"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Art Scam

Greetings from Finland again!

So it's been about four months now since my last post here on this blog. Apologies for my laziness!

I haven't been painting any canvasses at all lately either.  I spent four months here and there visiting family in Ireland at the beginning of the year and since then I've had nothing but health issues myself which I'd rather see the back of soon. Any artistic efforts I've done this year have been created on my computer only. Tapping a few keys and moving a mouse about feels a little easier these days. All I can say is that it's a damn nuisance and very annoying! I suppose these things happen as one gets older. I will hopefully get around to doing requested work as soon as possible.

For the moment I have had an issue with an art scam and I wanted to write this blogpost to share my info and alert any fellow artists or those in the business of selling art online.

I recently received an email enquiring about one of my artworks 'The Orange Cow' or 'La Vache Orange' as it was called on this occasion..

I receive a number of bogus emails to my inbox which over time 
have become easier to detect.

The email I received on this occasion was written in French so I was a little curious. This is mainly because normally anyone looking to buy art online would have some knowledge of myself and my artwork, they would also have noticed most of my online presence is in English. And if someone sends me an email in another language other than english they will usually ask me politely if it is okay to continue in their language. I had noticed this person found my artwork on a website which automatically offers selected language options, so I carried on reading the email. 

First email

Le 4 septembre
To Alan Hogan

La Vache orange

Bonsoir,puis-je avoir le prix de l'oeuvre dont le titre est "La Vache orange" par


I decided to corresspond in French with a little help from Google translate and a friend. I studied some french in school also. The email I received seemed friendly and straight forward.

Next email:

Francis Garaudy 6 Sep
Alan Hogan


je vous remercie pour votre reponse, je confirme mon désir d'acheter votre création
Vu le prix raisonnable je vous rajoute 20€ pour le colissimo (frais de port) comprit ce qui fera donc 320€ TTC .

J'accepte le paiement par Paypal : c'est ce que je trouve le plus rapide aussi et sécurisé pour l'un comme pour l'autre, et de plus c'est un mode de paiement le plus utilisé en ligne dans le monde .
Veuillez me faire parvenir votre adresse mail paypal afin de
clore cette vente.

A vous relire tres vite

Anyway a price was requested and agreed on. Paypal as a method of payment was agreed on also. So far so good. Next I began to prepare my painting, packing and calculating shipping costs. I also looked into the persons name and email address, I search various websites and Googled for any fraud alerts or info on the person. No alerts appeared and I couldn't find anything relevant about the person in question. I was given an address which I looked up on Google maps and it looked legitimate, there was even a small design gallery next door. In cases of selling art online I often try to gain a friendly 'tête-à-tête' with the customer. As my French is limited there was only the basic comments this time. I shared a convenient link to my Paypal account for payment after which I received an email from Paypal saying funds into my account were pending and a tracking number for the package was requested. The Paypal email I receive looked legit with good attention to small details and logos. 

Next email:

Francis Garaudy 8 Sep at 9:47 PM

Alan Hogan

Comme convenu nous venions d'effectuer le paiement à votre adresse 'theartgarage(at)'.

Avez vous reçu l'avis de Paypal ? Puisque j'ai un soucis de connexion veuillez vérifier vos mails ( boite de réception ou courrier indésirable ou spam ) vous trouverez les notifications du service Paypal.

Pour l'envoi du colis je vous laisse mon adresse de livraison:
19 Avenue Louis Barthou,
Code postale: 33200

Merci de bien suivre les instructions du service Paypal


So next morning I went off and posted the painting and later emailed the tracking number with the shipping company's name as asked. Having done this I realised shortly afterwards that I neglected to check the secondary email I received from Paypal. I scanned the email address through Google and immediately discovered fraud alerts with other names involved. I was a little annoyed at myself as I usually spot these scammers early. Lucky for me though it was a Saturday afternoon and no post leaves my town until Monday morning. I managed to get to my local supermarket/post office and retrieve the painting and all postage costs. So nothing lost but my time!

One thing I was happy about was the fact that I found a perfectly sized box to package this painting. So as I have no plans to exhibit this painting anytime soon I shall be keeping 'The Orange Cow' wrapped up for now. If anyone reading this blog is interested in buying this artwork please drop an email to me at ... theartgarage(at) . And if you mention that you read my blog I'll add a full set of my art postcards!

'The Orange Cow' painting is also available to buy as a print and other products from various online shops such as Redbubble and Society6. All my links can be found here

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- Alan


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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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