Beware of “Israeli” door-to-door art scams!

March 2nd, 2009

If you recently bought art from a charismatic art student selling his wares door-to-door, chances are you have been duped into buying a worthless piece that is mass produced in China.

A handsome young man with a French accent recently paid my parents a visit in Western Sydney, claiming to be an Israeli art student from the University of Jerusalem. He was carrying a portfolio which he said contained the work of he and his fellow students. Despite the work being unremarkable, my parents – always eager to support the arts – were willing to part with $120.00 for an oil painting depicting two boats docked against a wooden pier.

“These sell in galleries for $1,500” he said cheerfully. While this shyster was still in my parents’ living room, I was summoned to offer my opinion of the work.

The ‘art student’ presented me with some of the pieces in his portfolio – a tree, some generic abstracts, a scene of the Eiffel Tower. Each of the artworks had an associated back story – the tree was apparently a ‘burning bush’, representing the first time God communicated with Moses. The oil painting of the two boats symbolised the hope of peace between Israel and Palestine. They were just boats. I immediately recalled a story a colleague had shared only weeks earlier, who knew someone who fell for a similar scam. In his case, the ‘art student’ was a French man named Pierre, and the victim only discovered afterwards that the art was mass produced in Chinese sweatshops for $3 apiece.

“I don’t like any of them.” I said, before retreating. I quickly Googled ‘Israeli art scam’ and was presented with plenty of accounts of similar stories. Luckily I was able to tell my mother in time – so she wrote out a cheque instead of paying cash. As soon as this trickster left, she contacted the bank and cancelled the cheque.

These people are conducting fraudulent business – they sell cheap Chinese rip-offs to people who believe they are supporting art students. Anyone is at risk of falling prey to these swindlers, including the elderly and the vulnerable.

It’s time to close the door on these art scams!

Related Links

Israeli art student scam in Melbourne?
Chinese Oil Paintings for Wholesale
– the origin of the paintings

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  1. well craig thats a very good question. when i present the paintings i never say that i made them my self, or that i know who made them as a matter of fact i try to be as honest as possible. but like anything that you want to sell. you need to make it sounds better and more beautifull. especially when trying to sell door to door.
    but in the end of the day what is important is that you get a REAL oil painting and not a print like some suspect you can check it by yourself. and it’s something you like and it fit to your house and you paid a good price for it .
    so you have nothing to feel bad about because you did made a good deal.
    Its only a matter of perspective.

  2. Well craig thats a very good question.
    Oil painting is a product that we are trying to sell and like anything for sale you need to market your product and present it in an attractive way.
    the paintings are REAL oil paintings and not a print like some suspect you can just check this for yourself.
    The bottum line is: you paid a good price for a good product that you loved and looks good in your house, you made a good deal.
    and you shouldnt feel bad about it take it in the right perspective.

  3. Peter says:

    @ oil painting saleswoman:
    The issue isn’t the paintings being sold using lies, or sold for 1000% more than its really worth.
    There is one thing you should know about Australians. We are tough and rough, but we are also honest, giving and respect each other as best we can. When we have a person that lies to us about the origin of a sentimental product such as a painting, it really is sad to us and we feel sorry for you. We feel for you poor salespeople because we know that your boss put you up to this and made it seem easy to earn a quick buck. Your boss is riding and counting on the good nature of the people of Australia and the reason why you are getting sales is because we know you guys are doing it for cash, whether it’s a lie or not. We feel sorry for you to tell you the truth and some are angry at you for not being smarter!

    Loss of money means nothing to most of us in Australia, we are tough as rocks, but to Israeli’s I guess money is more important than their own dignity and respect to other people. It’s very very disappointing because most of you art salespeople are young, beautiful and intelligent people that could do better rather than defacing yourselves and the people of your country.

    If you told the truth on my doorstep and said that these paintings are chinese hand painted works and I’m a tourist or student which is raising money for a trip in Australia, I would definitely buy your artwork. You would find that people would be willing to do the same also.

    Therefore it’s not about the product you guys sell, it’s about YOU GUYS! We hate seeing nice young people being used for some stupid money making scheme that your boss set up. I bet inside, it makes you feel terrible, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are so many good people here in Australia, your lies will get the better of you in the end.

    I hope those that are employed by these greedy heartless bosses stand up against them. Australian’s are not “Goyim” because they are caring and giving! Australians are not stupid, dumb or gullible! Most of us would break an arm to just to save you from death.

