P.T. Barnum is widely credited (but not by all) for stating, "There's a sucker born every minute."
Proof positive is the poor sap in Jacksonville, FL, who almost coughed up $500 for a sheet of plywood, masqueraded in shrink wrap to resemble a 50-inch flat screen TV.
According to First Coast News, the near victim was approached by two men offering him a great deal on the "TV." The scammers not only included LG graphics that would come with a new TV, they also included a remote control packaged in bubble wrap. As it turned out, even the remote was fake. It was cardboard wrapped in black tape.
So tempted by this "street deal," the man invited the scammers bring the "TV" into his home so he could plug it in. From their the deal unraveled but the crooks got away.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office told First Coast News that it had not heard of any similar cases.
The department obviously does not subscribe to the Woodworking Network Update. Last August, WWN reported that two men were arrested in La Porte, IN, for trying to sell plywood disguised as a flat-screen TVs at a gas station for as little at $200 each.
Plywood TVS Not the Only TV Con
It would appear that plywood has just the right thickness and mass desired by con men to throw the gullible for a loop.
But it also would appear that plywood can be substituted for such scams.
The Oakland Tribune reported in August 2009 about a man who tried to sell a Sony 37-inch flat screen TV for the bargain price of $100 that was in reality a glass oven door.
The man was arrested by San Leandro police, who told the newspaper that the con man was working a variation of the "old rocks in the box" scam.
I guess it just goes to show you that if you a deal outside the local Best Buy or Walmart seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I might add: Six hundred channels and not a thing to watch. Maybe staring at a sheet of plywood isn't so bad afterall.
Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.
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