Two works by Frank Auerbach, Portrait of GB, left, and To The Studios. Together the works are valued at more than £40,000

Police investigate fraudulent purchase from Cumbria gallery

Alex Stevens, 17.04.2019
Credit card scam takes two works by Frank Auerbach
Cumbria Police have issued an appeal for information as part of a fraud investigation, after two works by German painter Frank Auerbach were purchased from Castlegate House Gallery using stolen card details. 

The two works are To The Studios, valued at £29,000, and Portrait of GB, valued at £12,000. 

A police statement said that a man contacted the Cockermouth gallery in February to purchase the two pieces using fraudulent card details. The works were then collected and taken to an address in Manchester. 

The gallery did not comment beyond information released by the police.

In March, the Evening Standard reported that at least ten galleries had been targeted by supposed buyers who used stolen credit card details, with pieces subsequently being collected by courier.

Telephone calls were described by one gallery owner as “very plausible”, with payments having initially gone through without problems before the payment processing company later got in touch to raise issues.

Cumbria Police said that anyone with information should call 101 and quote DC 2483 Chestney of Cumbria Police, or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, referencing log 60 of 22 February.

The gallery promotes and supports art purchases, including through Arts Council England’s Own Art scheme.


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18.04.2019, 23:21
Never thought people actually bought expensive art using credit cards. I thought of presumed they have so much cash they don't need to mortgage their futures like the rest of us.