Neil Capozzi Speaks About News, Tools And Resources For Artists Beyond Paint, Paper And Supplies. Staying Safe From An Artist Scam And What To Do If It Happens

Scammers take advantage of emotions when approaching their victims. Visual artists are just as vulnerable as other scam victims. Art scammers play on your emotions and your desire/need to make a living from your art. Now that galleries, art shows, and art exhibits are closed due to the Covid19 outbreak, we are more vulnerable than ever!  We all know internet art scams exist, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about the warning signs with the excitement of a potential sale.  The Rickie Report speaks with Neil Capozzi, owner of Stuart Art Supply & Artists’ Nook Studio about the latest scams exploiting visual artists, how to avoid being a victim, and what you can do if you’ve been victimized.

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Art Supply  & Artists’ Nook Studio

43 SE Kindred Street  Stuart, FL 34990

http://www.stuartartsupply.com

772.220.4500

n.capozzi@stuartartsupply.com

MONDAY – FRIDAY  10 AM – 5 PM

SATURDAY  10 AM – 3 PM

 

 

 

 

WARNING!   WARNING!   WARNING!

 

 

 

TRR:   Tell us some of the aspects of an artist scam

NC:

People figuring out how to exploit striving artists is nothing new, but technology and changing market structures have opened up some new ways to do it.  While I don’t subscribe to the notion that all artists are “struggling” or “starving”, these are creative people who are at their most vulnerable when approached for a “big sale”.

 

As a small business owner, I’ve experienced many unusual events throughout the years and one instance seems to be recurring. This is a good time to remind those in the creative sector to be careful with their online presence. If you get an offer to purchase something you sell, be attentive. Sometimes if an offer is too good to be true then it most likely leads you into a trap.

 

I was recently contacted by a client/artist (we’ll refer to as “A”) who is a novice in the online art world. Like so many, she posts her images on the web on various social media sites and her own website. “A” mentioned that she was contacted from her website by someone who was interested in purchasing some art as a gift for her husband. Since this was a cold contact via a website that doesn’t offer online sales, I was immediately suspect!

 

I asked “A” where she was in the transaction and she said they’d agreed on a price and the method of payment, shipping and how to compensate the shipper. I instantly suggested she not do anything else.  Understandably, she became nervous and we agreed that she would no longer make any attempts to move the process forward. The buyer continued to email “A” and praised the work she saw on her website. “A” called me, and we talked some more, and we decided to play along. The buyer would not give her address or her telephone number. The excuse was that this was a gift and that she uses a local company to ship the order anyway so there was no need for her to provide the information to the artist. The only contact was via email.

 

“A” was contacted via email by the buyer with updated payment information. The buyer said she issued a bank draft and gave”A” the UPS tracking number. “Wow, the buyer still seemed serious”, “A” thought!  “What should I do?” I told her to wait until the check arrived. The check arrived a day later. “A” was tense – “what do I do now?”. The amount on the check was $2500 and this amount was well above the agreed upon purchase amount. The buyer’s instructions were to pack the purchase and she would send her shipper to pick up the items and send them to her, the shipper would collect the balance of the $2500 check in cash.

 

I told “A” to call the bank on the check and asked if there were sufficient funds. When she did, the bank told her that the check was drawn on a fake account. So, if my client proceeded with the transaction, she would have been out the art and the cash she gave the shipper. It’s an old scam and it continues to catch people off guard. Remember, if you get an offer that is to good to be true it usually is!

 

 

 

TRR:  Preying on the vulnerability of an artist, whose ego is what is on the canvas, in a sculpture, or part of any visual art is appalling.  This is not the first time I have heard about this, which is why we want to share some specific information to avoid being scammed.  What are the “red flags”?

 

 

 

 

 


NC:

 

RED FLAGS

1. Impersonal Stories

The “buyer” uses a story to hook you about their wife liking your work or wanting art for a new home, but it sounds stunted and impersonal. A big tip off is that they do not even address you by name, but simply start with “Hello”. This way they can send the same email to thousands of artists.

2. A Foreign Emailer

The “buyer”usually claims to live in another country — far from where you live — to make sure the art has to be shipped. This is all part of their dastardly plan.

3. A Sense of Urgency

The “buyer” claims they need your art quickly. That way the art will be shipped before you find out the check or credit card details are fraudulent.

