In our journey as creative souls, our art serves as an expression of our deepest emotions and visions. Sadly, there are people out there that would take advantage of our creativity. As we navigate the digital landscape to share our talents with the world and connect with potential clients, it's essential to be aware of the lurking dangers.
Phishing emails tailored to target artists can be deceptively clever, preying on our passion and trust. This blog post aims to empower you, my fellow artists, with five essential ways to recognize and protect ourselves from phishing scams that seek to exploit our creative spirit.
Scrutinize the Sender's Identity
As artists, we receive various emails daily, including inquiries, collaboration offers, and commission requests. Always take a moment to verify the sender's identity, especially if it seems unfamiliar or too good to be true. Genuine clients and art enthusiasts will understand the personal connection artists have with their work and will communicate respectfully and transparently. If the sender's details appear vague or suspicious, exercise caution before proceeding further.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Running a quick check of a person's name on social media could save you a great deal of potential heartache in the end.
Trust Your Instincts and Evaluate the Inquiry
Our intuition is a valuable guide in detecting potential phishing scams. Trust your instincts when something feels off about an inquiry or commission request. Be on the lookout for requests that lack specific details about the project or those that seem overly urgent, demanding an immediate response. Phishing scammers often use pressure tactics to catch artists off guard, but remember, your creativity thrives best when you have the freedom to evaluate opportunities carefully.
You are under no obligation to rush for an online inquiry. If your intuition is telling you that something is not right, take any extra time you need to clear your head before responding to the inquiry.
Analyze the Language and Communication Style
Phishing emails frequently employ manipulative language, praising an artist's talent excessively or making unrealistic promises. As artists, we value authentic connections and constructive feedback. Be cautious of emails that use generic language or contain numerous grammatical errors, as these are telltale signs of phishing attempts. Legitimate clients and art enthusiasts will respect our craft and communicate in a professional manner.
Verify Links and Attachments
Phishing scams often employ deceitful links or attachments to harvest sensitive information or deliver malware. Before clicking on any link or downloading attachments, hover your cursor over them to inspect the URL or file type. If you have even the slightest doubt about their legitimacy, refrain from engaging with them. When it comes to sharing files or collaborating with clients, consider using secure file-sharing platforms for added protection.
Be Cautious with Financial Transactions
Artists may encounter phishing attempts disguised as payment notifications or refund requests. If a client asks for your financial information via email or insists on using unusual payment methods, pause and verify their legitimacy. Trusted payment gateways or platforms offer a safer way to conduct transactions, ensuring the security of your hard-earned income.
As the artist, and a business owner, it is perfectly legitimate that you insist on the payment method that works for you. If someone is trying to pressure you to use a payment method that you don't normally use, take a moment to evaluate the situation.
There are also systems in place that can help protect you and your clients. For example, artists can offer commissions through a website like Ko-fi. Ko-fi provides a platform for artists to offer commissions and accept payment. Systems like Stripe also provide invoicing that allows you to accept payment.
Remember, a secured payment platform benefits both the artist and the client. You are protecting yourself and you are also creating trust with your clients showing that you care about their security.
As artists, our creativity and passion enrich the world around us, but it's crucial to protect ourselves from phishing scams that target our vulnerable community. By equipping ourselves with the knowledge to identify and defend against these deceitful emails, we can focus on what truly matters – creating art that moves souls and inspires hearts.
Let us stand together, united by our artistic integrity and vigilant against phishing scams. Together, we can ensure that our creative journey remains secure and filled with limitless artistic expression. Stay safe, my fellow artists, and keep shining your artistic brilliance to illuminate the world!