I was walking down a street near my campus in an area of the city populated by students and brothels. An unmarked white van pulled up a little ahead of me and out stepped two men. One was in his forties and looked like a less-chiseled version of Bruce Willis and the other was a gangly man in his twenties.
Hey bro, they said, do you wanna buy some speakers? They went on to explain that an order for some incredible speakers had fallen through but for some reason I can’t remember now they could not return them to their boss for fear of loosing their jobs so they were prepared to let them go at rock bottom price.
In the back of their van were two ‘examples’ – some fine speakers indeed. They were placed on top of a few boxes containing shop models ready to buy. Needless to say, I was thanking my lucky stars at such good fortune. But I was waiting for my loan to come through and had very little money. Everyone was very disappointed.
A few weeks later an article appeared in the student press: Student Gets Ripped Off! the headline screamed. The story was about an undergraduate who had been tricked into paying $300 for a box filled with sand. He thought he was getting a brand new laptop. The two men weren’t offering me awesome deals, they were criminals! I was lucky that time but this is a common scene at colleges all over the country. Manipulative criminals target students as they are typically naïve and have access to cash. So watch out! And remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.