Scam Alert!

Scam Alert!

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This comes to us from Sandy Kowallis, who asked that I pass it along.

 

A scam has come through to me from my web site.  Please remember – if someone offers to pay you BY CHECK, especially if the check is to exceed the amount of the art and taxes, and wants you to remit the balance back to someone for “shipping” or other after the check clears….  STOP right there. The check is probably counterfeit.

Here’s what I found out:

Checks (even cashier’s checks) may not be discovered to be counterfeit for weeks or even a couple of months.  If forged or counterfeit, YOU are responsible for the funds.  Your bank can and will take the money out of your account.  Cleared checks of any kind are no longer a done deal.

Here’s where you can read more about it: go to the Federal Trade Commission web site: www.ftc.gov and read about counterfeit checks.

What happened to me?  Someone said his wife liked my paintings on my web site and he wanted to order one for her as a surprise. Gave me his “budget”, selected a couple of paintings, (I had quoted them including estimated tax and shipping)  then said he didn’t want me to ship them, but had his own shipper.  The customer would send the check, then I would be contacted by his shipper, and I would remit the balance to the shipper after the  check was “cleared.” The whole story began to have a few more convoluted peculiarities, so I did some checking.

After relating the story, I was immediately told by the FTC to stop any contact and shred any check that should arrive.  Apparently, the scam is to send MORE than necessary and have you wire back the “balance.”
The surprise to me was that a “cleared” check is not necessarily money IN your pocket, so BEWARE.


– Sandy Kowallis, artist

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