4. A Fishy Request

The “buyer” requests your personal information, including back accounts

The request doesn’t add up. For instance, the “buyer” wants to buy three pieces and asks for prices and dimensions, but doesn’t include the pieces’ names. Or, they want to purchase a piece that is marked as sold on your website. It will reek of suspicious activity.

5. Poor Language/ Spelling and Phrasing Errors

The email is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and doesn’t flow as a normal email should.

6. Strange Spacing

The email is oddly spaced. This means the weasel carelessly copied and pasted the same message to thousands of artists, hoping some will fall for the scam.

7. A Cashier’s Check Request

 The “buyer” suggests non-traditional payment transactions or sending money to a third party.

The “buyer” insists that they can only pay by cashier’s check. These checks will be fake and you could be blamed when your bank discovers the fraud. However, by the time this happens the scammer will have already received your art.

8. Outside Shipping Wanted

They want to use their own shipper–which is usually a fake shipping company that is in on the scam. They often say they are moving and will have their moving company pick up your artwork.

9.  Be Cautious of “Relay Calls”

People with hearing or speech difficulties legitimately use relay calls. Scammers may also use this communication service to contact you.  Do Not Accept relay calls unless you know the person using this service.  Scammers often use a “third party” who “works” for a communications company.  Often, an “overage amount” is involved.  Hang up!

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that a scam email might not have all of these signs, but go with your gut.

 

Scammers can be clever.

 

Stick with the old adage: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRR:   If you are scammed, What can you do?

 

NC:

Being scammed or even experiencing an unsuccessful attempt can feel incredibly frustrating and insulting. It’s normal to want to somehow “get back” at the scammer. Some people satisfy this urge by engaging with the scammer in order to “waste their time”, but honestly this is just a waste of your own valuable time. Your best response is to ignore it and move on, or possibly submit a complaint to the FTC using the link below.

 

TRR:    As AARP.org reminds us, “It’s about emotion, not logic!”  Read the fine print of everything you sign!  If your eyes glaze over, it’s time to consider asking for legal help.  As I say in my art-marketing seminars…”do you know how to fix a car engine?  No?  So, you decide to bring it to someone who does. Then, why are you hesitating to get legal advice?”

 

A new scam trending upon the internet is the false premise of an online gallery.

Recently, one of InLiquid’s members received a scam. It was a “call for submissions” to a now-non-existent business called Faburry Gallery, supposedly located in Philadelphia. With a rather vague and platitudinous description of their mission, they have asked artists for submissions via email, also asking for a small fee of $5 per submission. Yes, it’s a small price, any independent contractor could eat up the loss, however it gives way to an entirely new scam-frontier: identity theft. Although we would typically suggest to deal art locally, this only further raises our eyebrows on what is considered safe. While eager to have one’s art visible on a national scale, this style of enticement couldn’t be more of a bait-and-switch. 

So to all our hard working artists out there, our only suggestion is to always be aware. Most scams come in patterns and, quite often, are too good to be true. As an organization dedicated to the promotion of artists, we will do our best to always keep you posted. 

 

This sickening strategy allows them to either steal your original works, money, or both. It’s crucial to know the signs and how to protect yourself, so you can continue to benefit from legitimate online opportunities. And, continue to sell your art to a whole new audience of interested, REAL buyers.

RESOURCES:

 

 

TRR:

Here are some helpful websites with information on frauds and scams.  Stay a step ahead of scammers and keep yourself updated with the latest information on scams and tips to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

Art Advocate and colleague, Carolyn Edlund, from ArtsyShark tells us, “I have seen this exact scam, but it doesn’t even need to be a payment for an art sale. I got one from a weird address at Paypal billing me for a domain name (which I do own) but for three times the price! I didn’t bite, but contacted Paypal and they asked me to forward it to spoof@paypal.com. One of my clients got something similar, simply telling her there was an issue with her account and that she should log in through a link. Paypal must address these problems, because surely there are a ton of people, including artists, getting ripped off”.   Again, when in doubt, contact Paypal!  For more information, contact Carolyn@ArtsyShark.com or visit www.ArtsyShark.com

 

Read this article from Agora Gallery:   https://www.agora-gallery.com

          (Look under “For Artists”  and then  “Artist Advice Blog”)

