Buying Tablets Scam
How the scams work:
(with video below) Tablets have gained a tremendous popularity in the past few years. Having a perfect size, between a mobile phone and a laptop, tablets are now 'the thing' to own.
Let's say you're looking to buy an iPad Air, but want a good deal. That's when you go online. As you research on eBay, Craigslist, Oodle, or Kijiji you find somebody who sells a few tablets/iPads for a particular reason (e.g. got a good deal on launch day, his company provided a discount, etc).
Happy to purchase one at half price, you meet the seller in a busy place – mall, patio, street corner. He has two brand new sealed tablet boxes. He mentions one tablet is for you and the other for a different buyer, who should be there any minute. The price is good, say $200. As he opens one of the boxes to show you the real tablet inside, the other client – usually a girl, his accomplice – shows up.
While you are checking out the tablet, you're hearing their conversation. She says to the seller that her dad has the cash, but he is in the car and for some reason he can't come (he might be parked illegally and has to move the car if a parking officer comes over). He looks reluctantly at the girl.
Meanwhile, you finished examining the tablet, feel happy, and give the seller $200 in cash. He places the cash in an envelope, seals it, puts it in his chest pocket, and while he's still talking to her, he gives you the other box (the sealed one). Right then, before you leave, he asks the girl if they should go where the dad is, while telling you to wait for a second and handing you back your envelope with money. She says 'yes' and leaves first.
He asks you for a favor. He says he's afraid of being robbed by going around the corner with a bunch of cash. “If you can wait for me just one minute, would be great”. Well, you have the phone and the money, so you can wait a little bit.
When you see he's not coming back, you panic. You open the box and instead of a tablet you find a piece of metal. Then you open the envelope and find paper instead of your money. What he did was to stick the piece of metal in the other box and reseal it. On the other hand, the envelope with paper was just a double he had in the same pocket, which he grabbed when he asked you to wait. This is called the “Bait and Switch” scam.
Watch the video below to see in action the perfect Bait and Switch scam, exposed.
How to avoid:
This could also happen with any mobile phone or any other gadget. How to avoid? It cannot be any simpler. Buy these beauties only from the authorized dealers. If you already are in the situation described in the “Bait and Switch” scam, don't leave anything out of your sight. If you opened a box, take that product and don't switch it with anything else.
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