  4. Ellie says:

    Interesting to read this – I just had one of these guys at my door in Edinburgh, Scotland – I guess it’s because the Edinburgh festival is on. I agree, if the guy had been straight about the paintings he was selling rather than spinning a bogus story (that it is part of a project for Glasgow School of Art – as if they would get students to produce and sell these mass market paintings!) then I would be able to take it or leave it as I pleased, but he blatantly lied and that is very annoying. Anyway I was pretty sure was a scam but thought I would google and check – the description matches the top post here, right down to the French sounding accent! I worry for the more vulnerable people he will be targetting (he knocked on my door pretty late in the evening). These guys could easily apply to set up a pitch here in Edinburgh and do some honest selling, some of the paintings were pretty good! There is no need for such dishonesty.

  5. Jase says:

    Just had my visit as well. pretty girl, said she was from that art institute in Isreal yada yada. I am a major Isreal sympathiser too, so I had a big conversation with her about the whole mid-east deal, and how the world is notrecognizing the difference between the Isreal objective and the Arab objective (Jewish extinction basically). Weird thing though… she didn’t seem comfortable with her skin type, and kept saying she was darker than all her friends there and was teased etc… it was odd. I didn’t buy anything cause I’m pretty broke right now, but I would have because she was awesome. Then I read these forums etc and felt stupid ;). I also found the prints online at some Chinese website. Very dissapointed with her. Here’s the ting though, and it’s just a possibility here. I’m in the U.S.. I read some big article about there being a link between these door to door Isrealis and terrorist cell locations. That made me laugh at first because no Jews would EVER help them for any reason. I also though it weird that Isreali’s… our huge allies whom we give our soldiers lives for, would be targeting us in mass ( I mean by the droves they are being caught over here) for scamming us after lying to us silly. Doesn’t seem right or make sense to me. BUT… then i thought… what if they ARE connected to the cell locations as the rediculous news article suggested, but because they are actually Islamic arabs?? What better way to get some scam money from your enemy#2 for your own purposes, and when it all falls apart finally, your enemy#1 looks like a bunch of scamming sleeze bags with no integrity. Hmmm… just say’n here… maybe that’s the link. Who knows. My mind is still spinning from the fact she lied like that to me and my son and wife. I really liker her alot too. I may just be reacting. But it does link the wierd articles, and at least it makes some sense rather than none at all.

  6. Jase says:

    Sorry about the massive spelling errors…. using my phone.

  7. Jase says:

    And yes… lord have mercy… I know I mispelled Israeli 50 thousand times lol ;).

  8. David Goldberg says:

    Jase,
    Take your ignorant and racist views with you and dont shut the door on the way out, we will barracade it.

    good bye.

  9. Dan Bekkering says:

    I am a seller of these paintings too and the story that the people who visit you tell that they make the paintings themselves is just a white lie to make it more romantic for their customers to buy the paintings.

    For the money you still get a fairly good piece of art to hang upon your wall. “Scam” is a to big word for it, it is true that there are more than one of the same painting and that you buy a reproduction, but what do you want for 120 dollars, a Van Gogh?

    My experience is that if you tell your customers that there are more than one of the same painting they want to buy from you, that they are reproductions, people still buy them because they like them and they fit in their home interior.

  10. Saldanha says:

    I agree with you Peter. I’m in Melbourne and People are selling here too. It’s not specifically “Israeli” it could be any nationality, preferable European. Two things:
    1 – It’s a scam and people are trying to get the most out of it before is too late. (and spreading the word is the only way to end this unfair business faster).
    2 – I would hate to be fooled like this and every person that I know would hate just the same. So please, FOR THOSE WHO SAYS THERE’S NOTHING WRONG, I have something to sell to you too here’s “I love you guys” – That’s what I want you to see but what I just sold to you guys is this “FUCK YOU!” .I bet you didn’t like this, did you? Let’s wake up people, don’t be careless, THINK about the consequences of your actions.

  11. Student says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m a student at UTS (Sydney) and I’m doing some research on these door-to-door ‘art scams’. If anyone has bought one of these pieces, or knows someone who has, I’d love to have a chat about it.
    Also, it would be really great to speak to anyone who sells, or has sold paintings door-to-door in the past.

    My email is gmackenziee@gmail.com

    Cheers!

