Art buying scam! Don't fall prey to this one

Art buying scam! Don't fall prey to this one

April 22, 2013 | figurative painting | 2 Comments

I am sharing this in case any of you get something similar and fall prey to this offer to buy art.

I should have Googled the phone number listed in the initial email when I first got this email because when I do, I find lots of scam alerts! If you read the email exchanges below, you can follow our conversation.

Because I firmly insisted on a fail-proof method of payment, the emails stopped. Please don’t fall prey to scams like this!! Good luck!!

From: Erin Heywood []
Sent: April-04-13 8:56 AM
To: paulaobrien
Subject: AC_Keely_pink_hair_dancer_theatrical 

I’m Erin Heywood from California.

I hope this message finds you well.I was going through some of your works and my eyes caught this particular piece,I want to purchase it as I am moving to a new apartment this month.Please let me know if you still have the piece available, if yes let me know and it’s final price and more information about it. I will be waiting to read from you.

(323) 835-1260

From: Paula O’Brien To: ‘Erin Heywood’  Sent: Thursday, 4 April 2013, 9:17  Subject: RE: AC_Keely_pink_hair_dancer_theatrical   Thanks Erin for your interest in my work. Is this the piece you mean?  The price is $2200 plus shipping of course. I am traveling right now but can communicate with you by email unless it gives me problems, which it is doing, arrgg. If you are serious about buying it, that would be lovely. You could mail me a certified check for $2400 and I could send you the difference after I know the shipping costs.  Please let me know if this is the kind of price you had in mind, etc. the size is on the site and the canvas is 1.5 inches deep I think.  Yours sincerely-  Paula O’Brien  From: Erin Heywood []  Sent: April-04-13 1:00 PM  To: paulaobrien Subject: payment and pick up  Dear Paula,  Thanks for your prompt reply. Sure, this is the piece I’m interested in purchasing from you.  Unfortunately, I’m on my way to France on an official trip(I’m a marketing Executive) and wont be back for another two weeks.  If you’d like to know, I’m relocating to South Africa soon and I’m trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode. I’m buying yours amongst others,quickly! before someone else grabs it.So, I’ll arrange to send you payment ASAP.  However, I’ll have to notify my shipper who’s helping me move my stuff to get set for the pick up of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed depending on how things goes.  PS: In the mean time, kindly get back to me with your contact address and phone# so I can get a check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.  From: Paula O’Brien To: ‘Erin Heywood’   Sent: Thursday, 4 April 2013, 18:00  Subject: RE: payment and pick up  Hi Erin-  That sounds great. If you would be so kind to please mail me the bank draft or certified check, NOT a personal check, for $2400, payable to Paula O’Brien, I will prepare the piece to be shipped to you wherever you wish it to be sent in mid April when I return home, once the check has cleared. I will refund you any difference on the shipping from the extra $200 in the price.  My mailing address is:  Paula O’Brien  PO Box…. bla bla bla Sincerely-  Paula O’Brien  From: Erin Heywood   Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2013 18:46:22 +0100 (BST)  To: Paula O’Brien   Subject: Kindly get back to me asap.  > Dear Paula,  I’m just reading your email now as I have been so busy preparing for the conference in the office,it starts this weekend. Thanks for the details which I have noted down and have also forwarded to my shipper.  He should be in town sometime next week and will definitely be getting in touch with you for the pick up and also to inspect it for me.  Truth is, I would have handled this much differently if I would be at home but I’m a bit pressed for time myself. I’m moving to South Africa this month as I’m being transferred and Promoted.  As it is, I’m sending you check which will include my shippers fees as well.He has asked for an upfront before coming and since I have no access to a lot of cash, I’m trying to kill two birds with a stone.  So, once you have received and cashed the check, deduct your funds and PLEASE help me send the remaining funds to him(shipper). I will forward his contact details to you once you have received the payment.  Now I’m concluding you are a responsible person and I can therefore entrust you with this arrangement.I’ll let you know Immediately the check is sent out to you so you should be looking out for it. I’ll surely give you a call later when I’m free.  Many thanks and talk to you soon,  Erin.  From: Paula O’Brien  To: ‘Erin Heywood’   Sent: Thursday, 5 April 2013, 18:00  Subject: RE: Kindly get back to me asap. (This email was lost when my computer failed when I was travelling but I wrote something like this) Hi Erin- Perhaps you have been so busy preparing for your trip that you did not correctly read my response about accepting payment only with a bank draft or certified check, NOT a personal check. Please let me know if this fits in with your plans and I can make arrangements with your shipper once I return home or ship it to you myself wherever you wish it to be shipped to. Sincerely- Paula O’Brien (Although is sure sounded like a scam from the very beginning, I tried to keep a positive polite conversation going just in case it was for real. Any serious buyer would be able to walk into a bank and get some kind of official international fool-proof payment done.)

Share this article:


  1. Reply


    April 26, 2013

    Anyone who can afford a $2200 picture should have a credit card cocked and loaded.

    • Reply

      Paula O'Brien 6

      April 26, 2013

      That’s exactly what I thought too. Currently I continue to enjoy my own painting on my own wall… until a real connection is made to move it on to someone else.

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *