"These fraudsters," says Ian Leaf, fraud expert, "run a common scam. They offer you something and then switch it after you've paid. It's commonly called the bait and switch." Leaf goes on to explain at Ian Andrews Fine Art Fraud, Fraudsters and Scams they are developing a catalog that can attempt to tell if a picture is genuine or a scam based on the brush strokes. Employee Nick Alsis explains it this way, "The eye can see so much detail, but the computer sees even more. With the computer doing the hard work, you just take a picture and upload it to our servers."
"Obviously this only works on hand painted paintings. We take a high resolution picture and then match the customer's picture against our picture of the original. If the brush strokes match, there is a greater chance it's the real thing. High end fraudsters can often duplicate brush strokes, but it's very rare," says co-founder Ian Andrews.
The setup and time involved is very taxing on the computers they run explains Leaf. "When we begin the process we actually take about 1000 photographs of an image and then stitch them all together. Our software is proprietary and advanced. It can match a section of a painting and then look at the millimeters between strokes."
Leaf goes on to explain, "If you're sitting at home in New York City and someone brings you a painting claiming to be real, what do you do? Most people would take it to an expert and pay thousands of dollars to get it verified. What if the painting is only worth $500? Do you want to spend $2000 deciding if a $500 painting is real or a forgery?"
"That's where we step in, rather than the tax on your wallet, we let the computers do the heavy lifting. It's a win-win!" says Andrews.
Leaf and Andrews can be contacted at Ian Leaf Reviews.
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