  12. Art Lover says:

    I myself sold art, door to door.
    I have to say that it is a controversial subject indeed.
    At first I was quite repelled by the stories I’ve heard about people lying and saying they painted the art and so forth. I decided to give it an honest try.
    I’ve sold these beautiful paintings for 2 months. I haven’t used a single lie in any sale, and I was the top seller in my team.
    These paintings are amazing. They were indeed painted by hand as far as my untrained eye can tell, since I see 2 of the same painting and they are quite different from one another.
    Almost every product we buy today is made in China and these aren’t so very different. Do you know for how much the factory in China sells your Nike shoes? No more than a few Dollars probably.
    Furthermore, every product in the world today has mark-up. That means that the prices go up from the factory till they reach the client and that’s exactly how it should work. The product we provide is of top quality, brought to the customers door so he can try it in his house, framed for him within the week in the convenience of his house, and handed to him on a silver plate. Just show me another company that provides people with that service, and still keeps the costs lower than any painting you can find in galleries today at that level and quality.
    We, the students and young people who sell it, work very hard day after day to provide this service and we earn an honest living. We are also taught and trained to be polite and nice since we are invading the people’s private space and sanctuary and we treat them with the utmost respect. Someone who is rude, too pushy or aggressive in his sales will quickly be off the team.
    In any profession you will have dishonesty, lies and deceivers. Especially sales is a tricky business. Even the simplest salesman in any clothing store will show you the “nice side of the truth” so to speak. Does that make it the “great clothing stores scam”?
    The bottom line is that we provide an amazing product, at low cost, to your doorstep, work very hard for the customers to find something that they love, and change the misconception today that art should be only in museums and galleries. Please forgive the ones that don’t believe in the product enough that they feel they must lie and deceive. I try to stop that phenomena as best as I can and explain to them that the truth is the most efficient sales “tactic”.
    Hopefully we can get rid of that phenomena soon and continue providing people around the world these beautiful paintings.

  13. klaus says:

    “Art Lover”

    That is the biggest load of sh*t I have read all year, but I am glad you believe it :)

  14. Art Lover says:

    Klaus – It’s easy using words like sh*t. Way to go…

    just think about it. every thing u own cost to produce about 1/10 or 1/20 of the price u paid for it.
    everything u own was sold to u with a persuasion of some sort. what do u call “commercials”?
    u go out and buy products because someone told u with or without your consent why they are good for u…
    giant corporations make u pay a lot more than something is worth just because they can. whereas here u pay good money for something that is worth it.

    anyway, I guess that’s all just sh*t right?

  15. klaus says:

    Art Lover, thankyou for your life lesson, and we are glad you enjoyed reading the “israeli” art scam article.

  16. Student says:

    Art-lover, thank you for your reply. I was wondering if perhaps you would agree to a little interview about the art sales. Considering the opposition to them on this site, and others, I think your input would be really good to balance the article.
    I’m in Sydney if you would like to meet face to face, or we could do a telephone interview. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this then I could email you some questions?

  17. ed says:

    thanks for the article. i just did a search after being approached by the same style sales pitch at my front door

  18. John Walker says:

    Well done David Goldberg for putting jase in his place over his disgustingly racist reasoning and suggestion.

  19. Former door2door seller says:

    So…
    how does it really work’s u ask ? Simple:
    1. Legal company with Big boss that was in the past a seller himself
    2. Crew manager
    3. Agents
    4. Framer
    Paintings = oil painting from china that are handmade and cheap to import (same as any other thing u import from china)
    Cars/vans/portfolio folders and a smile…

    U get around 25-30 paintings in a folder and on each one u sell u need to pay back fixed price, let’s say 60$. Your profit is the difference from your sale price(130$ sale-60$=70$ profit for agent)
    the crew manager gets let’s say 25$ fixed from each painting sale and the boss left out with 35$ on every sale… so the agent will try to do his best and aim for the high price he can get.
    For me, I preferred to sell low price and a lot then do 1 big sale.
    I agree with “art lover” about the fact that ” truth is the most efficient sales “tactic” ” and same with “peter” :” If you told the truth on my doorstep and said that these paintings are chinese hand painted works and I’m a tourist or student which is raising money for a trip”
    It’s a product. U get a cheap “art gallery” to your house and can decide if it goes with your carpet&sofa color, same with frames and in the cost of 1 gallery painting u get 3 for your new “wanabe decorated” house.
    Yes, it’s not for a real fine art loving person but better and cheaper than the “ikea design art person)

    This business is old and from the 60′s all around the world.
    It is a scam just when its involved lies about the origins of the painting and who u are and its has bad reputation because people think that if they lie they will sell more. Certainly the boss/crew manager don’t care if u lie as long as u sell…

    Yes, I did lots of money. No, I didn’t say I’m an art student just that I sell cheap oil paintings and if they want they can look, don’t want don’t buy.
    Yes, u don’t just come and say that they cost 5$ same as u won’t hear it from any electric shop for sellphones\ipod\dvd’s\sport shoes and all the rest of that crap that we buy each day to feel better…

