Scammers on eBay: Contacting Sellers With Offers
Some of you might have already experienced this scam attempt, but for those artists who have not, please read on to learn what to look out for.
While I have not used eBay in many years, I decided to give it a try last night in an effort to make some additional art sales via the auction platform.
I was not expecting much from it, but willing to give it a whirl at this point because Covid-19 has been canceling shows and events and making it more difficult each week to sell art.
My listings went live today at 7am my time and within five minutes I was receiving several offers on my piece "Sin City Sultan" from my "Famous Faces" series which of course caught me off guard. Naturally, I was excited by the potential sale, but quickly learned about a new art scam to me making the rounds on eBay.
How the scam works.
A potential buyer will send you an offer for your art listing. eBay sends you a notification of the offer and you now have the option to accept, or decline said offer.
After several minutes of reviewing the buyers reviews and seeing that they had a pretty decent account history with no negative feed-back and that they were from the United States in this case San Francisco, California, I decided to accept the offer and was directed to a message area on eBay where the buyer messaged me about my listing.
Everything was legit up until this point. In the message left by the potential buyer they requested that I reply to them via text message at a number they provided about the art I was selling.
Because I had not used eBay in several years, I was unaware of the potential scam being set up. I believe that last time I used eBay was back in 2003.
Obviously unaware of this, I opted to text the buyer thinking that this was still a legit offer. They replied very quickly to my text asking me to send more pictures of my art before they made a payment via PayPal. That was an odd request and a red flag to me.
I sat and waited; thinking about what I should do. Wondering to myself if this was a real interested buyer, or was I being setup in a scam?
After several exchanges of text messages in a matter of minutes - it quickly became apparent that this indeed was a scammer trying to seek funds and maybe even some free art if I was to fall for the devious deeds they were playing.
In our brief texting exchange, they went into a story much like the "email scams" do. The story goes something like this...
...your art is amazing, my nephew, wife, brother, or whoever is going to love it. It will mean so much to them. Yada... yada...
I have heard this line so many times, I knew then exactly where this was going... frustration brewed as I contemplated what I should do.
The buyer, now a piss-ant, dipshit from hell wanted me to go to CVS and purchase a gift-card for $300.00 and send it along with the painting to an address they provided. Of course, this new address was overseas. They explained that they would make payment via PayPal for their offer ($660.00) plus the $300 and shipping costs. yada... yada... that they just needed my PayPal email to make said payment. Oh, and of course it was dire that this be done in a speedy fashion that they were going to be busy the rest of the day and would not be able to reply.
Throw the brakes on this freight train. Fuckin' weasels.
You do not need my PayPal email. Make the damn payment through eBay. The only reason you want my PayPal email is to hack my account you no good thieving bastards. As far as the gift-card from CVS goes, go fuck yourself. That's right, I told 'em to kick rocks.
Dipshit did not learn though. No in fact, whoever they might be had the nerve to make another bogus offer on another piece I had just posted.
I couldn't believe my weary eyes as they rattled my cage taunting me...
So, I reported them to eBay and received an email shortly thereafter stating that someone's good account had been hacked and they were using it to scam with.
So please beware artists and stay savvy in these crazy, unpredictable times we are currently seeing. if it sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is unfortunately.