ARS makes Photobucket finally comply

I wish I would have found ARS sooner! Since March of 2011 (almost a year!), I have been form-filling and letter writing trying to get my copyrighted artworks off of Photobucket’s website. ARS stepped in…and in 1 day, yes, I said it, 1 day…they got Photobucket to comply. Thank you ARS!

Fellow Artists…if you have the same battles with copyright infringement of your artwork that I do, don’t hesitate to contact ARS for help. Here is their info:
Artists Rights Society . 536 Broadway . Fifth Floor . New York, NY 10012
(P) 1.212.420.9160 (F): 1.212.420.9286

Beware: forgeries of Bj. deCastro’s artwork

I just got another call today about a website that is suspect of selling forgeries of ‘Original Oil Paintings by Bj. deCastro at wholesale prices.’  Apparently it was found by a Google search with the words Oil Paintings For Sale in California.  It was also reported to be a seller from China.  I have tried to find this site without any luck.  So please, be careful.  Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have before you purchase from the secondary market.

Common sense usually prevails.    ‘Original’ and ‘wholesale’ are two words that don’t usually go together when talking about investment grade art by any collected artist – especially one still living and working out of their studio.  We want the value of our work to go up for the satisfaction of our collecting patrons.  We do not want ‘wholesale’ attached in any way to the art’s value.  Wholesale means, selling goods in large quantities for resale to the consumer”.   Original means, there is only one in the entire world.   The collectors of my original works pay a fair price for that honor.

 A big warehouse may have a stack of ‘student’ grade originals from multiple artists from multiple sources to be auctioned or sold at ‘wholesale’ prices.   You may find prints and reproductions advertised as ‘Direct From the Artist at wholesale prices’, but more often than not, it is simply stated ‘Buy Direct from the Artist’. 

What really peaves me the most, is when I go to these displays in front of the local grocery store, strip mall, etc., that have tons of art stacked up against the walls and a salesperson lurking about.  Straight to my face, they will sell these prints as original works of art – just as I am looking at the straight line on the edge from the printers!  Some are smartly done with impasto strokes over the printed canvas substrate on the front.  And occasionally, I even find half-way attempts at painting over the straight edged line that so evidences a ‘print’.  But many times, I will find them all nicely framed up so there is no opportunity for examination.     Here is another article I wrote on how to tell an original from a print.

If it sounds too good to be true…it is.  Again, be careful.

How to read and what to look for in Scam Emails:

Art Scam Emails

To See The Source Code: Open Email…Click on File…Click on Properties…Click on Details…Click on Message Source

First, look at the ‘Received: from’ lines. Usually, if there are nothing but a long list of numbers, that should be your first clue. You are also looking for servers that specialize in email spamming accounts. Most will have obvious addresses-like, or an obvious program name like Send It Out All Over Pro Ver. XX.X

Second, try to copy the IP address and see if it gets you anywhere…usually not, but it’s worth a try. They appear in the [ ] and look like this: I must warn you here…most of these are set up on servers that rotate the IP’s just for this purpose. Paste the IP in the address bar of your Internet Explorer.

Third, try to do a search for the server/domain. Look at the LAST word before the .com Highlight the last word and .com/.net and do a search for that. ex…

Forth, try to find the last step in the Whois database. Do a search for Whois. Then type in the .com name. You will need to be a detective here. Click on all the available links to search for information. If it is bogus, you will find ‘piggy-back’ server info with ranges like – If it is legit, you will find registrar information on the owner, admin and like, which you can then contact.

If this all stumps you, then you should go with the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true…it usually is.” Also, keep in mind that these people do this for a living, believe it or not, so they are very crafty. Often times, they will only ask for a couple pieces of your work-so to, throw you off the track. If you can’t find bonified information about their company…don’t do it!

I hope this helps…bj

Website Owners…Do You Know If You Do?

 by Bj. de Castro, Artist and SEO Webmaster

 Bj. just saw a thief on t.v. – beware site owners!

O.k.  I walk out of my office and into the kitchen where my wonderful newly retired husband has just made me lunch.  We sit down together on the sofa and click on the ol’ plasma for some entertainment.  We find a brand new court show.  Um..we can never get enough of those.  It’s just like watching reality boxing without any physical contact, LOL.

However and to my horror…I discover the defendant is this wonderful lady that owns a flower shop and trusts the wrong person – VERY wrong person, to do her site for her…a toby something.  It all broke my heart.

NEVER, EVER should your webmaster own your domain name!  It is legally yours and yours only.  Make sure it is licensed in your name and NOT the person doing your site!  If you suspect they are not being honest…do a search for WHOIS and look up the domain name registration information for your site.  YOUR name should be listed with all of your contact information.
a-Owner should be you.
b-Admin can be you or your webmaster
c-Tech can be you or your webmaster

Continue reading “Website Owners…Do You Know If You Do?”

Hover over link first

Use your mouse to test emails for Scams!

Wednesday 28 June 2006 @ 6:54 am

Just a reminder and/or a tip…simply place your mouse over the link in your email without clicking.  Then look at the bottom of your application window in the left hand corner…. 

Here you will see the ‘actual’ Internet address.  Compare it to the link that is typed in the message or the linked word.

I.e.  On eBay and Paypal scam emails, the link will lead you to believe that you need to sign in and give them your account credit card.  However, if you hover over the word or link and look at the bottom…you will find that the link actually goes to some address like:

*btw – both of the above companies will ALWAYS have your account name at the top of official and legit emails.  Never – ‘Dear Paypal User’.

Most people do not understand that the first words after the www. is the domain or subdomain that they will be going to.  Scammers count on this.  So when they make these temporary sites, it is usually something like:  www.

Then…unknowing clickers see the word ‘ebay’ and ‘member’ (or the like) and think it is legitimate.

If you don’t have the hover option in your email program for some reason, you can right click on the link and see the ‘Properties’.  Or, you can go to your top menu >> Click File >> Click Properties.

Hope this helps!
Bj. de Castro, Fine Artist
Classical Realism Paintings

Bye-bye Art Scam Category

I started the Art Scams blog because of the horrible stories I had emailed to me from fellow artists and there were no warnings posted anywhere at the time.  Now, there are much larger art networks that have taken the torch with greater success on a grander scale.  There is no more need for my whimpy blog, anymore.

In all honesty, I am just getting too old to deal with the ‘backlash’.  I also simply do not have the time to keep up with it – being only one person.  It is much better suited for a large network of individuals that can share the load of responding, handle the insults and deal with the legal threats.  Yes.  Even bad guys have lawyers.

There are many, many sites RSSing this one, so I will apologize in advance for the,  now, ‘bad links’.  For you to recognize my work has always been an honor.

However…I will continue to add some of the daily ‘Ask Bj.’ emails that I get to the category here with the same name.  Many of these deal with art, help for artists, art scam issues, spam and website scams, computer and art business tips, selling art of eBay and any other general art help I can offer.  I will not be posting the actual scam email any longer.

You can find all other webmaster, web design, SEO tips tricks answers and advice in my Website Help category.  If I don’t know the answer, I can certainly send you in the right direction toward fellow colleagues for their help.


“Success follows your passion…so brave your life a smile!”…bj.

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