    For any more question’s feel happy to ask…

  20. kumeta says:

    for ArtLover – excellent sales pitch, you were able to convince me for a minute there.
    for Former door2door seller – excellent distinction, specially loved “Yes, u don’t just come and say that they cost 5$ same as u won’t hear it from any electric shop for sellphones\ipod\dvd’s\sport shoes and all the rest of that crap that we buy each day to feel better…”

    scam or not scam, you gotta look at the wider picture
    this all cry is just a derivative of the consumption culture.
    you are all consumers, that go and consume useless stuff because you’re dead bored from your miserable pointless life (they’re not REALLY pointless, you were just unfortunately educated to believe that all important in life is money and the stuff you can buy with it) … the biggest scam of all is making us all feel that “MONEY” is something real and precious, which is no more than illusion which is made to control fools… so in the end of the day if you won’t buy my dead sea cosmetic skin care moisturizer, and still resist buying some nice paintings at your door, you’ll still be spending s**tloads of money for a whole bunch of useless crap

    if you really want to make yourself feel better, maybe you should spend less time next to the computer and inside concrete structures looking for some articles that will verify that fact that you’re a fool, and instead go deep into the forest or go climb a mountain and breath the air and kiss the ground of Gaya and hug a tree and appreciate the fact that you’re alive and that everything around you is so alive and beautiful… (:

    hope I made my point clear…take good care you all
    I truely do mean it, despite being a salesman. (:
    sales people are not evil, they just inject themselves into this all consumption circle for a while to make a living, before they move on again…or maybe its only me.

  21. Bonnie says:

    They have hit the Dallas Texas area

  22. Clyde says:

    They have also hit the Ohio Area

  23. Nicolas says:

    Hi folk,

    I feel like sharing with everyone, hopefully you’ll feel all a bit better.

    First let’s say the most important: those guys are not only Israelis, they are backpackers from all around the world who don’t really know what they do. I’m French; I did it myself and am not proud of it. Although it’s the only job I found to pay my travels.

    I feel bad about the whole thing but in the same time, some of the buyers will never know and they were so happy to buy a real painting with a story behind it for 100 bucks, really happy. I truly hope they will never read those blogs so they can still enjoy those beautiful colors in their homes.

    In the same time I think I really earned this money, walking 8-10 hours in 30-35 degrees and forcing doors was really hard. I was so happy when I finally could stop this terrible job and have enough money to discover your beautiful country.

    The money you gave me guys, I gave it back to your economy. I had only 200 bucks on my bank account when I got back home but thanks to you I had thousand of beautiful landscapes in my head.

    Those young students do this door-to-door job as any other shitty job they could find to pay their travels. Before judging those poor young guys, check what motivates them to accept those sad jobs. Working for 3 or 5 bucks an hour in a restaurant does not pay. Have you ever checked that the pizza you have in your plate at the restaurant has not been prepared by a poor backpacker (yes for me 3$/hour is a poor salary). Hope you’ll do it next time.

    Yes those canvases are probably made in China. And what? You like one of the canvas? Good for you, buy it. Do you think you have paid more that what it was worth? Where would you have bought art? How much would you have paid?

    Next time you have one of those backpackers at your home, don’t yell at him. Tell him/her that lying about the origin of a product is not fair. Advise him to tell the truth about the product. If there is a canvas that you like, tell him you would love buying one for what is fair for you and help this young guy/girl to understand a bit of life.

    Hope I have not hurt anyone.

    Regards.

    Nicolas

  24. Jen says:

    Hi!

    Nicolas I just read your reply, as well as others. Personally, if the story isn’t true, it’s not a very responsible thing to do. I think the idea is a good one, to offer something for the students travelling to do and go around Australia at the same time.

    I personally enjoyed the visit and I really love the artwork, I didn’t think it was an original. People are so quick to get angry and judge… And the student was right, I never go to art galleries to buy artwork, so it was nice to have one visit.

    Life is all about perspective. I choose to be happy with my choice. :)

  25. San Diego says:

    They are in san diego California, USA

  26. Chris says:

    I had a french woman try to sell me these paintings in Greystanes only an hour ago. Same story as a lot of the comments here.

  27. These things made the life of us painting artists hard. We try to promote our artwork over the internet, and people are scared away from such art scams…. These things need to stop.

