Those of us selling beadwork (or any crafts for that matter) have a lot to deal with. Convincing people that our work is worth the price we ask, convincing even our fellow artists to ask for a price reflective of the artistry they have, is yet another hurdle. Selling beadwork is not an easy thing to do, even when everyone is honest and tries to play fair.
When scams and outright dishonesty become our battlegrounds, it is just insult on injury. Theft of a pair of earrings at a show means much more than loss of the item. It is an insult, a smack in the face by the flaming asshole who wanted the earrings so badly, she thought she was entitled to them, at the expense of your hard work. She might as well have left a note saying, ‘You are not worth the beads you create with.”
Perhaps a theft like that is an impulsive action. She saw them, she liked them and walked off with them. There was no deception involve, no premeditated course of action (unless she went to the craft fair with the idea of “I am going to steal something today”.)
The scammers (I refuse to call them scam “artists” which would be an insult to artists everywhere) are the ones that really get me. They set out with intent to steal, and it is premeditated. They look for a weak link. They look for someone who is not very savvy, and they begin their game.
I am sure many of you know about the reputation of those scammers from Nigeria. They are quite famous and have been at their game for years. If you ever encounter one of these idiots, run! Don’t give them the time of day.
Many years ago, before I became street smart in this area, I had an experience with someone from Nigeria. They emailed me wanting to buy $2500 worth of beadwork. I was so excited, but even so, red flags went up. I was wary.
The Nigerian sent me a credit card number, and an address in Nigeria to mail the beadwork to along with a phone number to call. Sounded good so far. But still, something did not seem right. Luckily, I had the sense to call my merchant credit card account before I ran the credit card through my machine. They referred me to the issuing bank of the credit card.
No big surprise. The credit card belonged to someone in Phoenix, not Nigeria. It was a stolen number. Out of curiosity, I asked two questions. 1. If I ran the card, would the amount have been “approved”. Answer: “yes it would have (it was not yet reported stolen or lost)”.
Question #2: In view of the fact that the transaction would have been approved, and the money would have been deposited into my account, and later it would have been discovered that the transaction was not done by the card owner, what would happen?
Answer: “The money would have to be returned.”
So I would have been out of the cash and the beadwork.
Scammers all have different games. Some are much more slick than others. I had another one contact me just yesterday through my Etsy account. Red flags went up again. And in “knowing” that this person was not legit, I played with her a tad.
Here is the word for word conversation (Just copied and pasted from my email) No changes in spelling or anything else was made. Maybe this person is from Nigeria as well. It is evident that English is not her first language (not that nationality makes a difference).
My name is Miss Mary gerreto and is like am highly intrested in immediate purchase of ur item and i will also like to know if you will accept cashier check for the payment and i will also like to tell you that i have my own shipping company who takes good care of my goods so don`t bother your self about the shipping arrangement so if you are ok with all this kindly get back to me via my email
Thank you for your interest.
I do not take any checks at this time because I am aware that there has been a number of scams concerning checks and those who say there own shipping companies.
I will only accept paypal at this time. You do not need to have an account. You can use a check with paypal.
[NOTE: Don’t you think she would have thought I was on to her “game”, and would have gone off? No…she continues…dumber than I thought!]
well am sorry i can only pay you via cashier cheque
You can send the cashiers check, but I wlll not mail any item until the bank has said it is good. That can take 3 weeks.
I know of 3 artistis who have had problems with fake cashier's checks. If you are honest, you will understand this
[Note: She continues….doesn’t she know I am PLAYING with her??]
yeaa i do understand you but the cheque am sending to you is cashable
Then, thats fine, but in any case, I will not send the item until THE BANK tells me all is good.
If you dont agree to this, then I will not do business with you. As I said, I have heard from my group of several scams. I wont fall into it.
Oh crappers….no more emails…she had been removed from Etsy at this point. Just when I was starting to have fun!
Other people have had similar experiences with this type of scam. Apparently, what they want to do, is send “their shipping company” to your place to pick up the goods. In some cases they want you to pay the shipping company for the overnight delivery, which “will be reimbursed”. The cashiers check turns out to be a rubber ball. A forged, or check drawn on a bogus bank or account. The seller is out of the money and the product. The scammer has the money for the delivery and the stolen goods.
As soon as I got the first email from this person, I reported them to Etsy. I just had “fun” dangling the carrot back in the scammer’s face to see how far they would go. It entertained me for a bit, and I gathered enough information for Etsy to take action. Etsy has cancelled this person’s account. But what is to keep this person from opening a new account under a different name? Assholes like this with such a premeditated bent on stealing from us deserve to be hung upside down in a desert and have their eyeballs pecked out by the ravens, and be nibbled at by fire ants. I have no good thoughts of people like this at all.
For all of us who try to earn a few dollars selling beadwork, we have enough to deal with, when people are basically honest. Be careful when you meet dishonest people. If something doesn’t sound or feel right, trust your instincts. Don’t be so eager to make a sale that you set yourself up for theft or outright fraud. You deserve much better than that!
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