Dear Fellow Artists, Friends and Family,
We just wanted to let you know – we’ve been “frauded” two times this week, both on the same day. We have filed a police report for one and reported the other as a copywrite violation to be investigated.
The first fraudulent scheme was through Art-Span, on our website.
Details: she signed herself Jennifer Rudy and said she lived in Miami Shores, FL.
She was on vacation which was to account for the sporadic communication.
A fraudulent check was drawn on “Lake Area Bank” in Undstrom, MN which doesn’t exist. (It was Lindstrom MN. No phone number.)
A refund of the over-payment was to be sent to her Miami Shores, FL address, as was the painting.
The bank was real – the town was not, and a phone number is required by law on a Cashier’s Check.
We are very lucky – we got suspicious and never sent the painting and took the check straight to our bank.
There were many signs she wasn’t on the up-and-up and we’re very glad God gave us discernment to avoid falling for this.
She used “decent” English, but did have a few grammatical errors. This is why her intent wasn’t obvious at first.
I spoke to the bank yesterday, and they said we were lucky we still had our paintings. Most of the people who had also been defrauded by this woman, had shipped off goods and had refunded her the extra money by Money Order as she said it was the only way she could get the refund.
Anyway, on the advice of that bank, and my bank, we have filed a police report and probably won’t be able to see any satisfaction in this as we are not out anything, and it was for less than $3000 ($2750 to be exact). According to the police, the FBI only wants cases that deal in thousands/millions etc.
But, we just want to warn others.
She uses the name Jennifer Rudy, and her e-mail is email@example.com.
The envelope she shipped the check in had the name Jeff Rudy on the outside and the name Victor Vuono on the check itself.
Always with the Miami Shores, FL address.
The second fraud that happened was on LinkedIn. I was surprised because LinkedIn has appeared to be a pretty straightforward site.
On LinkedIn a person has listed herself as Rainbow Art Studio (which she is entitled to do, but she is linking herself to our Studio, as if she works for us, which is not true.) She is in Los Angeles. She says she shows students around, is responsible for students, has been doing this for 2 1/2 years, is bi-lingual, and mainly responsible for everything, but we have never heard of her nor know her.
Her name is Trisha Inouye and she calls herself an assistant director and says shes been doing this since 7/2012.
So we have reported her to LinkedIn and they are going to investigate it. Just very unsettling to have these things happen. Just wanted to let you all know. –Bob and Virgia West