  28. Beckki says:

    I live in Golden Grove, SA and was visited 31/3/2011 at 8.30pm. He said he was from Israli man who said the paintings were from fellow Uni students. They were selling them for $200 – $450 depending on size and if I purchased 4 or more he would chuck on in for free and do a group discount. He was not all that pushy but just kept talking and talking not letting me get in a word, I can’t be rude to people I will tell you once I am not interested in your sale but I cannot slam the door in your face. I need to get tough, I stupidly gave him my home phone number but I am not interested. I have been scared that these people try to break into your home or bash you and feel silly for not telling him to take a hike.

    At least I have not parted with any money as I kinda had a feeling that it was all too good to be true.

  29. Idan says:

    hello from Israel. I totally agree with you. The agents have Israelis bosses that want to see a lot of money. Averge agent earn per month 7000 Shekels (2000$)- most of the money goes to the boss. I can tell you that most Israelis dislike this phenomenon because it’s scam. Please don’t think that we are bad people in Israel, it’s a handful of people just wan’t to cheat people around the world; in Israel they can’t. We don’t believe them at all, and they don’t operate here. if you can see a movie of this scam see this (part of this in Hebrew): http://yes.walla.co.il/?w=/7801/1544914

  30. Ck says:

    I like the arts, now I feel like a fool, just spent $700 on 2 large side anvases, two small side. He claimed these are his art work!:(………….

  31. lurde sneves says:

    i have just bought 3 pieces of art..i dont really care who the artist is where they were painted…for me the importante thing is that the people that walked in my home shared some beautiful paintings that i was able to try in my home before bying..thank you for visiting me!i love them:)

  32. jfs says:

    We have bought pictures 3 different years here in Utah. I am disappointed to find that they were not painted by Israeli Art students and that we could have negotiated a much better price. However I can honestly say that I am not sorry that I have them. They are original canvas oil paintings. I have seen the same painting more than once, however they are different in small ways because they are real oil, not copies. The paintings dress up our home nicely and are still fairly good prices considering the size of the painting. I have a couple that I purchased last year that are not yet framed. The business card for the framing guy for last year is no good. So I would actually be very interested in finding them here again in Utah (specifically Bluffdale – new homes) so that I can get some framed.

  33. Sarah says:

    These guys are now targeting the Central Coast in NSW..

    Who sells art that they say is worth $400 and then let’s you keep the “painting” and says it’s ok to put the money into their bank account the next day…??????
    You would have to get suspicious straight away.. well my daughter did and needless to say there will not be any funds transferred to this scammers account..
    The so called “original paintings” are mass produced in China and worth about $5 tops….
    Don’t be fooled…!!!!

  34. bogaboga says:

    it’s not “these guys”…. you didn’t got it yet?

    there are a LOT of crews and a LOT of companies and a LOT of guys all over the world, it’s not one traveling team

  35. waaahh says:

    Comments are still going on such a lame topic?!

    If you bought fakes from a door to door sales person you deserve it because you are moron. End of story.

    Job well done of the sales person I say. Try tricked your uneducated dumb ass.

  36. dude says:

    I’m from Australia. Just found out that any door to door salesperson who works for a legitimate company or organisation must have ID and offer a cooling off period on the purchase.

    I liked the painings and i don’t care that they aren’t unique. I didn’t buy any because i avoid supporting sweatshopw and i have no way of knowing the true story.

    I don’t have any malice towards the young man-he probably doesn’t know it’ss not a proper company.

  37. qnewera says:

    I’m from Australia. Just found out that any door to door salesperson who works for a legitimate company or organisation must have ID and offer a cooling off period on the purchase.

  38. Brendan says:

    Hi!

    I’m happy to say I bought three paintings from this service back in 2009. I love my paintings and am actually looking to buy more. Does anyone know a website or someone I can speak with directly?

    Thanks,
    Brendan

  39. Geoff says:

    The “Israeli Art Students” came to my door at 6:00 pm last night. I had never heard of this scam before but suspected it from the start.

    My wife and I bought a new home 2 years ago. It has lots of bare, open wall space and we have been shopping in earnest ever since for some non-print artwork. We especially like oils as we can hang them without glass in the frames. We have been checking out galleries – fancy and local amateurs, art shows, craft markets, etc. We’ve looked in our home town and everywhere we travel.

    In all that shopping I have often been blown away by the prices. In particular, retail art stores that are selling obvious reproductions which aren’t al that great for what I think are insane prices. Sure, nice frames, but is another repro of the same ocean waves by the rocks worth $4700? I had a very strong feeling in my gut the product I was looking at was likely done by some Chinese person for $20 and nicely framed in China for maybe another $25.

