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Beware of the Israeli Art Scam in Canberra

TAD 25 March 2009 53

This evening at my home in west Belconnen I had a wonderful visit from two Israeli “art students” showing me their artwork which they stated was painstakingly painted by themselves to fund their trip around Australia.

This is a scam. The paintings are cheap chinese mass produced knock offs marked up to be sold to suckers for $500 more than they are worth.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/13/2445638.htm
http://www.ozcomments.com/archives/70
http://www.starnewsgroup.com.au/story/8437
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/israeli-art-scam-hits-illawarra/1413107.aspx

[ED – This is the second of these we’ve heard about in the last few days]


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53 Responses to Beware of the Israeli Art Scam in Canberra
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dkNigs 12:16 am 24 Aug 13

Hahah, what is wrong with this womans boobs? http://www.doupine.com/arts/HS0774.htm

banco 6:44 pm 23 Aug 13

This scam popped up in the US and there were some who were convinced it was a mossad front to gain access to houses of security officials in the US.

poetix 6:00 pm 23 Aug 13

This was the thread that made me fall in love with RiotACT. Looking up those paintings...frisson central.

theblues 4:45 pm 23 Aug 13

We got conned too in early August. Have reported it to Crime Stoppers and Scam Watch. Be aware. They are targeting new areas in Gungahlin.

poetix 11:23 pm 06 Jan 12

The catalogue is definitely worth a browse, as much for the descriptions as for the 'art'. For example at

www.doupine.com/arts/HS3214.htm

there is a work called 'The Colourful Spoondrift'. 'Introduction: The Colorful Spoondrift give the Spoondrift more colors, making them more beautiful.' This is a lurid seascape. Or for those who need things really spelt out for them 'Lady in Bar' is described as 'The two ladies are drinking in the bar.' The nudes are probably the worst I have ever seen.

It is totally great, without any pushy salespeople, although you can chat live to a salesperson, if you feel the need for Spoondrift.

OverLord 9:01 pm 06 Jan 12

Had a guy show up last night here in Gunners. He had done some research though, I asked him where he was studying etc and he explained that he was on a trip up from Sydney to see the Renaissance exhibition at the NGA and the Contemporary Chinese exhibition as well.

Suffice to say I had to come up with a better excuse to send him off to another house. I'll need to brush up on my painting terminology for the next one that comes along.

JhonnyComeLately 7:23 pm 06 Jan 12

[quote comment="376004"]

I wonder why they are concentrating on Gungahlin?[/quote]

They are targeting areas with lots of newly built houses. If you have just built a new house, it is probably in serious need of some interior decoration like "paintings"

This is a scam because they tell you a lot of lies to make you buy a painting at much higher price than it is worth. It is bad because they are cheating nice and trusting people .

poetix 7:58 pm 05 Jan 12

[quote comment="375971"][quote comment="375968"]Pretty sure there's fraud involved.[/quote]

Until a copper's wife is conned I can guarantee there will be no police response.[/quote]

I'm sure police officers' wives have excellent taste in art.

However anyone who buys something like this deserves what they get. Particularly if they have ever complained about public art being a waste of money, or uttered the immortal line 'my five year old could do better than that'. I hope they buy two then, chosen by colour, to hang above the matching lounge suite.

I wonder why they are concentrating on Gungahlin?

dungfungus 6:14 pm 05 Jan 12

[quote comment="375968"]Pretty sure there's fraud involved.[/quote]

Until a copper's wife is conned I can guarantee there will be no police response.

johnboy 6:06 pm 05 Jan 12

Pretty sure there's fraud involved.

dungfungus 6:02 pm 05 Jan 12

[quote comment="375963"]Folks, This is still happening in Canberra, especially Gungahlin and other newly built up areaarea, I know a recent victim last week of December 2011. People of newly built up suburbs,they are targeting you, please be careful. I wonder why police is letting this happen?!!!. Well you have been warned.[/quote]

And what crime is it that they committing requiring the police to be involved? When I last checked there was no legislation covering stupidity.

