Art & Design
Certified Check Fraud!
This is a caution to others selling artwork or other items through their website or a third-party site like Graig's list: Beware of people trying to buy your items with a Certified Check! There are plenty of secure payment options out there (Paypal, Credit Cards, or sending a simple check), so somebody insisting on sending you (a complete stranger) a certified check (which is usually as good as cash) through the mail should make you more than suspicious. Especially, if the check arrives with a payment amount thousands of dollars larger than the price of your item! The interested buyer now asks you to deposit the check into your bank account and write a check to a third party in the amount of the difference.
The buyer in my case was someone calling themselves Sgt. Mike Walter, the check arrived in a letter from England and looked very real (safety marks, coloring, routing number, perforated edges, etc) - BUT it was thousands of dollars over the price! The buyer then asked to transfer the rest of the money to the moving company shipping his stuff (including my paintings).
Just in case this happens to you and you are tempted to cash it to test if it is good: IT IS FALSE! I contacted the bank branch printed in the corner of the check, a real check from their branch was photocopied and re-printed, to their knowledge hundreds of times, to be passed around the country.
The tricky part is that it might take your bank more than the regular 5 day holding period to find out it is fraudulent - by which time they would have already released the initial amount, you would have THOUGHT it was ok to send the excess money AND now you would be thousands of dollars short!!
The item you are trying to sell might be different, the name of the buyer might change. But don't fall for ANY scheme that tells you "Here's thousands of dollars from a complete stranger - please pay my bills!" Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!!!
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.