Read Kathleen McMahon’s Art Scam blog:  www.kathleenmcmahon.com

Federal Trade Commission – Scam Alerts

 

www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

The Federal Trade Commission’s Scam Alerts page keeps consumers up to date on recent scam alerts with what to know and do about scams in the news.

www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Federal Bureau of Investigation – Common Fraud Schemes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has developed their Common Fraud Schemes website to inform you on the most common scams that the FBI investigates and tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim.

www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud

USA.gov – Consumer Frauds and Scams

The USA.gov Consumer Frauds and scams website hosts information and tips on how to avoid scams and fraud with a special section dedicated to current scams to be aware of.

www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/scams-fraud.shtml

Better Business Bureau – Scam Stopper

The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Stopper website has information on scams including top scams, the science of scams, who gets scammed and report a scam.

www.bbb.org/council/bbb-scam-stopper/

For more information about art supplies, art classes, or the opportunity to conduct art classes:

 

 

Check Out The Classes/Workshops  Here:

 

Stuart Art Supply  & Artists’ Nook Studio

43 SE Kindred Street  Stuart, FL 34990

http://www.stuartartsupply.com

772.220.4500

n.capozzi@stuartartsupply.com

MONDAY – FRIDAY  10 AM – 5 PM

SATURDAY  10 AM – 3 PM

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

 

47 Artists Participate In Martin Artisan Guild Studio Tour January 18 & 19. Mark Your Calendars For Free Self-Guided Tour And Special Preview On January 10 At The Elliott Museum

Meet forty-seven highly creative regional artists and craftspeople at the 4th Annual Martin County Open Studio Tour (MCOST) on January 18-19, 2020.  This Free event brings art lovers to 30 different studios with a self-guided and downloadable maps.  A Preview Event will be held on January 10 at the Elliott Museum. At the studios, you can watch the artists creating their work, interact with them, learn about how they create and see what materials they use. Some will offer refreshments and special surprises! Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the thriving arts scene in Martin County!  Meet the artists, ask questions, explore new venues and see their newest drawings, watercolors, oils, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and fiber arts that they will be displaying and selling.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P R E S E N T S:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Reception  PREVIEW

January 10, 2020

6  – 8 pm

Available January 8 – 12, 2020

Elliott Museum

825 NE Ocean Boulevard Stuart, FL

 

Join us for this exciting preview of the work of the talented artists of the Martin Artisans Guild who will be participating in the area’s premier art event – the 2020 Martin County Open Studio Tour! See the artists’ work to help you decide which studios you want to visit. Refreshments will be served. Cash bar available. 

 

 

 

 

 

MARTIN    COUNTY    OPEN    STUDIO    TOUR

 

 

JANUARY  18 – 19, 2020  

~FREE   To   ATTEND~

10 am – 5 pm  each day

MARTIN   COUNTY, FL

 

 

Click Here for Video!

 

 

 

MAP IS AVAILABLE ON OUR FREE DOWNLOADABLE APP:

 

A free downloadable APP called “Martin County Open Studio Tour” is also available with artists and location information. Participation provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to experience the process of making art. More information is available on the following media sites: MCOST.org., Facebook, and the free phone APP.

 

 

 

The Art Studio Tour features local artists working in a wide range of mediums: painting, drawing, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and textiles. Artist’s studios are in the Jensen Beach, Stuart, Palm City and Hobe Sound areas.

 

 

Tour participants will be able to see actual working studios where original artwork is produced and interact with the artists. Original artwork will be available for purchase.

 

 

The first studio tour in 2017 was well attended and highly successful for all involved. The Martin County Open Studio Tour has become a traditional event every January in Martin County. This event is free to the public and information guide booklets will be available at numerous locations as well as at each art studio.

 

 

 

 

This years Artists include:

Cheryl Cote

Jane Baldridge

Lynne Barletta

Barb Bucci

Mallo Bissett

Tepa Charles

Suzanne Connors

Laura Kay Whiticar Darvill 

Diana Rell Dean

Dan Defelici

Jim Dirks

Maria Dowling

Deborah Elaine

Grace Fenniman

Thomas Forster

Torenzo Gann

Dot Galfond

Katie Gianni

Eduardo Gomez

Lorrie Goss

Pat Hoshino

Alicia Jones

Denise Justice

Helen Kagan

Renee Keil

Sue Klahne

Chris Kling

Alice Laputka

Addison Laskey

Brenda Leigh

Sheryl Levine

Karen Leffel-Massengil

Mia Lindberg

Maria McCadden

Maria Miele

Amber Moran

Lynn Morgan

Tracee Newsome

Martha Quigley

Sally Browning Pearson

Kim Rody

Danuta Rothschild

Geoffrey Smith

Mark Stall

Christina de la Vega

 

