The Con Artist and How He Got Into an Art Piece!

While playing a time lapse of the creation of an art postcard to Maki she pointed out the backwards “What?” and asked me about it. I told her it was from a screenshot off my phone from the scammer!

How I got linked up with a Nigerian scammer is pretty interesting…

I responded to a Craigslist advert, looking for people to shovel snow for $25 an hour.

Then received an email:
“Hi Will,

Please will you be available to meet sometime this morning? If you don’t mind calling my cell 250-***-****
Tobi ”

He called to meet me, I suggested Blenz. He bought me a coffee and said that he’s always a hard time finding reliable people. He said he had a contract with A.S.K. Contracting out of Langley. He handed me two papers to sign with the usual government slip for employment. “Tobi” said he has a contract to shovel the snow for Peachtree Square and Superstore with a minimum 4 hour work day. He didn’t match his own job description instead of a firm leader of his branch of the company his body swayed a lot and didn’t have a clipboard for my application, it was sloppily tucked into his pocket. I told him I would need time to think about it and he said he’d call in a couple hours and if I wasn’t up for it “just tear up the application and throw it out”. I told him I was sceptical of Craigslist ads and hesitant because there’s a lot of Nigerian scammers, that’s when he told me he was Nigerian! When I got home I researched ASK Contracting and it led to a bogus site, the 1-800 number on the application seemed to go to a personal phone and not the company.

He could tell I was on to him or he didn’t have the heart to scam me because after the few hours he had given me to “think about it”, he texted:
“Hi Will, I just thought I’d check with you as promised but I could tell before I left that you weren’t 100% sure. I have some other interested applicants which I have to meet tomorrow and next. So, I just want to get back before making some decisions.”

If I had done everything this guy had asked I would have given him my:
Social Insurance Number
Signature (two spaces to sign)
Direct Deposit Info

How the alleged scammer became part of an art piece!

Fast forward a couple weeks. The news of meeting the a real life Nigerian scammer had cooled off considerably, it was Christmas Day. Filled with gratitude I messaged everyone I could think of and wished them a Merry Christmas. Haphazard wishes came to a hault when I decided wether or not to wish the con artist a Merry Christmas.

Which resulted in this exchange:

Nigerian Scam Artist

In creating my art postcard I wanted to reference this digital world many of us spend time in. Scrolling through the trusty phone and seeing Tobie’s

“Oh I c. I remember”

Which turns to panic with..


This seemed like the perfect opportunity to immortalize him through art.

Digital mixed-media artwork



3 thoughts on “The Con Artist and How He Got Into an Art Piece!

  1. I shared this on FaceBook. I said “Will has an interesting story. Will Hoffman. Will Yum Hoffman.”

    I like the story and especially the art piece; and perhaps a series on this theme.

    James Iwasuk

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