Sold to Australia - or no, not quite

Thistle   52 x 72 cm  acrylics on canvas

I often receive mails from interested customers and 2 days ago there was one from Australia.

Good day to you over there, My name is Gabriel Wolfgang I'm from Adelaide and
i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my
eyes caught THISTLE & UPWARDS , I am moving soon and i will like to have it for my
new apartment.
please let me know if the piece is available, if yes let me have the
detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from
you asap.

I wrote back stating the price,material, technique and size of the painting. The following reply came:

Thanks for the message, I am very happy to know that the piece(Thistle) is still available for sale. i  must tell you i am very much interested in the  purchase because my wife really love it and she want me to get it home before she deliver our upcoming baby boy lol...I will like to let you know that your payment will be in a Cheque.
You don't have to worry about packing, insurance and tax because my shipper will be in the best position to do that as soon as you get the payment.This is because i will be traveling out of the country any moment from now for a business proposal.So get back to me with the information needed to send you the payment  I:E :
Full Name
Standard Address
Phone number
Asking price reconfirmation
so that i can proceed in the payment arrangement, consider it sold get back to me asap with needed information.

I was just about to reply again that I unfortunately couldn't accept a cheque and that he should pay via paypal instead, when I started to get suspicious about his mail, apart from the bad English I could see that parts of the mail were copied and pasted as the text was in different font sizes. So I googled a whole sentence and this is what came up.
So Mr Gabriel Wolfgang from Adelaide alias Mr Clark Elster from New Jersey and probably many others all use copies of the same mail, they just change the name of the artwork. 


  1. I get these all the time! Years ago it was the Nigeria scam where a woman was setting up her new apartment in London and just had to have one of my paintings. (I actually corresponded back and forth until I annoyed the person with my questions and they gave up!) It's so exciting when someone emails you about your work, saying they love it, how much a particular piece means to them, or especially when they want to purchase something. Then to discover it's someone who probably did a google image search to find a specific painting. I'm so glad you posted this other artists are aware of the sneaky strategies these scammers use.

    By the way, I lOVE your work - your watercolors are astonishingly beautiful, your use of washes particularly intrigues me right now. Very inspiring!

    Cheers! Beth

  2. acrylics on canvas?
    i thought it was a photograph! :)

    btw, i got the same email from adelaide, lol
    this is my website

  3. I could choose to fit the canvas print that I was ordering from to the pattern and color of the wallpaper in my living room. I could search
    for artwork by subject matter and even predominant colors. Then I customized the frame online because the site
    allowed me to match the frame style with different wallpapers, one of which looked like ours.
    So now have this canvas print by Pierre Bonnard,

  4. I would also like to thank you Ms Elizabeth for your kindness in informing us on the trolls out there with their deception. I am a "new" artist, honing his skill slowly for now in watercolour art, and dabbling in acrylics in small scale for now, that is, 9x12's or less. Sometimes I practice on an envelope since I get so many of those via junk mail or bills...hahaha