On Your Side: West Plains, Mo. artist nearly loses hundreds when trying to sell painting online

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:01 PM CST
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - An artist in West Plains thought she had a buyer for one of her paintings. It was a scammer. She almost lost hundreds of dollars. If you sell items online, know about this scheme.

With every stroke, Donna Lay embeds a mark. Painting is her passion. She sells her work on eBay.

“It seemed like a way to get my paintings out there. So other people could see it,” said Lay.

She got a notification. One was sold.

“I got notified by eBay that she had made a very generous offer of $120,” exclaimed Lay.

The buyer sent a message, asking to communicate through private email. The buyer said the painting would be a birthday gift for her daughter. Lay was instructed to include a $400 gift card with the painting. The buyer would add $415 to her payment. Plus $35 for gas and $50 for shipping.

“I went what? You want me to buy a gift card? And you’re out of the country and going to send me money for this?” asked Lay.

Lay did not take the bait.

It’s best to ignore or block what you think is a swindler. They hope you’ll respond so they can drag you into their trick.

“This is stuff that I paint to try to help people and they’re turning it around into something dirty,” said Lay.

Sellers should not send money. It just does not make sense.

Keep the convo on eBay. No need to use private emails.

Watch out for sob stories or complicated situations.

Inspect that eBay account. If there’s no history and the account was recently created, like that day, that’s a big red flag.

Report these scams to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau.

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