I understand how "your" scam works and I hope all my artist friends also know the scam. You offer to do business directly. You agree to my pricing as is or you tell me "Oh, you're selling yourself short. Your art is worth $$$, so how about I pay you $$$." I'm flattered so I agree. You intentionally or "unintentionally" send me a "cashier's check" or some other financial tool for more than the agreed upon price. But you say, "Don't worry, just deposit it, and you can refund me the difference." So I am supposed to send you the difference in money from my bank that is "good" along with the art you've paid for, only to find out later that your "check" was not good? Not going to happen!!
I have my work listed with sites that offer a "store front" so that purchases can be made safely. Any offer to do business outside of the site in which a buyer found me and my art work is not acceptable. I do sell directly here in the local market, at various art fairs and festivals, and to people I know or who were referred to me. If you found my work through Etsy, please go ahead and buy through Etsy or any other site I've chosen to list my work. I chose them carefully and I want to be able to do business with you through them and for you to conduct business with me through them, safely and confidently.
These scam artists must take their name to heart given their determined efforts to take artists for a ride. We artists are a hopeful bunch. We do hope that someone, many someones as a matter of fact, really likes our work and we hope they will want to buy it. That's probably why these con tactics manage to catch a few of us sleeping often enough that they continue to make the rounds. I'm sharing this to hopefully remind all of us to stay vigilant. Whenever I receive a message from anyone unfamiliar to me, the first I do is pull up Google. I like to know with whom I am to do business. So far, 10 out 10 times, I've found the person or his or her connection to me through someone I know OR I've found the person's name with big letters after it reading SCAM!
P.S. For more detailed descriptions of various scams and a list of scam names, take a look at this blog post by another artist: http://www.kathleenmcmahon.com/info/scammer-names.html