    I have also seen some very nice art – in Mexican stores done by local Mexican artists (who are right there in the store painting it). I’ve seen paintings done by one of these artists over a period of a couple days, then on the third day see it hanging on the gallery wall for US$3200 while the artist is sitting there cranking out the next one. Beautiful, original art. But seriously – a Mexican making about $3150 profit would be like a Canadian winning $50,000 in a lottery.

    So, back to my “Israeli Art Student” paintings. These people spent well over and hour and half in our home helping us view these in different areas of the home. They had about 50 paintings in total.

    Our friend, a real artist, happened to be here. He had a very close look and determined that the canvas and paint was of pretty good quality, and absolutely was hand done by humans. Some even using some rather distinct painting methods.

    We picked out 2 large (about 5′ X 3′) and 5 small {about 30″ X 20″) that look gorgeous in our home. Total final price was CAD$1500. One of the two big ones was not a repro apparently, and after shopping for two years we could easily identify most of the repros. That one, great looking, well made and at least somewhat unique painting itself is about half the price of the next best deal we’ve seen on a large painting in two years of shopping.

    So, we are delighted with our buy. It is a shame that these people feel they have to resort to the art student scam. I thought about this a bit, and maybe it’s our fault as consumers, because if they came to my house saying they had great deals on some great looking art made cheaply in China, I don’t think I would have been interested.

    The best thing from all this: I have proven that my suspicions are correct. The vast majority of retail art is a rip-off. Yes, there are some beautiful pieces of art done by talented and/or well known artists that are worth the 5000% markup over the price of the canvas and paint, but they are far and few between. And we wouldn’t be able to afford stuff like that.

    I got 7 nice paintings for the price of 2 nice prints in an art shop, and I’m happy.

    Now, I am just hoping an Israeli picture framing student comes to my door in the next few days!

    Geoff

  40. AREYAKIDDING? says:

    Geoff,

    are you kidding me?
    worst propoganda post i ever read there mate.

    pay for advertising why dontcha!@

  41. Michale Steele says:

    i luv being scammed by scammers, can geoff sell me some fake chinese knock offs and then keep all the money?

  42. Jen says:

    Just had one of them at my door in Saskatoon, SK, 7:15pm, something didn’t seem quite “right”…called the cops on the scammer!

  43. kezza says:

    well seems I just got scammed and bought 1 painting. couple of days later framer rings up and asks if he can come over and frame my canvas painting. I live a long way from any big shopping districts so I said yes as I did not know when I would be near any shops to get it done. I really would like to get my so called oil painting on the wall. he comes over and said he was a framer from Uruguay by trade and is now taking his trade around the world with him during his travels. I bought a frame and he also said that my painting has requirements to last a long time and his framing skills and the fact the painting is on good quality canvas it would last a long time, decades even. After negotiating the cost I handed over the cost $200 for frame $200 for painting. I am not an artist or a buyer of fine art, this is the first time i have ever bought art and really thought I have purchased something beautiful. the frame was done very quickly and looks great. even professional. He then asked me if I would like to see some more art and that he also had in his car some pieces that he thought I would like. I asked him where he got them from and he told me he bought them from the guys that sold me the first painting. he paid $50 for each. He also told me that guys made a point of telling him that I really liked a certain set of two paintings (french streets in black and white with red leaves on trees). He bought them in and showed them to me with a selection of frames. they looked fabulous and i told him I had no money. This guy gave me price and said he would be happy for me to set up future payment as i did not have that cash right now. he framed the pieces and went on his way giving me all his trust. I have now in possession two more paintings that I have not paid for and will pay for them because I do not go back on my word and promised to pay him on pay day. so yes I probably have been scammed and my husband is probably gonna be pissed but I really like the work or copies and love that someone would go to the trouble to come to me to help me put some nice pictures on my walls. I don’t have to carry the guilt around with me and no i can go to sleep at night feeling happy. I wish i hew more about art when they first came over but i did not. you can be assured that I will now learn more about art and hope that my next purchase is real piece of art and the money is going to a real artist after all. The only thing made a wee bit mad about these guys is that did not have phone on any of them that actually worked and they had the nerve to ask me if they could use my phone.

