Raise your hand if you have been personally victimized by Maayan Atias-Golbus.
Quite a few women have come forward, raising their hands and starting a movement, #scammedbymaayan
Maayan, an illustrator/artist, has allegedly scammed quite a few women – offering services and either not providing the product clients paid for or delivering work that wasn’t what clients expected.
I don’t usually write exposès on this type of thing because it’s just not my thing and frankly, I’m not interested in jumping into online drama. However, I felt drawn to this story because I had personally encountered Mayaan online.
Like many women in my field, I am a part of several Facebook groups to connect with like-minded ladies and increase traffic to our websites. In early this spring, I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a post by Maayan on one of the groups I had joined. She offered to illustrate portraits for cheap and honestly, I was really interested. I thought the work was cute for the price ($27). I only passed due to financial reasons and I saw that her post had dozens of women interested Maayan creating digital artwork for them.
Though I moved on, within the next few weeks, Maayan had infiltrated every group I was in. Her posts were everywhere in my newsfeed and I thought, “Woah, this girl is persistent. Good for her! She obviously found a market.” The only problem was, she posted the exact same things in each group and it just set off a few red flags for me.
When I did a little research, looking up her name in each group, I found a pattern that spanned back all the way to at least 2016.
In each group, she’d post about her services. Then, she’d write a post about struggling with figuring out a good price point, followed by dozens of posts giving excuses on why she’s struggling to work with clients (she’s sick, busy, clients are “ghosting” her, etc). I felt really weary of her and made a mental note to avoid working with her.
Here is one of the posts she shared in dozens of groups:
I noticed two things from this particular post.
- Her work in this particular profile illustration has been “on sale” for $27 for ages. In each group she posted in, decent time between each post, the posts were exactly like this. I assume the posts were often like this because groups often have a “No Marketing” rule, so this way she’d be able to fish for customers without actually violating the rule.
- She clearly states it takes her 45 minutes to make but after a client called her out on not providing the product on time, Maayan claimed it took up to 10 days for her to make it. If only she was as consistent in doing the actual work than she was at finding clients.
Let’s fast-forward to the beginning of May, when I stumble on a major Facebook group thread about her on a blogging business group. A member of the group claimed that Maayan was a huge scammer and presented proof all the way back to 2016. Here is what she said…
“…I first noticed Maayan when she was posting in The Rising Tide Society. At the time, she was operating under the business alias Olive + Orchid, creating large calligraphy pieces (and cross-posting them to Girls LOVE Travel®), and started making “Meet the Artist” pieces (little biographical pieces).
It seemed like she got “overwhelmed” by work (or went on vacation, or “got sick”) and failed to produce content for people, DESPITE taking their money. A lot of people ended upcoming forward in RTS about her, realizing what had been happening, and in early 2017 she got herself banned.
Apparently, girl didn’t learn a lesson after being banned from a 75k group, and KEPT GOING (1).
I missed a lot of scamming between mid-2017 and now, so I’m just gonna focus on the present (though past evidence should be enough).
I’ve been noticing Maayan again lately because she apparently rebranded (aka had to start a new page, after her old Olive + Orchid brand was taken down by being reported) as Tiburon Design, and now does 10 minute illustrations instead of calligraphy.
I thought, ok MAYBE girl is making a fresh start and trying to put all her scamming ways behind her, but GUESS NOT. I noticed she was getting pushy about her services and claiming people were “ghosting” her, when really, her aggressive tactics probably set off potential clients ~spidey senses~. The post has since been deleted from the group (gotta cover up that paper trail, but ya know, internet never forgets and all), but essentially a lot of people commented that she was going a little too aggro messaging them, and it made them think twice.
She claimed that she was behaving in this manner because she had a $2k bill she suddenly had to pay, but then….I guess shopping with all the money people had paid her for SKINCARE, TIFFANY’S, and visiting Wizarding World at UNIVERSAL was more important than actually CREATING the products people had paid for.
In the last two days, I’ve noticed a post in The LadyGang go up about someone who was scammed by her, and been added to a fb group chat with at least a DOZEN people who have been scammed, including people who have had Maayan attack their businesses when they tried to get refunds issued.
PLEASE, take your business elsewhere if you’ve been considering purchasing any of her supposed artwork or branding packages, issue a chargeback for your payment, and spread the word. There are a lot of hardworking illustration artists who are willing to put in the time and create quality pieces for you, but this is probably not one of them.”