Thank you To Our Sponsors:

Stuart Art Supply, Visionary School of Arts, 3D Potter, Jewelry by Whiticar, Red Barn Furniture, The Gilt Complex, Eduardo Gomez Sculpture, Tom Campenni & Friends, ReMax of Stuart, Treasure Coast Universal Unitarian Congregation, Eventmakers, The Rickie Report, Stuart Boathouse, Whiticar Mobile Marine Services, Wm. B. Ianiero Renovations & Remodeling, Diana Rell Dean Riverhouse Workshop, Kling Gallery, Wine & Decor, License to Kiln – Dot Gelfand, Treasure Coast Dermatology, Tim Ioannides MD, Mark Stall Images, Sunrise Surf Shop, William Torenzo Ganaway, Martha Quigley Landfall Gallery, Lynn Morgan, Sheryl Levine, Jane Lawton Baldridge, Lighthouse ArtCenter, Sally Brown Pearson, Tom Grissman Photography & Fine Art Reproduction, Kyle G’s Prime Seafood & Steaks, Historical Society of Martin County, Elliott Museum, House of Refuge Museum, The Frugal Framer, Arts Council of Martin County, Arts Foundation of Martin County, Women Supporting the Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information:

 

mcopenstudiotour@gmail.com

mcost.org

 

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com  561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

 

 

 

 

Martin Artisans Guild Reaches Out To Help Fellow Artist Whose Home And Studio Was Devastated By Hurricane Dorian

The Martin Artisans Guild, a group of professional, working artists is asking the public to help Kim Rody, whose home and studio was devastated by Hurricane Dorian in Hope Town, Bahamas.  Grateful that she and her husband are alive and safely regrouping in the Stuart, FL area,  we’re sharing a Call For Art Supplies.  Kim needs canvas, paints, brushes and any art supplies you can donate.  The Rickie Report shares the details for drop-off spots. Please share with your friends and neighbors – you never know who has a stash of canvas or paints they won’t be using!!!  

 

 

 

How You Can Help Kim Rody

Rebuild Her Life After Dorian’s Devastation

Kim Rody-Kopp has been a professional fine art painter since 2000, when she dropped out of the corporate world to paint full time. She began gaining a following in South Florida and the Bahama Islands by painting large, colorful and dramatic canvases of fish, turtles, palm trees, and all things tropical, and became known over the last decade as the “fishartista”.

 

“Love at First Sight” by Kim Rody

 

 

 

Living on her boat in Hope Town Harbour in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, she met and married the sailor on the next mooring, who introduced her to sailing on the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as a log cabin outside of Asheville, NC. 

 

 

 

 

 

Dishes With Fishes by Kim Rody

 

 

 

 

Her work is appealing to clients looking for a dramatic, bright, and colorful feel which pulls the viewer in and under, into the world she loves best, and that few enjoy first-hand. This website showcases hundreds of images categorized by subject. In addition to original art, images are also available as limited editions on heavyweight watercolor paper, open editions on canvas, posters, note cards and holiday cards, and images kiln fired into quality bright white porcelain dinnerware.

 

 

DROP   OFF   POINTS:

1)    Martin Artisans Guild Meeting

Wednesday, September 18, 2019      6 pm

The Palm Room     Harbor Bay Plaza

3778 SE Ocean Blvd  Sewalls Point, FL 34996

 

 

2)   Aya Fiber Studio

 4745  SE Desoto Ave Studio H,

Stuart, FL 34997    

336.693.4606

3)    Stuart Art Supply & Studio

43 SE Kindred Street

Stuart, FL 34994

772.220.4500

www.stuartartsupply.com

 

 

 

For more information about Martin Artisans Guild:

https://mcost.org

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

 

Decorate Venetian Masks To Celebrate 40 Years Of Service By Arts Council Of Martin County. Save February 1, 2020 For “Carnivale Di mARTin – A Masquerade”. Support Arts Council Programs And Development Of A New Cultural Center In Stuart

Neil Capozzi at Stuart Art Supply and Artist’s Nook Studio, is ready to celebrate 40 years of the Martin Arts Council support of the arts and cultural scene! This fete is February 1, 2020, so it’s time to prepare by decorating a Venetian mask. Don’t wait – call Neil to reserve a mask! They’re due back by October 1, allowing snowbirds and locals time to explore your creativity!  The Rickie Report shares the details and some peeks at some masks that have already been returned!  The masks will be auctioned off at the “Carnevale di mARTin – A Masquerade”, with proceeds being used for Arts Councils programs including the development of a new cultural center in Stuart! We can’t wait to see what you create!