  44. John says:

    Hello, I think I may know exactly who the ringleader of this whole scam is. In fact I think I live with him. Can someone please call me who has bought some of thEse paintings on 0421809311

    Thanks, John

  45. Gemini says:

    Ive read most of these replies and the bottom line remains, if you lie about the product, then it is wrong. Nicholas hopes the people he scammed out of their hard-earned money wont come across these blogs, but at the same time tries to validate what he did with excuses. It boils down to what so many people has already said, if you tell the truth about the art work & i still want to buy it, then good, but dont lie to me in order to make a quick sale. Finding out the truth that i was tricked into buying the painting (the fact that i liked is irrelevant because i bought it under false pretences) just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I dont earn mega bucks, hell knows i would also love to tour the world, but i cant afford it, yet you dont see me going around scamming people out of their money. Travelling is a luxury and a priviledge, NOT a necessity, therefore i have NO sympathy with these lying scamsters.

  46. Pisces says:

    I think I just had one of these people come along to my house at around 8.30pm in the Sydney area. I’ve had an experience with them before, but as a teenager answering the door there is no way that I could afford the paintings. (I could but would I?)
    He had a French accent and was good looking, he wasn’t pressing about the matter and in fact he was quite nice. He had the painting with the Eiffel Tower and the rock and the ocean.
    But for some reason I got a nice lesson out of it, there was one painting that he got me to look at and answer who was winning. The message in the end was “It all depends on how you look at it”.
    Sure we might have some hate towards these people, but sometimes it’s not so bad. Maybe just be more aware in the future?

  47. Noabsolutes says:

    I guess we just got scammed. We are in Orange County, California. We had an Israeli student come by Sunday at 5 pm and we bought his story hook line and sinker. Bought 2 large canvases and two small ones, and he threw in a small one we liked. I’ve never owned art work so they just looked nice and real. I decided to google if I have been scammed because his phone number or email or supposedly facebook account are non-existent when I tried to reach him about when the framer will be coming by. (He handed us a business cards with all this information and to share with friends and family if anyone is interested in purchasing his and his friends artwork). Each painting he showed us had a story behind it, whether it was from his background/upbringing, school work assignment, etc. He even said he’ll tell us which painting he didn’t personally do and which one was his friends. The spiel was they are collecting donations by selling their classroom art work for cost of the materials to open up a gallery in Laguna Beach. He even took pictures with us and the paintings we bought probably now to use to scam others!!!

    Thanks Kezza for additional information on what I should be expecting next. The framer is supposed to come by today to free stretch the painting and offer frames at 50% off and hanging assistance. Not sure if it’s fair to call the cops on the framer since he didn’t peddle me the paintings but he does have the number of all the scammers selling them on the street.

  48. Lisa says:

    I can’t believe it this Israelie guy has just come to my door now and I am in Pretoria South Africa!. I listened to his “talk” and told him I had to chat to my husband. I then thought I would just google the organization he said he represented ‘happy homes gallery’ and somehow got to your link. So glad I did. Love modern technology. Thanks for this site and will be telling him no thanks.

  49. Arj says:

    I young guy calling himself Pierre just knocked on my door here in Canberra and the paintings were similar to that on the link. Thank you for posting this warning.

  50. Lars says:

    Well they’re over here in Norway too.
    If anyone wants to talk to one, I have his number.
    His name is Guy + and apparently his cell number is +47 9329 1161

  51. saladax says:

    We have these guys visit us at home every year and every time I’ve wanted to buy something just to help them out. Tonight I bought a painting for $100. It was something that took my eye and I liked it. I already have many original paintings mostly abstract but all painted by well known Australian artists.
    During the exchange at my front door we spoke about mass produced art of this kind and the salesman (French backpacker – we spoke in French) He admitted he didn’t paint ALL of the paintings and I’m quite sure he didn’t paint any of it but as I live in a remote area and appreciated the effort made on his part, I did buy a very abstract oil painting and am happy to make this part of our home-life story.
    If I bought the same painting as a print I would have paid the same money for a cheaply framed print.
    My $100 dollar oil painting would have taken more than a day to complete due to the composition and additional layers so in my opinion it was not a hefty price to pay for an appealing piece of work that will look great on a spare wall. I think if we’re going to get philosophical on this scam we need to look more closely at the conditions of the Chinese who paint these things and take it from there because in terms of affordability they’re not expensive at all.

  52. someone says:

    Persoanlly, I just bought six of them and be honest, They are really nice and I do enjoying looking at them.

    scam or not, I dont really care. As long as I like it and I feel happy about it.
    That’s it.

    I am from Canberra, Australia. similar mass produced art pieces from Ikea or any Australian retail store cost tripple the price easily. so if i can get it for 120, why not.

    I was more concerned that if these people were selling the art for some other more serious deal. i.e rob my house afterwards and stuff, cos one of the guy asked to come in and offer advise on where to hang them and stuff….