After reading the claims, I felt bad for the victims, but since I wasn’t personally invested in this drama, I didn’t want to get involved. While Maayan was still a part of that group when the claims were made, she made her own post, apologizing and hoping to correct any issues clients had. Members of the group used the opportunity to explain to her that she needs to focus on changing how she handles her business and many expressed their concern that Maayan wasn’t genuinely sorry – apologizing just because she got called out. Maayan deleted the post and by the end of the day, she was no longer a part of the group.
Fast forward, again, to this week (June), and as I’m aimlessly scrolling Facebook before bed, I see Maayan post her services on my favorite girl squad group. This group has been so amazing, so many talented women supporting each other and I couldn’t bear to see anyone get scammed.
I messaged Maayan to try to politely hint that I was aware of the rumors about how she did business and how I believed in second chances. Maayan played dumb and blocked me, so I messaged the few ladies who commented on the original post, letting them know of the claims toward Maayan.
The members I messaged were happy I had said something, but I was little too late for one woman who had already paid Maayan and was still waiting for her product to be emailed even though she was told she’d get it right away. It was in that moment, with certainty, that Maayan wasn’t going to stop and she had used all the chances in the world unable to learn her lesson.
After the year I’ve had (some of you may know), I’m so done with staying quiet and letting people like Maayan take advantage of unsuspecting women. I didn’t want to start a witch-hunt or anything, I just wanted people to know what was going on, but before I tried to take down Maayan, I had to do my own research to make sure that scams were really going on.
During my in-depth research, I noticed Maayan was often super agressive, snarky, and just downright unprofessional with potential clients and current clients who were asking what was going on with their work. When she would ask for advice in her posts, she’d bite the heads off any one offering feedback (which makes me wonder why she continued to ask for help, if she didn’t accept any of it).
This is when I came across the #scammedbymaayan movement. A woman in 2017, Brocha, publicly claimed that Maayan was horrid to work with…
“Today Maayan Atias-Golbus refused to refund me money for a project I hired her for. A project that was not finished in its completion by the time she said it would be. I was strung along for a month, but she said the first drafts would be ready within a few days. I was super patient until things didn’t add up anymore and I started saying I’ll go elsewhere. Then she sent me a half-ass project by the deadline I finally insisted she follow. (Also while checking in constantly and getting a million excuses). I did not get what I had asked for and when I asked her to refund me she refused and said she doesn’t do that. Please do not ever shop by her, she is a scam and a thief!”
A month later, Brocha shared another post about #scammedbymaayan
“Maayan Golbus is continuing to scam people. I know this because they keep reaching out to me. Same story for each person. I still haven’t gotten my money back. The only way she would do so is if I signed a NDA about what she did to me, and that would never happen.”
Brocha copied her conversations with Maayan and put it on a Google Doc for everyone to read if they wanted to. I had the pleasure of reading it as well and basically, this is what went down…
Starting October 17th, the order between Brocha and Maayan is placed. October 24th, Maayan asks for Brocha’s email to send an invoice – saying she’ll do as many revisions as needed for the work being ordered. On October 27th, Brocha asks for an update and Maayan said her iPad died but she’ll get a draft out that day. On October 28th, Brocha reaches out, wondering if Maayan has the draft ready. Maayan asks for 20 minutes to send it. On October 29th, Maayan said it would be done sometime that week. On November 6th , Maayan claimed her email wasn’t working and it was done. After a few more days, Brocha is getting tired of the excuses and politely asks for the project to be completed. Maayan apologized, saying her brain was fried and asked for Brocha to message her later because she was at physical therapy. Then, Maayan claimed her screen broke but she’ll send the drafts when she gets home. She then claimed the last few weeks have been crazy with her chemo treatments. A few days after this, Brocha continues to remind Maayan about sending her the draft and eventually promises to send it or give a refund. Maayan started to give off more excuses and rambled about the work not being a JPEG…and while the end of the conversation is a little confusing, Brocha ends up dissatisfied and out of money she paid Maayan.
As Brocha shared her story, women started to come forward claiming they had the same issues with Maayan and were given every single excuse in the book for why they weren’t receiving their product, aside from “my dog ate it”. A private group was formed for the women who were unhappy with Maayan’s services and there was suggestions to report her to the FBI for fraud or take her to small claims court.
That wouldn’t be possible as of yet, because while assuming she uses her actual name, no one can pinpoint her location. While sources lead to a Chicago address, she’s been connected to Florida, Texas, LA, San Rafael, a religious seminary in England, and Israel.
