breakspire (breakspire) wrote in artists_beware,

scammer from etsy

I have one of my sculptures up on etsy for $1000, so I was pretty happy to get this message in my etsy inbox:

Gray Fox Taxidermy Mount on Glowing Plaque, listing #50887635

by jjmaryy2

i saw you listing on etsy and am interested i want to know if you still have this item available for sale?i can only pay through pay pal and after payment has been made i will make the necessary arrangement for the item pick up.please get back to me on my private

Poor writing skills like this make me suspicious, but I've had customers write similarly because english wasn't their first language, so I sent a email:


Yes he's still for sale for $1000. Paypal is fine. Where do you live? I'm south of DC, we could either arrange a pick up, or I'd be willing to drive and drop it off within a day's distance, or ship.


The reply:

 I really appreciate it, I am an oceanographer and am currently at sea at the moment, i am buying the item as a gift for my Dad, i want to make it a surprise for him,he wont know anything about the item until they get delivered to him, i can only pay through paypal as i dont have access to my bank account online as i dont have internet banking,but i have my bank account attached to my paypal account and this is why i insisted on paying you through paypal,So  please kindly get back to me  with your  paypal details so i can proceed with  the payment and after the payment has been done, i have a pick up agent that will come around to pick the item up after i have made the payments for the item.

At this point I was pretty skeptical, mostly because there was no reference to me or the sculpture, just "item". But I still had some small hope that this was just a really awesome strange sale. The use of paypal was reassuring. I noticed they had deleted the etsy account that they used to contact me in the first place. My reply, where I intentionally asked a specific question about the sculpture to see if they'd answer like a real person:


Can you give me more information on who will pick the sculpture up? It is at my home address so I'm sure you understand me being careful about who shows up here. Would you like me to show them how to operate the plaque?

I have taken the sculpture down on my etsy so no one else purchases it, but you can still see it on my website,

my paypal address is the same as this email address, (email address)
. Make sure when you send the payment you mark it as payment for "Goods".


Their ridiculous reply:

I was just about to make the payments when i had this little problem with the picking up of the item , I am currently on sea and i am buying the item  for my Dad as i explained earlier on and i tried to book pick up with my pick up agent, but they asked me to pay first before they can make the booking, and they only accept western union money transfer for payments and they don't accept paypal or  bank transfer and I tried to send the money online but i couldn't and I am on sea and there is no way i can find a western union agent to make the transfer to my pick up agent, so i wanted to ask if it was ok for me to include my pick up agent's fees in the payments I am about to send through paypal, my pick up agent charged $400 plus insurance and all of that, please can i include their money in the payments I want to send then after i have made the payments you will help me forward the $400 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, this I would have done myself and not bother you but the for the fact that I am currently on sea, so after I have made the payments you will help me send $400 to my pick up agent through western union money transfer, I just wanted to seek your consent before going ahead with the payments,I will more than appreciate if you mail me back, and I will be making the payments shortly.
 PS:the shipping company's Head quarters and any pick up fees to be paid is sent to their head quarters by the payee, so the money for pick up will be sent to their head quarters  through western union money transfer(this can be done from any post office)  at western union or money grams

TL;DR: I've never had a scammer come at me through etsy, nor use paypal in their methods. I kind of just wanted to put it out there, and see if anyone has had similar experiences.
Tags: beware
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