  53. E.T. says:

    Apparently there’s one in Melbourne on +61481356406. Almost got drawn in by the romantic notion of possibly helping local artists befoe reading this- I’ll not waste the Myki fare to get to Fitzroy. It depresses me that there is so much ridiculous certification required to palletize fucking boxes or tend bar in this bloody country that the only option left to backpackers is to be exploited by arseholes into making them thousands of dollars. Fuck salespeople. Go to a local art college, find a student hard at work and commission her / him to paint you something in oils for $120- he or she’ll probably be glad of the cash!

  54. njean says:

    I have bought a shipload of these paintings/they are gorgeous!

    We are newly weds/bought a large, new home, a couple of years ago, and all new furniture. We were trying to pay off furniture, before filling the walls…

    Feel a bit mislead after reading this, …as I really like the guys & gal, who came around with them!!/they were super! The first group of them, were supposedly from Israel, but the second group, that I really became friends with, say they are from Germany… My next door neighbor saw my paintings, and she bought two/used their framer.

    What made me curious regarding this: yesterday I ran across the card of the framer for the first group, and it is the same framer the second group uses, though they say, he works for them exclusively! He was nice, but not so much as the artists were/claimed he is from Africa, and would be killed by extremists-if he returns there/I do believe him.

    The two guys from Germany are the nicest you would ever want to know… one says he is an interior designer, and seems to really know his stuff/I was in the decorating business, so I know. Each group of artists that comes by, says they are opening an art studio in the area, and there will be a grand opening, but that day never comes/have not decided to tell my husband about this. The German guys gave me a beautiful Monet-copy for $50.00 because my neighbor bought her paintings from them.

    I really hope they get their’ degrees and do not get arrested or anything like that/get an honest profession… I just wonder if they are really artists?

    There was one other thing that bothered me: the artist who sales the painting, signs it with a M A R K E R ??? I thought that was odd! Doesn’t an artist sign with paint, when he completes a painting? We did, when I took classes years ago ??

    In my case, I love the art I purchased, and do not know what I will say when I see the next set of ‘ARTISTS’? who come around. I have a feeling a new group will show up…

    …hope to keep my cool, but …I like the idea of going to a college, and also, I have been thinking about picking up a brush again myself.

    I do not believe I will buy again after what I read here.??? ~ When I decided to look for something tonight, I was really hoping to find “NOTHING” …but Such Is Life!

    I have some fabulous-looking-art on my walls/paid much more for the framing than for the paintings! ~ I hate thinking they may have come from China, but probably most everything in your home did! That is the sad thing/I try to buy American; guess I blew it, , but life goes on and hopefully WE LEARN!!! I am disappointed and enlightened.

    Happy we had this little conversation; the real sad part is wondering what I will say to them, if the same guys come here -?- Perhaps I will show them this article. I have all their-phone numbers!!!

  55. ML UNK says:

    I just had these people come to the house and I said I would buy two of them for $240 because I really liked them, I live in a rural town in NSW so didnt think would be scam or rip off, my husband said check it out, I now know and wondering what to do, according to http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/sales-delivery/telemarketing-door-to-door-sales
    they didnt give me any paperwork, just a name and bank details to transfer him money, so apparenty I have the right to give them back and say no, how do they know if you dont pay, what would they do? I would rather give them back then pay that much for slave labour :( dissapointed because they are lovely and suit well but now I know the origin and mark up thats crazy to support that, hopefully they dont do anything crazy if we send them back. Apparently they arnt unique too, as what everyone has described the ones they were offered were the same as I was and these were years ago so they just mass produce them, so I am not supporting some poor artist in ‘Cambodia’ as they said and the profits aren’t going to them :(

  56. ML UNK says:

    I just had these people come to the house and I said I would buy two of them for $240 because I really liked them, I live in a rural town in NSW so didnt think would be scam or rip off, my husband said check it out, I now know and wondering what to do, according to http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/sales-delivery/telemarketing-door-to-door-sales
    they didnt give me any paperwork, just a name and bank details to transfer him money, so apparenty I have the right to give them back and say no, how do they know if you dont pay, what would they do? I would rather give them back then pay that much for slave labour :( dissapointed because they are lovely and suit well but now I know the origin and mark up thats crazy to support that, hopefully they dont do anything crazy if we send them back. Apparently they arnt unique too, as what everyone has described the ones they were offered were the same as I was and these were years ago so they just mass produce them, so I am not supporting some poor artist in ‘Cambodia’ as they said and the profits aren’t going to them :(
    will be sending back i think!

  57. John says:

    If I called you over the telephone, would you provide me with your bank details?

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