There’s more than one way to scam and cheat people. We all know how scam publishers can bilk innocent authors out of royalties and trust. But artists can do it, too.
For example, a fraud can take a copyrighted photo, run it through photoshop and claim that they hand painted it and sell it on merchandise, Most shops like Cafe Press are really strict about celebrity images, but there are online stores where an artist can slide under the radar. Like Redbubble. For awhile, anyway.
I’m here to tell ya that if an artist is good enough to hand paint pictures with such stunning photo realism, they’d be making thousands painting portraits. They wouldn’t have to shlep out copyrighted images of celebrities on tee shirts and phone cases for a little bit of change. I can also testify that a portrait takes longer to paint that the two hours that such an artist might claim it took.
Even more suspicious is that when asked, such an artist can’t provide any photos of him/herself in their studio, or any photos of themselves with any number of these finished paintings. I know that if I had so many amazing works of incredible art, I’d pose with them proudly for the whole world to see.
Nah. Too many incongruities..
What is wrong with these people that they think the public is too stupid to catch on to what cheats they are? Do they really think that everybody’s just too stupid to realize that they’re being cheated, scammed and lied to? They must, because too many of them keep right on trying it. They keep cheating the public and tucking away whatever little bit of money they can cheat people out of, patting themselves on the back for how clever they are. Or so they think, anyway.
People aren’t stupid, though. Sooner or later, they screw one person too many, and then they have to pay the piper. Everybody rides the Karma train.
When it comes to an (photo) manipulative artist, all it takes is a call to the photog that owns the rights. They sic their legal team on the hack and that usually takes care of it.
A scamming publisher might slide under the legal radar for longer, or at least think they are. Chances are good that while they’re dealing those crooked cards to unsuspecting authors, they’re actually being watched pretty carefully. Maybe by the IRS. Maybe by the Feds. Maybe by the one person that’s not going to take it lying down. Maybe by a few of those. But one thing is certain. They’re not as clever as they think they are, and justice isn’t as far down the road as they might think.
There’s something to be said for the element of surprise, though. So they can go right ahead and think they’re coming up roses. Right until they realize they’re really rolling in shit. Literally. It’s worth waiting for.