scamban.gifThere’s a couple of scammers targeting artists listed in the artinliverpool directory. I spent most of yesterday looking into this and informing all the artists. As far as I am aware no-one has been conned out of any money yet, I have reported the details to the authorities. The scammers go by the names of Matriana frudonovic who sends an email like this…

From: Matriana frudonovic
Sent: Sun, 7 May 2006 13:45:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Artwork…

I came across your work from The artinliverpool
website and i will appreciate it if you canlet me know
if you have any of the works for sale on your which
is still available and prices of each

and Dave Denis…

From: denis dave
Subject: painting

i will like to purchase your painting.I am interested in it,please
let me have the final price of the ones you have and prices .you let me know
if you have some it is available for sale for my new apartment. i will
greatly appreciate it,I will be awaiting your response.

And here is the advice I sent out to the artists, about 20 have reported being contacted by one or both of these people..


I am sending this to all artists in the directory.
There are now 115 of you and new artists are added every week, the website goes from strength to strength
and a google/msn/yahoo search for Liverpool artists puts us right at the top.

I have received a lot of positive feedback from artists who’s inclusion has led to genuine enquiries, commissions and even sales.

However, our fame also attracts some more unsavoury visitors.
It seems that a woman from Bulgaria has been e-mailing artists offering to buy an awful lot of paintings having seen
their work on artinliverpool. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone who thought they may have hit the jackpot but I am quite
certain this is a scam.

If you have been around a while, you’re probably already familiar with these things.
She uses a free web email, in this case – surely an international art dealer would have a proper business email.
She does give a phone number and an address but it includes a PO Box. – you could try insisting that she rings you, see if she does.
She wants to transact on her terms not yours and is keen to send you a cheque/money order or even travellers cheques up front.

So (if I’m right) what usually happens is, she will send you a cheque but she will overpay (deliberately) then ask you to send her a cheque from your account for the overpayment.
It then turns out that her cheque is worthless. So you’ve shipped your paintings, which probably won’t even be picked up and you’ve lost maybe about £1000.

There’s a couple of links below where you can read more about these scams.

One really annoying thing is that it seems it can take weeks for a bank to decide they’re not going to honour a cheque. Even after the money has seemingly cleared into your account. Looks like you need to wait a while and demand a written guarantee that you definitely have the money before you send anything off.

If you haven’t already, its worth investing a bit of time and seeking advice (not from me) on getting your terms of sale as safe as possible and then stick to them. This woman could, after all, be quite genuine but if someone wants to buy your art but expects you to send them money or asks for your bank details I’d steer well clear.


  1. Thanks very much for this info re art scams and the name Denis Dave. “He” recently ordered two of my photos. But I thought the name sounded bogus. This same person has attempted to scam me before.

  2. I am an artist in Chicago. When I googled denis dave, I found your scam alert. I have had the following correspondence with “him.”

    —– Original Message —–
    From: denis dave
    To: ethiel
    Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 4:17 PM
    Subject: Re: PAINTING

    I will like to purchase the piece listed below
    Summer 20×24 watercolor
    I wiill want you to calculate the cost of the pieces
    inclusive shipment to my contact address is written below for
    shipping of the artwork and i will be needing your
    contact address so that i can send a cheque as payment of the
    artwork to you and your contact phone number too.Hope to read from you soon.
    Víctor Andrés Belaúnde 22,
    28016 Madrid, Spain
    Tel: +349 7943 27 12

    ethiel wrote:
    Dear Denis,

    Thanks for your e-mail. You can see a selection of my paintings at Let me know which one(s) you are interested in buying and I’ll send you the prices. I also have others that are not showing in the gallery at present.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: denis dave
    Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 10:27 AM
    Subject: PAINTING

    i saw your painting on the net through the google, i will like you to send me a web link to your artwork so that i can select the ones i will like to purchase and thier prices.

    Send instant messages to your online friends

    I would really like to know how he found me, especially since he apparently didn’t know about the Chicago Artists’ Coalition web site on which I have a gallery. Any ideas?

    Thanks for your alert.
    Nancy Ethiel

  3. I am an artist based in Cardiff, I was also contacted by Matriana Frudonovic about art sales. I found the address she gave as a City University, I e-mailed them and they have informed me she has no relatianship with them and not to send anything to the address.

  4. I was also contacted by this “dennis dave”. I really do think this scam artist is using the Chicago Artist Coalition as a way of finding potential victims.

  5. I just got another one of these;

    I like your style of work and will like to purchase some of your work for my resident can have a website of yours where i can view more of your work in display kindly send me the weblink.Hope to read from you soon.I will also like to know where you reside in UK

  6. I was scammed in the same way by someone posing as Emily Kerbow, wanting to buy one of my sculptures from my website. She and her family were moving from Dallas to South Africa. Her “hubby” sent a cashier’s check for more than the piece cost, and asked me to wire the balance to their shipper in London to cover the shipping costs. The cashier’s check, which came from a bank in Chicago but mailed from London, turned out to be fraudulent. Their “shipping company” went by the name Direct Shippers and Logistics Ltd. Beware.

  7. I was recently contacted by ‘barbara Michael’ who wanted some of my art for her apartment in dubai and was going to send a chque for more than the amount, then i had to deduct the amount from this cheque and return to her shipping agents! how dodgy is that!

  8. Well, it seems our old friend Emily Kerbow is still in the business! I was contacted by her a couple of days ago. She negotiated some paintings, and her “check” is on the way. Needless to say, since reading Peter Carr’s post above, the whole thing is dead in the water! Thanks Pete for speaking out, and saving me a lot of grief.

    Richard in Toronto

  9. I just recieved an email as well, thanks for letting me know before I got scammed.

    Good day to you out there.
    I am so excited that I came across of your work on internet search,I am interested in purchasing some creative artworks from you namely……………….

    The Storm, 30 by 40 acrylic on canvas

    Abstraction of Flowers
    (12×24 acrylic on canvas)

    Let me know their various prices.and how much discounts are you going to give?I will be happy to have these selected artworks hanged in our new home in South Africa. As well, I want you to take out the shipping cost.I have been in touch with a shipping firm that will be shipping other house decoratives.

    We are travelling from our Dallas home to our new apartment as soon as possible.On Paying for the artworks,I will be glad to pay you with a Money Order or Cashier`s check in US funds that can be easily cashed at your local bank,please let me know on how to procced for the payment of the creative artworks.

    I will await your advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day.

    Best regards,
    Emily Kerbow

  10. I too recieved an email from Emily Kerbow today, wanting to buy 3 of my pieces of art. Thank you for posting the caution, or I too would have been scammed….This gal really gets around..
    Michelle in Mississippi

  11. This Emily Kerbow is still persistently contacting artists all over the place. The latest report I have is from California.


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