Saffron, John, and Sandy

This article raises a lot of valid points.

beware of art scams

Below are some quotes from Ms. Waters, who apparently believes that there is only one person with “thousands” of fake identities who she perceives as stalking and harassing her, along with “a few sick and twisted friends”.  (If this is true and the Waters feel that someone is actually harassing them, why haven’t they gone to the authorities already?  That is what you do when you have a legitimate cause for complaint).

From one of the Waters’ recent blog entries:

To:  Cyberbully/Stalker & a few of your Psychotic Friends

You are a despicable, sick person and a FRAUD!!  If you have legitimate complaints against us and are telling the truth than why are you hiding under many fake identities?

We know who you are because we have your emails that you sent to everyone that is affiliated with our daughter with your true identity on them.  If you are using fake identities than…

View original post 535 more words

Candy Waters Art Scam? Part 5

We would like to thank everyone who has messaged in and commented with their experiences. If you wish to remain anonymous, we completely understand given the hostility the family has exerted on those publicly expressing their concerns.

We received the following information from a former therapist of Candy’s:

Just wanted to let you know that I used to work with Candy at a school, I was her 1:1 aide. I worked with her for about 6 months at the school and also worked with her after school at home. I have long questioned this art that the family claims to be hers because when I worked with her she had 0 art skills. She did not have the fine motor skills to control her movements and paint anything besides blobs. She would often just stim with the paint. I do not believe this is Candace’s art work and I think it is despicable what the family is doing. They would often times just leave her alone in the backyard kiddy pool. I complained to the school once about it.

It has been a concern of many that this child’s developmental needs are not being met, or that she is perhaps deliberately being stunted to preserve this potential scam.

If you have information you wish to share, please comment below. You can enter “anonymous” as the name if you wish to remain anonymous.

No, this is not a virus.

If you’re just discovering this page, here is a summary of what it discusses:

For years people have questioned the authenticity of the artwork advertised as being created by this child with autism “who speaks through her art”.

Since 2013, there has only been one video out there of her painting. This is a partial clip of the full home video that was submitted to ABC. The original video shows more of her natural and authentic painting process, which appears to be smearing a mass of paint that is muddied in appearance. This is in direct contrast to the colorful and delicate/precise art being displayed on Zazzle that they are branding as being made completely by her “from the first stroke to the last piece of glitter”.

Questions about the video usually get deleted and blocked. People have even been slandered as being pedophiles just for asking. Doctors are also impersonated as an attempt to add credibility through deception (notice the timestamps).

Many people have questioned the work over time. However, if you do so on the Candy Waters Autism Artist Facebook page, you will immediately be blocked/banned/deleted. The comments vanish. When people have questioned the artwork on other platforms, the comments were met with legal threats and fake “cease and desist” letters by the business to intimidate and bully people from voicing their concerns.

If you read through the comments of the very first entry on this blog, you will see evidence of this and firsthand accounts of this harassment. There are many more examples of this out there. The business has gone after dozens of individuals personally for voicing their opinions. They have even posted names and contact information for several artists, including those with autism (and their family members), and publicly slandered them in an effort to silence those speaking out or deter attention from their own public scrutiny.

In another desperate effort to censor people from the information shared on this blog, the Candy Waters Autism Artist page made an announcement that this page was a Virus rather than address any of the questions it raises. To say this blog is a virus is completely FALSE and just another example of them deceiving their own followers. For further reassurance, our URL begins with HTTPS, and is a secure and safe website.

Separate from this, many group owners have commented this blog to share personal accounts of the business spamming their support groups and lying about having certain conditions in order to gain access to the thousands of vulnerable people in these groups. From homeschool groups to specific disease groups, the business has targeted a large range. Here is only a partial list.

Celebrities are often advertised as endorsers of the work, however, many of the photos were taken at book signings and autographing opportunities, such as the 2015 Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago, where a single magazine’s cover art was autographed at multiple celebrity tables. If there is any concern over the validity of these endorsements, you can contact the organizations/representatives directly to inquire.

Notice

This blog and its authors have no affiliation with content published on any other blogs or websites. The content published here is completely independent and separate from any copycat claims concerning other businesses or artists.

Take Action

If you believe you have witnessed or been the victim of Internet fraud, you can file a report online here.

Before supporting any charitable cause, always do your research. Here are signs of charity fraud and how to report it.

Know your rights.  Consumer rights and consumer protection law provides a way for individuals to fight back against abusive business practices. These laws are designed to hold sellers of goods and services accountable when they seek to profit by taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of information or bargaining power. Some conduct addressed by consumer rights laws is simply unfair, while other conduct can be described as outright fraud. Consumer rights laws exist at the federal and state level. They are enforced by government agencies, offices of attorneys general, and through individual and class action lawsuits filed by victims. If you believe a merchant has violated your consumer rights, you can take the actions mentioned above, and speak with an attorney to send a message to the offender that abusive business practices will not be tolerated.

