I thought I’d better let you all know of a scam that I heard about today…

Somebody I know (I’ll call him ‘Tom’) who is not too savvy when it comes to fixing things that do not work, bought a huge, cinema-size TV for £5000, which was at a discount; the proviso being that it was bought as seen. When it arrived the delivery guys fixed it to the wall, but no way could Tom get it to work. When Tom complained to the store he was told that he’d already had the TV at a discount and had also had it fixed to the wall (which was usually not carried out by the company), and that they did not employ people to set up the TV (which had to be done by the customer). Tom asked the manufacturers to collect it and refund his money, which they agreed to do.

Quite soon after this telephone conversation Tom heard a knock on his front door. He opened it to two burly men who stated that they worked for the store he had bought the TV from, and that they had come to collect it. Tom ushered them in and showed them the TV. Within minutes they had removed it from its moorings and had gone on their merry way.

About half an hour afterwards there was another knock on Tom’s door. Two different men stood there and told Tom they had come to take the TV back. Tom told them that their colleagues had already taken it. The men looked blank, and Tom had a heartsink moment.

It slowly dawned on poor old Tom that the first two men were scammers who had been tipped the wink by a friend working in the TV store that there was a super-duper TV to be had if they were quick. For Tom the reality was of course that there was no TV to return, and so he ended up £5000 out of pocket.

The police did not seem too interested; after all, if they visited the TV store and asked around, who would own up? Moral of the story: Trust no-one. Always check somebody’s identity who comes to your home, take their name, and even phone their workplace to check they really do work there. If they are genuine then they will not mind. Hope this is a heads-up for all…