Ever hear the phrase “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? A bunch of scam victims in Manchester, Connecticut are learning that the hard way this week. When I think of scams and plots, I immediate envision Ocean’s 11. THAT was a heist! This, well, not so much.
The first victim received a call in March informing him that Sears (yes, the mega retail outlet) had a surplus in televisions and was willing to sell them to him at a fraction of the cost. The scam artist claimed he was a Sears employee.
Okay, let’s stop right there for a minute. Remember earlier when I said that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? This is an example of that. Who randomly gets a call saying “Hey, want stuff from the mega store at half the price?!” and actually believes it’s legit? Why would they choose you? And since when do salespeople make cold calls? Apparently, lots of people fall for this scam. It is seriously something that happens often in our country. (I’m not kidding.)
The man, believing he was getting this amazing deal, showed up to Sears to pick up his 11 new televisions for $8,800. He met a man who wore a Sears badge outside of the Merchandise Customer Pick Up Area. The victim gave him $8800 in cash for the “amazing deal TVs” he was getting. The “employee” returned inside the store to get the surplus televisions… and (shockingly) never returned.
The victim was left in the parking lot waiting for the fake TVs… and was $8800 poorer. Again, why would you show up to a store and think a retailer like Sears is going to give you THAT great of a deal- and only take cash? But, you know, these people exist.
Police then went undercover and plotted a similar scam with someone else that was contacted for the “amazing TV deals”. They had an officer accompany the person buying the TVs and set up a sting operation at the store. Surveillance cameras show the scam artist cover his face as he walked through Sears, then viewed him as he waslked out the back door towards Customer Pick Up. The deal was made for $5200 for the televisions… and police pounced.
Three people were arrested. They were all from Massachusetts: , Keith Ryan, 33 of Woburn, Ashley Donofrio, 22 of Sommerville, and the fake Sears employee/actor, William Hilliard, 21 from Arlington.
The moral of this story:
1. Get these Mass-holes out of our state.
2. Well, I said it at the start: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Source: Courant.com | Top Image: (c) iStock/Thinkstock