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Hackers pretend to be art dealers and persuade Dutch museum to pay them £ 2.4m for a painting

Hackers deceived the Dutch Museum and persuaded them to pay them 2.4. XNUMX million for a painting by John Constable, presenting themselves as art dealers.

The hackers stole emails sent between the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in the Netherlands and the art marketing company Dickinson, which organized the sale of Constable 'A View of Hampstead Heath: Child's Hill, Harrow in the Distance' (1824).

They contacted the museum claiming to be Dickinson, an art marketing company that specializes in Old Master paintings, and persuaded the museum's communications staff to pay 2,4 XNUMX million to a bank account based on Hong Kong.

The painting was sent to the museum and Dickinson was deprived of the money from the sale, the Sunday Telegraph reported.


Many warnings have been issued about cybercrime, especially in the world art. The case is no exception, and other art companies have been targeted.

In Constable's case, the Rijksmuseum Twenthe sued Dickinson in London's High Court, claiming that the representation was negligent because it did not realize that the emails sent were fraudulent.

The museum's claim for compensation was rejected in January this year, although court has not yet decided on the ownership of the painting.

Lawyers, on behalf of Dickinson, argued that the museum should have confirmed that the bank details were legal before sending the painting.

Susan Mumford, founder and CEO of the Women's Technical Representatives Association, told newspaper that the failure to carry out the basic checks contributed to the fraud.

"The issue is the lack of due diligence and control. The 2.4 XNUMX million shipment to Hong Kong when the trader is based in London"It brings an immediate question and anyone who sends a significant amount of money these days should do a double check," he said.

"This kind of fraud is becoming more and more common and is one of the biggest risks for art dealers today, but I have not come across a case where such a large amount of money has been transferred by mistake. account. "

"Measures need to be taken. You need to confirm orally with a trader if the bank details are correct. " said Susan Mumford.


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