Emails claim that an artist needs a part time employee to process foreign cheques and money orders and will pay the employee a percentage of all funds processed (Full commentary below
(Submitted, October 2007)
Hello Dear Friend,
My name is Garry Williams, I am an artist with my wife Pia Wahlenberg and we are the owners of DaPia Art Gallerie and We live in Sweden, europe. I make original Sculptural Paintings and sell Limited Edition Prints. I create artwork that combines sculpture and painting using sheets of wood, metal, and glass to create depth.
I have sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world. I am always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to my U.S and Canadian customers as they are always offering to pay with cheques and money orders, which is difficult for me to cash here in Sweden. It takes a minimum of four weeks to clear our banks here in Sweden as they are been treated as out of country cheques.
We are looking for a reliable and trustworthy representative in the States who will be working for me as a part time worker and I will be willing to pay 10% for every transaction, which wouldn't affect your present state of work. I need a representative in the United States who will be handling the payment aspect.
All the payments are in certified cheques or money orders and my customers will issue them (payments) in your name and send to you. So all you need do is to take the cheques to your bank and cash them, then deduct your 10% and wire the balance back to us in Sweden. This business will not cost you any amount of money, my customers will send payments to you through registered mail as soon as you receive the package just take these payments to your bank and have them cashed.
The following will be required of you once you show interest to work for me:
1. Your full name
2. Your complete address
6. Telephone number
IF INTERESTED, PLEASE REPLY TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish you good luck and happiness.
Dapia Art Gallerie Sweden
According to this email, an artist based in Sweden is facing difficulties processing foreign cheques and money orders submitted by overseas buyers of his works. Therefore, claims the message, the artist needs a part time worker based in the US who is able to bank the funds locally and then wire the balance back to Sweden. And, as payment, the worker can deduct and keep 10% of each transaction.
However, the "artist" in question is in fact a scam-artist, not the type that paints or sculpts. To some recipients who are unaware of the nefarious ways of Internet fraudsters, this scheme may seem legitimate and an easy way to generate extra income. But, in reality, the scheme is nothing more than a money laundering scam designed to help criminals convert the proceeds of fraud to untraceable cash.
Any cheques and money orders that the hapless "worker" receives and processes are likely to be fake or stolen. The financial institution handling the transactions may actually release the funds and only find out later that the cheques or money orders are bogus. By that time, the proceeds, minus the 10% "commission", have been wired overseas to the criminal responsible. Thus, while the criminal can simply disappear with his ill-gotten gains, the recipient may be left out of pocket. Worse, if the police are able to track the movement of the stolen funds to the "worker", he or she could even be convicted of theft or fraud.
If the worker has been tricked into divulging enough sensitive personal information, he or she may become a victim of identity theft as well.
Regardless of the cover story put forward, people should be very cautious of any funds-processing job that instructs them to deduct a percentage of the received funds and wire the balance to an overseas destination. It is very doubtful that any legitimate business would operate in such a way. If a legitimate business did need an overseas-based worker to process funds, it is exceptionally unlikely that it would hire someone for such a sensitive position, sight unseen, via an unsolicited email. If such workers were required, they would be carefully vetted beforehand. If they were found to be suitable for the position, they would be officially hired and then subsequently remunerated via legitimate channels such as a set wage or a separately payed commission. They certainly would not be instructed to "self-pay" by deducting a specified percentage from processed funds.
There are several variants of this "overseas artist" ruse that use different names and countries. The following example claims the artist is based in London. Other examples I have received claim to originate from Tokyo and various other cities in the UK, Asia and Africa.
Subject: JOB OFFER(Earn 10% Representing Us)
My name is Terry Dickson , I am an artist base in the united kingdom. I
own Terry ART WORLD in London (United Kingdom)I live in London United
Kingdom. I have been doing artwork since I was a small child That gives me
about 28 years of experience I majored in art in high school and took a few
college art courses Most of my work is done in either pencil or art brush.
I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the computer
AND sculpture , I have been selling my art for the last 3 years and have had
my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines, I have sold in
galleries and to private collectors from all around the world. I am always
facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to
Americans, they are alwa ys offering to pay with momey order or casher\'s
cheque, which is difficult for me to cash here in London United Kingdom.
I am looking for a representative in the United States Of America who
will be working for me as a part time worker and i will be willing to
pay 10% for every transaction, which wouldn\'t affect your present state of
work, someone who would help me receive payments from my customers in the
states, I mean someone that is responsible and reliable, because the cost of
coming to the state and getting payments is very expensive, I am working on
setting up a branch in the state, so for now i need a representative in the
United States Of America who will be handling the payment aspect for our
These payments are in order or casher's cheque and they wouldcome to you in
your name if you are willing to assist as a representative, so all you need
do is cash the money order deduct your percentage and western union Charges
then wire the r e st back.
NOTE: All charges of the Western Union money transfer or Money
Gram.will be deducted from the money, so you are rest assured that you
wouldn't spend a dime out of your personal money.If you are interested,
please get back to me as soon as possible via email.
N: B, Please send to me the listed information below to this email address
#Your full name:
#Your full home address,
#direct contact telephone number
I will be needing your home address, so that I will forward it to my
customers to send you the casher's cheque . via Fedex or overnight
Thanks for your assistant and God bless.
Terry Dickson .
CEO Terry ART INC,
London, United Kingdom.
+44 701113 8755
Please remember to send your information to this email address
Regardless of the supposed location of the "artist" all such job offers are scams. For more information about money laundering scams, see:
Payment Transfer Job Scam Emails - Laundering Scams
Last updated: 5nd November 2007
First published: 5nd November 2007
Write-up by Brett M. Christensen