 

Candy Waters Autism Art Scam? pt 4

I invite you to view the comments on this blog, particularly the earliest entry, however the business owners of “Candy Waters Autism Art” offer comment on the first 3 entries.

You may notice that they do not address any of the concerns raised on this blog nor offer proof of authenticity of their product to consumers.

Instead, it appears, those commenting became personal targets of harassment by the business owners.

The following is a statement I’ve pulled from one of the commenters and her experience:

alina says:
March 5, 2016 at 11:53 am
This is my last comment on the situation as I’ve been alerted that my private information is now being shared by the Waters due to an innocent inquiry and comment on this blog.

My comment has never been about the family on a personal level, but about the business which happens to be named after their autistic child. I have not had any contact with this child or any desire to.

The blog is a collective of opinions. I am easily targeted because of my art business, which is a separate and irrelevant entity to this discussion.

Not only has the Waters family now posted my information in an effort to slander me, but they have spent Mar 2 – 4 researching and calling/emailing my past and current employers, institutions that show my artwork or are some how affiliated with me, as well as family members of mine that have been connected to what ever report they paid for to get unlisted information about me. The Waters have told them I am “stalking/harrassing their child who is a minor with autism” and spreading other falsehoods about me in an effort to deliberately ruin my reputation. I am not stalking anyone. It appears to be the other way around.

This behavior is absolutely uncalled for.
To inquire to a foundation, charity, or reporter about the authenticity of a product they endorse is one thing. To deliberately slander my name based on a personal opinion/belief I have that is in no way a representation of my art or my business, to my business colleagues in an effort to ruin my reputation is not only vengeful and reckless, but grounds for harassment.

The police are handling the situation and any further comment will come from my attorneys should the Waters continue to harrass me both on and offline.

I should also note that I removed the comments where Robert and Sandy Waters listed Alina’s personal address, because not only is that in direct violation of WordPress’s guidelines, but that is also a huge violation of someone’s privacy and against the law.

In all my years of business, I have never seen such reckless malicious actions from business owners in response to customer inquiry. Why resort to such behavior if you are in fact selling authentic products i.e artwork that was actually painted by a child with autism and not someone else?

Candy Waters Autism Art Scam? pt 3

Many news stories covering Candy Water’s art say the sale of the artwork has a charitable component, with half of the proceeds benefiting others with autism through the Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation.

For example, in a recent article that was posted to the Autism Speaks website, it states:

…Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation. Half of all proceeds from the sales of Candy’s prints are going to help others on the autism spectrum fulfill their dreams of becoming artists…

In an effort to find out the accuracy of this statement, we reached out to Kind Tree. According to them:

  1.  Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation does not sell work by Candy Waters. Their whole sales portal shut down last year.
  2. Artists were paid 50% of the sale of their reproductions that they printed and that came through their sales portal.
  3. Annual sales of Candy Waters through KindTree were roughly only $50.00 with 50% of that going to the foundation.
  4. Other sales Candy might have through her mother’s websites do not benefit KindTree.
  5. KindTree also could not comment on whether or not Candy created the art because they did not require proof of disability or a certificate of authenticity for the art.

So it is clear that the Zazzle sales do not benefit this charity and are a separate endeavor.

Besides Zazzle, Candy’s work appears for sale with We Are Lions. We Are Lions is not a charity and according to them:

I have never seen her make artwork personally, no. I cannot speak for what Candy and her family profess to be doing on their zazzle page, but We Are Lions is not a charity nor do we claim to be. We believe that these artists are talented individuals and through the sale of their artwork, handouts are not encouraged or necessary.

That being said, we give our artists and non-profit partners commission rates and royalty fees of 50% of net profits. When someone purchases from wearelions.org, a for-profit company, the consumer is not donating money directly to the organization or charity in which the original piece of artwork sold came from.

It also appears that We Are Lions has since removed Candy’s work from their shop.

This blog is in no way a personal attack on Candy Waters or her family, or on special needs children. The item in question is the authenticity of the artwork being sold online and the validity of the statement that it has a charitable mission for Autism.

When direct inquiries to Sandy regarding Candy’s process and whether a child with Autism created the work being sold were deleted on the Candy Waters Autism Artist Facebook page and other posts administrated by Sandy Waters, the discussion moved elsewhere in an effort to find out if anyone truly has seen this child create these paintings claimed to be made by her, or could provide proof of their authenticity.  Naturally, people and organizations that had published interviews on the artwork were also contacted in an effort to prove their authenticity. To this date, none of the organizations contacted can attest to Candy actually creating the paintings sold on the zazzle shop and the only video published of Candy painting has been suddenly removed from YouTube. The foundations affiliated with the sale of the artwork also do not seem to have a charity component for the sale of the artwork, nor any involvement with the artwork on zazzle, as has been previously advertised.