[update 2] The scammer is now actively using this account: cayman90053, posting stolen work and accusing the original artist (chris-anyma ) of theft.
[update] He has deactivated his account, but it's likely he will make a new one at some point. Keep your eyes peeled and don't let your guard down. >:C
For more info:
fav.me/d58rwuc www.bleedingcool.com/2012/12/0… fav.me/d5nqqcq
Watch out for people named: Greg Garwood, Josh Hoopes , Stive Raptor
Watch out for these e-mails used: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
known new accounts: cayman90053
possible DA accounts: accountings
former DA handles: dk950 , cirus8, warrioroftime82
Recently I was contacted by a potential client, but as I did my usual research on him, he turned out to be a rather active scammer. Seeing how a number of our fellow artists have already fallen for his scam, I felt the need to pass the info along to you all.
Here's the post that caught my attention: fav.me/d5nqqcq
He contacted me as Stive Raptor, using his gmail account, '989.creative'.
After so many years doing commissions, I am still very shocked every time I hear of artists who get scammed like this. Identifying and/or avoiding scammers is not impossible, so instead of ranting, I decided to write up a few things I've learned over time and I want to share them with you.
Hopefully this will be useful to some of you guys and prevent people from falling into any traps! XU
1. Always clear up these issues before accepting any work: What it is you will be drawing, and how much it is, when you'll be paid, the time frame in which you are going to complete it, how many edits you will allow per piece, and what the art is used for.
2. If someone seems fishy, google them. (Personally, I google every person who contacts me, just to be sure.) If their name doesn't come up with anything, google their e-mail address or the studio/company they claim to work for. Scammers sometimes use aliases and change e-mail addresses, but if they've been exposed before, it's likely the one they used for you is listed somewhere.
3. Always aim to get paid in full, in advance. If this is not possible, ask for a physical contract (real name, real address), and get paid 50% up front, 50% upon completion. If the client seems uninterested in finding common ground with you, there's reason to be cautious. When in doubt, refuse.
[Edit: another fairly safe suggestion: divide work into steps and get each step paid! sketch/inks/colour]
4. Always watermark and only show low resolution images if you haven't been paid in full yet. The watermark should be prominent and hard to remove until you've received your full payment.
5. Exposure is not a form of payment. No exceptions.
♦ When someone doesn't answer your questions straight. Especially concerning payment.
♦ When people come up with excuses as to why you should send them the high res version early. (for example: "my team is on a deadline, we need it now, I'll pay you next week". It is not your problem.)
♦ When people ignore the original agreement. This can be sudden changes in deadlines, sudden demands for more changes etc. Stick to your guns and give only what they paid for. If they ask for more, inform them on how much more that'll cost them.
♦ Wanting free samples. If you are on DA, chances are that you have art in your gallery. Some people will demand 'test sketches' to see you can do it, and run off with those. Your gallery should have enough examples of what you are capable of. (make sure you have a well kept gallery)
Tips for clients, who are afraid of being ripped off by artists who don't deliver:
◘Check an artist's reputation concerning commissions. Best commission people who are known to deliver.
◘Check if the artist has finished commissions in their gallery.
◘Contact former clients and have a chat with them.
◘ start with a small commission, see how well it goes before asking for big expensive ones.
So keep an eye out my fellow creatives, be safe! ; 3; ♥
Wish you all wonderful Holidays, lots of warmth, good food and love.