Graphic Artist Scam

If you are a web designer or in a related industry, you may be targeted for the latest Internet scam. When thought through, it seems obvious but if you are struggling to get your business going, this may be a tempting offer. Don’t be fooled! Yesterday, I got two emails asking me to help an artist in England with “with my two kids, one dog and the love of my life.“. The emails sounded very sincere in their plea for help.

However, the two identical requests for help come from two different people, Derek Trotter and the other from Bomi Savage. The request is for someone in the States to act as their liaison to make sure they get paid for their art work. All I’d have to do is receive money orders from their business partners, cash the money order, and wire them the balance after I take out my 10% commission. The logic they use is reasonable. The money seems to be safe since I get mine before I send them their share. All I have to do is get U.S money orders from them and deposit them in my own personal accounts. Then I immediately transfer the money, minus my 10% fee and any out-of-pocket costs I incur, to the artist. The “gotcha” in this scheme is that by time I discover that the money orders that I deposited are bad, the thieves already have the real money that I wired to them and in addition, they have my banking account information for further abuse. Here is an example of one of the emails I got:

Hello, My name is Derek Trotter and I am an artist. I live in England, with my two kids, one dog and the love of my life. It is definitely a full house. I have been doing artwork since I was a small child when I was in Canada were I took interest in arts that gives me about 23 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 hair brush mixed with color pencils. I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the computer. I have been selling my art for the last 4 to 5 years and have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines. I have sold in galleries, museums 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 always offering to pay with a MONEY ORDER, which is difficult for me to cash here in England. I am looking for a representative in the states who will be working for me as a partime worker and I am willing to pay for every transaction, which wouldn’t affect our 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, and so for now I need a representative in the united state who will be handling the payment aspect. These payments are in money order and they would come to you in your name, so all you need do is cash the money order deduct your percentage and wire the rest back. But the problem I have is trust, but I have my way of getting anyone that gets away with our money, I mean the FBI branch in Washington gets involve. It wouldn’t cost you any amount are to receive payments which will be sent to you by FedEx or UPS from my business partners, which would come in form of a money order then u are to cash it and send the cash to me via western union money transfer all western union charges will be deducted from the money. If you are interested, please get back to me as soon as possible. Regards, Derek

There are numerous variations on this scam. Like anything you get via email (or otherwise!), if it sounds too good to be true… run.

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