The nature of the internet has made it easier for scammers to target victims anonymously.
It’s one thing to get fooled into buying fake concert tickets from Craigslist scammers. But we heard about getting suckered on a new level this month. An 18-year-old woman from Palm Springs found a pretty good deal on a used 2009 Honda Civic. She contacted the Burbank couple selling the vehicle. She test drove it and looked at the documentation, then paid $10,000 cash to drive it home.
The next day she woke up and the car was gone. Worse still, the title was discovered to be a fake. The Burbank couple had stolen it back. When police were notified, they found the same vehicle listed on Craigslist, started a sting operation and were able to arrest the couple. Thankfully, the young victim will get her money back, but that’s not usually the case. Whether it’s stolen camera equipment, rental property leased by imposters or faux Disneyland passes, most of us don’t realize we’ve been deceived until it’s too late.
When have you been fooled? Or how have you avoided it? What are your buyer-beware tips?
Sergeant Darin Ryburn, Media officer, Burbank Police Department
Katherine Hutt, National Spokesperson, Better Business Bureau
More information on scams from the Better Business Bureau: Better Business Bureau Scam Alert