The “Israeli Art Scam”
February 5, 2010
Please be aware that this article is not to be interpreted as antisemitic! It is just by accident that this is about fake “Israeli students”!
While I am doing research on the Internet it came into my mind that it might be a good idea to create a new series about art scams. Especially artist beginners tend to step into those traps which can result in costly mistakes. Not everybody is “blessed” with a certain basic suspiciousness but rather “punished” with a naive trust in people and would never think of organized betrayal.
I do not want to get into details about human weaknesses such as ego and vanities these people prey upon nor do I want to accuse good people’s good will to help others which is shamelessly exploited, being also the reason why these criminals will always find victims. It’s a shame! I am going to post just randomly what I find. You can decide what to do with it. Maybe the one or other story is new to you.
I stumbled across an incredible story in an article from the Calgary Sun published in 2009 that might not be new to you but if you haven’t heard about it yet it might be worth for you to read.
If it weren’t so disgusting to exploit again the kindness of people I would say this is really inventive. I am amazed again and again about the criminal energy some people seem to inherit without end:
“Gillian Butler suspected she was being scammed by a con artist, who claimed to be an art student from Israel.
Still, the Cochrane woman fell prey and spent $360 for a pair of reproduced canvas paintings, because she wanted to help impoverished students supposedly on an exchange program to Calgary from Israel. ” Continue to read here
A similar story was published in 2006 by the Star News Group with a slightly different touch:
“BERWICK and Pakenham residents may have unwittingly become embroiled in an international moneymaking art scam.
Over the past month young people passing themselves off as Israeli art students have been knocking on doors in the area offering original oil paintings at discount prices.
Berwick resident Melinda Cranston said the friendly appearance of an ‘Israeli art student’ who knocked on her door initially allayed any fears she had about inviting her in.
“A nice young girl knocked on the door with a folio of oil paintings. She looked harmless and said the paintings were for sale to help students at a university in Jerusalem,” said Ms Cranston.
“She said there was an exhibition opening in Sydney where the paintings would sell for $1500 to $3000, but she was happy for us to pay between $150 and $250.” Continue to read here