workshop and scams

OMG, what a busy week it’s been.  Last time I posted was when Miss Em flew in to surprise  me (and did she!) for Mother’s Day.  We had a busy, action packed 2 days.  She helped me matt some cards (reminded her of when she would help me do it when she was young!), offered advice when viewing my new cards that I’m creating and we reviewed the Atlanta Gift show binder (it’s overwhelming).  On Tuesday afternoon we drove down to Mountain View to visit East West Bookshop.  I’m going to be doing a workshop there on June 5th.  I’m very excited about this prospect and hope that many more workshops follow!  “Moving through Transition with Creativity” is the name of the workshop.  It’s based on my own experience, not surprisingly, in leaving Seattle, the Corporate world and my life as I knew it to move to San Francisco.  I’m sure I’ve touched on the challenges that resulted from all the changes my marriage to Mark entailed (there were many).  It was my journal writing and playing with watercolors, that kept me sane at times.  I look forward to sharing this info with others and being a witness to their discoveries.

In the midst of Em’s visit, I was also emailing back and forth with what I thought was a company in Australia who was interested in my cards.  I was so excited at the prospect of selling my cards overseas (envisioning “words and watercolors…around the world…enriching and inspiring…just as my logo states) that my BS detector was a bit off.  By Weds of last week I was totally caught up in the deal.  It would have been a huge sale (had it not been bogus) yet thankfully I was saved by the guy down the street in the check cashing storefront.  When I walked in to ask for a Western Union  wire transfer for the “freight” company overseas he asked for more details.  Thankfully he can spot a scam a mile away and quickly pointed out to me some of the inconsistencies within all the paperwork I had in my hands.  To be honest, I was beginning to think it was too good to be true and easily agreed with him that it didn’t make sense that the credit card authorization was an address in Dallas with phone numbers in Australia.  When I got the authorization number from running the card I was quite surprised.  Mark googled business scams and we read almost verbatim a scenario that was like mine: An email is sent with an inquiry for pricing from a company overseas.  A large order placed with request to use a certain freight company.  Credit Card given and then the pressure to get the check sent to the freight company (that’s where they make their money).  As much as you can scam over the internet, you can also verify with the internet.  With google maps we discovered that their was no physical building at the so called address I was given in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.  The address for the credit card was a very large home in a residential area of Dallas, the phone numbers provided did have the Australia country code but instead of Queensland they were in the Melbourne part of Australia.  It became very apparent that getting the freight paid upfront and quickly was the goal of the transaction.  Wells Fargo explained that this happens more often than people would think.  Thankfully I didn’t succumb.  I’ve reversed the charges of the credit card.  I have given thanks to my angels and they guy down the street for bringing me back to reality!  I still hope that someday my cards will get picked up, somehow, by a distributor in another country so my mantra can be realized but until then, I’ll be happy with my small orders received through my efforts or my reps.

Next I’ll write more about the new cards I’m creating for the summer shows.  It’s fun to see them come to fruition!

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