In addition to Brocha’s statement, here are a few more shared by victims of Maayan:
MC: I ordered a portrait few weeks ago, and after waiting for a week and a half, I had to request the money back. It was a bummer because I really wanted the portrait, but at least I got my money back! I believed that she was sick (that’s what she told me). First two days, then a week, then I had to extend it for two more days because she had hurt her wrist. After the last two days, still no product.
MM: I ordered a logo from her and what I got back is not what I asked for. But she made me pay before delivering the final product.
CG: I felt bad for her after reading her posts and ordered an illustration…After a week I realized she hadn’t even asked me for my photo or anything so I sent her one and haven’t heard of her since then
JT: I purchased two illustrations from her after her post in this group. I was told I’d get them in a week, then 10 days, then she had ‘errands’ and an ‘allergy attack’ then ‘physio’. After chasing her every day for two weeks she delivered one very poor quality illustration and was super aggressive about my dissatisfaction. In the end I asked for a refund and she returned half my money and I haven’t seen the rest. I’ve had to write it off. I’ve never felt like such a burden to anyone in my life just trying to get a product I ordered!
Anonymous: “I paid Maayan for a rebranding package. About a week in I realized how awful she was. She hadn’t yet sent me anything so I asked for a refunded. She said she couldn’t afford to. Things went downhill From there. What she gave me was awful and nothing like I wanted. She even put my wrong business name on many of the items. She wouldn’t fix the things she messed up. Finally I filed a charge back with my bank. When she realized I did that she had everyone she knows pubically attack my business. 24 hours a day for 3 days. I literally stayed up all date and night to delete her slanderous posts as soon as she made them. I finally caved and cancelled my charge back to save my business from her posts.”
JA: I made the HUGE mistake of hiring her
EH: I bought a design from her and have yet to receive it.
AB: I ordered from her and she told me a turn around time would be a week. When a week came & gone, I pretty much messaged her every day & it was always something. She spent all day in the airport, her gmail wouldn’t let her send emails, etc. It was extremely frustrating considering I already paid her. It was also extremely frustrating seeing her posts asking for more clients when she hadn’t even finished the ones she had. I finally got my image and she did a good job on it but since I had to work so hard to get what I paid for, I probably won’t invest in something like it again.
While it’s clear Maayan has several angry customers, there are a few testimonials from clients who received their product and were mostly satisfied…
MG: Honestly, I had a okay experience with her. After seeing people post about her scamming them I got scared that I would be scammed too. I messaged her and was very polite about the matter and asked when it would be done and she had it to me the next day. Yes it took a while and I had to pester her, but I think she means well but she doesn’t handle herself in a professional manner and that’s her problem.
KL: Her illustrations are excellent. Don’t knock her for her work…I was extremely impressed.
AC: I’m obsessed. She gave me something I didn’t know how to articulate, but was exactly what I wanted.
I looked into the excuses Maayan has given and I’m not able to confirm anything, but it honestly doesn’t matter. Overall, Maayan is an extremely unprofessional business owner who makes excuses for her poor relationship with clients and general consistency in product delivery. She seems to have way too much on her plate, considering her admitting that over and over again. She seems to dabble in a lot and if she worked the business correctly, she could be very successful because she really has talent. She was an illustrator for a cute little book, sells stickers on RedBubble (under her old business name, Olive and Orchid), has a photography page, uses Twitter regularly, along with Instagram, she has two Facebook accounts, and claims she’s going to medical school.
While she has a few loyal customers defending her, many are extremely upset and have started the #scammedbymaayan movement. Many are sick of seeing Maayan get away with what she’s doing and hope to put a stop to it.
Maayan, if you’re reading this, I think it would be in everyone’s interests if you stepped back from your duties as an illustrator/calligrapher/artist. Reassess. Get your live in order. Don’t delete everything and come out rebranded next week. If you continue to do this, your clients will have no choice but to take the next steps.
Whether or not Maayan can be stopped, we can use this as a lesson.
- Do your research before buying services with anyone – you can find a lot of information and reviews just by searching Facebook and Instagram.
- Pay for the product after it’s made, or do a 50/50 agreement.
And advice to fellow business owners? If you have taken on too many clients, fall behind due to reasons beyond your control, or just find yourself overwhelmed, do yourself and the clients a favor by messaging each of them with an explanation, an extended timeline for you to complete the work, and offer a refund to any client who doesn’t want to wait.
If you have had a negative experience with Maayan, please come forward.
And to help us get the word out, feel free to share this post and use #scammedbymaayan