There's a new version of an old scam going around—this time targeting artists and photographers.
First, a "buyer" contacts you requesting to buy a particular print or artwork—sometimes even linking to your web page with the print that's being requested. Then they tell you that a check is on the way—one that includes shipping costs—but that you need to use their (the buyer's) preferred shipping company. You're requested to deposit the check and, on the same day, make a Western Union payment to the shipping company. (In the case we know about, the alleged company was called "fedral shipping." Sure sounds legit, huh?)
Naturally, what happens then is that the check bounces and you can't get the "shipping" money back.
This is an old scam, common enough on Ebay and Craig's List. What's new is that they're now targeting artists and photographers who have online stores. And, sadly, although I know most of you will already be inoculated against such a ploy, I can just picture some struggling artist being so pleased to finally make a big sale of work that they allow themselves to be blinded by hopefulness.
(Thanks to Chuck Kimmerle)