JhonnyComeLately 5:50 pm 05 Jan 12

Folks, This is still happening in Canberra, especially Gungahlin and other newly built up areaarea, I know a recent victim last week of December 2011. People of newly built up suburbs,they are targeting you, please be careful. I wonder why police is letting this happen?!!!. Well you have been warned.

myrtleville 3:19 am 11 May 10

I think it's really unfair actually- I bet they've just been framed.

X.X

georgesgenitals 6:57 pm 12 Apr 10

I just looked through this thread and clicked on the link to the sunset picture. Yuk!

harley 5:39 pm 12 Apr 10

Hate to ressurect an old post, but just had Kevin from some art school in Paris hawking.

I sent him and his authentic accent on his way.

A year and a week later... Hmmm...

peterh 1:12 pm 03 Apr 09

having worked as a door to door sales guy (hangs head in shame) I always ask to see their hawker's license. no license, no joy.

warmonga 12:36 pm 03 Apr 09

OK, 1 last post. Immigration were not interested in the working without a visa thing - apparently students CAN work 20 hours a week on their visa. They were interested in the fraud.

The email address for everyone, if you get any information about these guys is : fraudnsw@immi.gov.au

OK, now I will really let it go.

warmonga 12:12 pm 03 Apr 09

re: TAD post #35

Yes, I feel better just being scammed rather than being robbed, and the painting is quite nice - still feel like a sucker though. I am going to message the guy on Facebook just to see what happens.

I do wonder why they bother getting my name and phone number though, on the pretense that a framer will call me up...

Fair Trading knew what I was talking about as soon as I said "door-to-door" and mentioned something about maybe issuing a press release. I also sent them a screenshot of the guy's Facebook page.

I have also investigating reporting the Israeli guy to Immigration, as suggested by the police. The website is http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/compliance/staying-legally/dob-in-line.htm

Then, I'll let go :)

TAD 6:01 pm 02 Apr 09

You'll have to just let it go, call it a lesson learned etc.

I informed Fair Trading ACT on the date of my original post. They sent me a link to some vague article on scamwatch (Commonwealth Govt Site) telling people to be careful with door to door traders.

I replied and asked them politely to consider a media release lest more ACT residents get suckered. They werent intersted (Narelle Branwell TL Advice and Complaints Unit). It would have taken them a total of 2 minutes to draft and send the fax and I'm sure they had better things to do (like an office birthday or something).

They aren't there to steal your id, just make some bucks from suckers and move onto the next street.

warmonga 11:42 am 02 Apr 09

Had a guy come to our house last night by the name of Lior Guri, claiming to be an Israeli student with original works from many students from around the world who were involved in some project to raise money for art students.

We bought a painting and then I had an uneasy feeling and googled. Yes, I am a loser - should have googled first....

I am not particularly worried about being fleeced by buying a $5 ripoff at 30x markup. I dislike being lied to and thinking I am doing a good thing for a struggling student, finding out that I am in fact being fleeced by a dodgy backpacker. I would have preferred to buy a painting from a local art student with that money, supporting local artists and the local industry, rather than Israeli backpackers.

Here's what I have done - contacted Fair Trading, via :

Office of Regulatory Services

GPO Box 158

Canberra City ACT 2601

ph: 02 6205 3795

fax: 02 6207 0538

email: Fair.Trading@act.gov.au

Contacted police - they said they could do nothing

Contacted my bank - they are investigating. I did an EFT, so have his name and account details.

Looked him up on Facebook - search for him and check it out yourself - he's the guy sitting next to the microwave in the stripy hoody.

As I said, my main beef is that I have been lied to and been made to feel fearful in my own house - at first I was convinced he was an identity thief and was also casing the joint to come back and rob me later - I had a bad night's sleep. Since finding him on Facebook and realising he is using his real bank account, I think it is more likely that he is in fact a student, scamming innocents like myself to fund a holiday.

As I learned in legal studies in grade 10 - "let the buyer beware", which was something in Latin I am sure...

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