We all know there is a scammer born every minute, and sometimes two or three, I think. And while some of them are quite clever, others are so poorly planned that it’s almost pathetic. The other day a friend contacted me asking how far we are from Port Orange, Florida, which is a suburb of Daytona Beach. I told her we were maybe 15 miles away and she asked if I was familiar with a certain automobile and RV dealership. I replied that I wasn’t, and when I tried to find them online, they were not listed.
Apparently she found an RV listed for sale online somewhere, supposedly at a dealership in Port Orange. She called to ask about it and said alarm bells immediately started going off because the man she spoke to, who had a very strong accent, wanted her to send them money before he would tell her much about it since he had several deals pending on the unit.
By then she knew it was some kind of scam, and when she said no, that wasn’t going to happen, a “manager” came on the line and offered to bring it to her anywhere in the country to look at, for a $500 totally refundable deposit. She lives in Colorado and asked, “you’re going to bring an RV all the way to Colorado, and if I don’t like it, you’ll give me back my money?” He replied yes, they would do that. All they needed was $500 earnest money and her personal info to run a credit check. Or, she could send them $500 to hold it and fly into Daytona Beach International Airport, where they would pick her up and take her to see the RV. When she wouldn’t buy into that, he offered to pay her round-trip plane fare, but he did need that $500 and her personal info. She laughed at him and then he told her to forget the $500, just give him her info to run a credit check.
She said that it was obviously a scam, but wondered if I knew anything about the dealership. She also sent me a picture of the motorhome in question. I had to laugh because in the background of the picture there was a high mountain. When I pointed it out to her she laughed and said she never even noticed that.
Just for giggles, she called the “dealership” back and asked them about that mountain, saying she didn’t know that there were mountains in Florida. The man replied, “Yes, that’s Mount Daytona, 5,670 feet, and again wanted her personal info. She hung up and blocked his phone number. But you know what, folks? There is probably some fool somewhere who will fall for that scam.
This may seem hard to believe, but things like this happen all the time. When Terry and I were shopping for a diesel pusher to replace our MCI bus conversion, we had a similar experience. We were in Kingman, Arizona, and saw a Newmar diesel pusher advertised in Las Vegas, a hundred miles away. I contacted the seller and he said it had belonged to his uncle, who had recently passed away, and he was selling it for his aunt. He wanted me to send him a couple of hundred bucks by Western Union to hold it, and I said no, we’d be there the next day to see it.
We drove up to Vegas and to the address he gave me, where a woman who said she was his wife wanted me to give her money and said she would call him and he would tell us where to meet him. I said no, and he asked us to meet him at a shopping mall. We got there and there was no RV, but he called and said a friend would stop by and get a deposit from us and we could follow him to look at it. Nope, not going to happen. But since we were in Vegas anyway and wanted to kill some time before the evening buffets opened, I let him call us two or three more times. Finally, he had a guy who could hardly speak English bring the RV to a store parking lot to look at. When we got there, he wanted $200 to let us inside, but we ignored him and went inside. It was a total wreck and there was an auto auction windshield sign laying on the dashboard identifying it as a salvage vehicle. Scammers all the way.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake, the first book in my Big Lake mystery series, which made the New York Times bestseller list and has 779 reviews on Amazon. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – When you’re testing to see how deep the water is, never use both feet.