Scammer Tricks Woman with Bait and Switch

As far back as I can remember I would often be approached in parking lots by someone in a van who was trying to sell me home stereo speakers. The speakers were always from a retailer’s loading dock or from trucks that had extra unaccounted inventory. And today was my lucky day.  The ruse was when you got the speakers loaded into your trunk, you were generally getting them in their new box. But the box just had pieces of wood.  Anyone thinking they were getting a deal, was just getting firewood. This is classic bait and switch.  Be more aware of these scams and protect yourself from them.

A twist on this scam happening all over is with laptops. The Business and Heritage reports “As a woman got out of her vehicle, she was approached by a man who had exited from his car. In his car were a woman in the front seat and a kid in the back. He approached the woman and showed her a laptop.  He explained that his girlfriend is a manager at Best Buy and that he had gotten a great deal on some laptops like the one he had. But, now he needed the money more than he needed the laptops and said he would sell them to her for $350.00 each. He had four of them, each in an individual Fed Ex box in his car.  She accompanied him to his car, where he opened two boxes, and she saw what appeared to be two laptops. One was a black laptop with a Best Buy sales tag of $1999.99 and the other was a white Apple laptop with a $1999.99 price tag on it. Both were packaged nicely in plastic bubble wrap in Fed Ex boxes specifically made for shipping laptop computers.

The woman called some of her friends and they all wanted to buy one, so she bought all four of them for $1,000 in cash, on the spot. The scammer loaded them into the woman’s car and quickly left.  After the woman got back to her hotel, she discovered that the “computers” were actually several packages of notebook paper sandwiched between a black notebook binder and a white notebook binder.”

PT Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”. Even old scams with new twists make smart people stupid. It’s not difficult to get swindled out of your money in a scam like this. Everyone wants a deal and everyone likes to think they are too smart to get scammed. Always keep in mind what Mom said, “If it’s too good to be true, then it is.”

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch. Disclosures

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