 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Art Supply  & Artists’ Nook Studio

43 SE Kindred Street  Stuart, FL 34990

http://www.stuartartsupply.com

772.220.4500

n.capozzi@stuartartsupply.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Capozzi tells The Rickie Report, “As you know, the arts are an important part of this community and I strive to be active member in providing a quality experience in art materials, art education and community involvement.  I’m offering another opportunity for artists to showcase their talents this year. The Arts Council is having a milestone anniversary in 2020. We will be celebrating 40 years of supporting the arts in Martin County. We will be kicking off the year long celebration with a gala. The theme of the gala is “Carnevale di mARTin – A Masquerade”. The gala is Saturday, February 1st 2020.  I am asking all artists to participate in this event by painting a Venetian Mask and I will be collecting them and donating them to the Arts Council. Our goal is to sell them to the attendees of the gala. Blank masks are available from Stuart Art Supply for you to explore your creativity”.

 

 

 

 

Our 1st Masks have been completed.

 

 

 

Neil explains, “The mask painting project has been well received and I have over 40 out being painted at the moment. Since I need the masks back by October 1 there is still an opportunity for our “snowbirds” to participate. You just need to send them back by October 1st. The sooner I get them back the sooner we can begin promoting the 2020 Gala.  The masks can represent the style of the artist or the traditional venetian festival. It’s up to you, the artist”. 

 

 

 

 

Stuart Art Supply has several blanks to choose from. Neil will be ordering more as we gather the masks for this event in February 2020

 

 

 

 

Venetian Mask History:  The graceful, rounded half-mask of the Colombina mask express the enchanting femininity the Commedia dell’Arte figure of the same name radiates when she steps across the stage. Colombina means “little dove,” but with their sweeping form, splendid colors, and elaborate ornament, our Colombina masks can help you become a “bird of paradise!”

 

 

 

 

 

Venetian masks have a long history of protecting their wearer’s identity. Made for centuries in Venice, these distinctive masks were made out of papier-mache and wildly decorated with fur, fabrics, gem and feathers. Eventually, Venetian masks emerged as the emblem of Carnevale a pageant and street fair celebrating hedonism. Additionally, the masks served an important social purpose of keeping every citizen on an equal playing field. Masked, a servant could be mistaken for a nobleman—or vice versa. State inquisitors and spies could question citizens without fear of their true identity being discovered and citizens could answer without fear of retribution. The morale of the people was maintained through the use of masks—for with no faces, everyone had voices.

 

 

Mask wearing became forbidden in 1797, so the venetian masks, along with the carnival masks and masquerade ball masks vanished completely. This continued until the early ’80s, when a group of venetian architecture students began to revive this ancient and long tradition. Since then, the carnival of Venice has turned to be again one of the most important and most beautiful in the world.

 

 

 

SAVE  THE  DATES:

APRIL 5  &  6

SPRING  CLEANING  DAYS

9  am- 5pm

 

 

 

 

NOW THAT THE WINTER SEASON IS COMING TO A CLOSE COME IN AND CHECK OUT THE CLEARANCE.

 

 

 

WE’LL HAVE ROCK BOTTOM PRICES ON PAPER, CANVAS, BRUSHES, AND PAINTS.

 

 

ITEMS FROM ALL DEPARTMENTS

 

 

 

Check Out The Classes/Workshops  Here:

For more information about art supplies, art classes, or the opportunity to conduct art classes:

 

Stuart Art Supply  & Artists’ Nook Studio

43 SE Kindred Street  Stuart, FL 34990

http://www.stuartartsupply.com

772.220.4500

n.capozzi@stuartartsupply.com

MONDAY – FRIDAY  10 AM – 5 PM

SATURDAY  10 AM – 3 PM

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986