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  1. #1
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    Being e-scammed as an artist...?

    Heya. I've no experience with this... but this well-known artist does and has posted about it:

    http://forum.deviantart.com/communit...aints/1638796/


    Leonid Afremov:
    Dear Friend Hello,

    Iím the artist Leonid Afremov, I would like to share with you a little story that keeps happening to me almost every month. As you all know, I make 99% of my sales online. In most cases I receive credit cards as the form of payment. Every month I have at least 2 or 3 customers that scam me by abusing the online sales protection system that card companies offers. In my opinion, such abuses are straight examples of online fraud and scam committed against the seller.

    Customers purchase art from me and pay by credit card. Then after they receive the paintings, they call their credit card company and ask for a charge back saying they never received the paintings. The credit card company immediately gives them the money back. My ecommerce takes the money from my account as soon as it happens and forwards it to the credit card company. Although, I have a UPS tracking number proving delivery, the customer claims that he/she never received the merchandise paid for. With the online sale protection system, there is barley any chance to win such a dispute. I can only say that I repeatedly become a victim of scam and fraud by customers online. In a few cases, I tried to report this fraud and scam to the police and the FBI, but the law is on the customerís side always.

    Especially with American Express that allows charge back up to 11 months from the transaction. I had a couple customers scam me and cancel 8 months after the delivery. I would be fine with the cancelation if the customer returned the paintings, but they claim they never got anything and decide to scam me and the online trading system. When I send them delivery confirmation from UPS , they deny the delivery and say nothing ever arrived and say itís not their signature on the confirmation. They basically steal my paintings that I invested my soul into. This is unacceptable online fraud and scam against me, artist Leonid Afremov. Sometimes customers are being jerks and write on compliant sites about me saying they never got their paintings, when the actually have the paintings and the money refunded. I feel completely vulnerable and unprotected from this type of fraud and scam, especially when such scam also affects my reputation.

    Please advice, How can I protect myself from such fraud and scam. What can I do? Maybe someone has experience with this and can give me advice.

    Best Regards,
    Leonid Afremov


    Just wondering what CA's thoughts on this might be, or possible solutions? I'll also send this link to him so he can read too.


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  3. #2
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    And this happens to him "almost every month"? I'm wondering why he hasn't changed his methods of payment yet - or more stupidly, is he selling to the same customer every time? It'd be strange if that indeed happened so often with different customers, because most people are honest and not interested in scamming a seller.

    He should consider accepting bank transfer if it indeed happens so often. Once something's paid into your bank account, it can't be taken back, at least here in Germany.
    Then there's Paypal: While a buyer can get their money back from Paypal's buyer protection, the seller always can transfer or use the money right after it arrives, then it probably can't be taken back. Just my guess.

  4. #3
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    ^that or at least request a signature on receiving the goods (many couriers have this option). if it's a soft copy, then he should create a merchant account using Paypal or others. once an item has been paid for, the customer is eligable to download the soft copy.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Then there's Paypal: While a buyer can get their money back from Paypal's buyer protection, the seller always can transfer or use the money right after it arrives, then it probably can't be taken back. Just my guess.
    Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Collection agencies will bully you relentlessly even if you are in the right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr_7--e5A1g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvnyN...feature=relmfu

    Edit:

    Basically in the video. A seller sold a set of amplifiers on ebay/paypal for $1,200. The buyer was pleased with the amplifiers and even did a paint job on it. Later the buyer changes his mind and wants a refund.

    The seller declines the refund since item works as described and it's been tampered with paint. The buyer files a charge back through Paypal. Paypal reviews the case and at first sides with the seller.

    The messy part is Paypal changes their mind and demands the seller to refund the money even though he never received back his amplifiers. The seller is hounded daily by collection agencies, his account is also frozen by the ordeal.



    .
    Last edited by Brian Luk; January 11th, 2012 at 06:58 PM.
    Make a sketchbook happy, feed it a tip to improve!

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=85628

  7. #6
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    Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Collection agencies will bully you relentlessly even if you are in the right.
    Even internationally? O_O
    (Didn't watch the video, sorry. Being deaf I don't understand anything without subtitles.)

    edit: I read the thread on dA, I'm really curious what the artist would respond. He hasn't said anything so far.
    Last edited by Maidith; September 13th, 2011 at 12:10 PM.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maidith View Post
    Even internationally? O_O
    (Didn't watch the video, sorry. Being deaf I don't understand anything without subtitles.)

    edit: I read the thread on dA, I'm really curious what the artist would respond. He hasn't said anything so far.
    I pm'd him a link to this thread, he responded with a thank you and said the responses were helpful. Thanks people.

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