Beware of scammers. Low prices for electronics and lost money

“You would not chase, pop, for cheapness.”


The most surprising discovery for me was that victims of the actions of fraudsters often protect them to the last, they hope that an error has occurred and they will receive the goods they bought for three kopecks. Years go by, but little has changed in this aspect, people are deceived, and they protect fraudsters, as if it would give them a chance to get their money back. Stockholm syndrome can be studied in detail with such examples, colorful stories of not very rich people who tried to save money, but in the end lose everything. Probably, this moment touches me most of all, people are losing amounts tangible to them, and irrevocably. Of course, most of the blame lies with the buyers themselves, you need to be a strong person to admit that you are a fool and you were deceived. But the lack of such confessions or even the protection of fraudsters leads to the fact that other people fall for their bait, do not hear about the problems that happen when buying cheap equipment.

Stereotypes say that children, old people, but not adult men and women in their prime, fall for the bait of scammers, it is impossible to deceive them! In fact, the victims are precisely those who are sure that they are doing everything right, know exactly what they are buying and how.

Pretty blonde Lisa came to Moscow to study, lives in a university dormitory, moonlights as a waitress in a small cafe, there is almost no free time between study and work. She dreams of finding a job that will allow her to get free time and money in order to spend her time the way she wants. Weekend excursions with friends to exhibitions, cafes or nature are, in her words, “an outlet, a light at the end of the tunnel of endless work and study.” Own budget. Parents who remained in the southern seaside town cannot provide her with money, they send gifts from time to time. Liza makes her way in life on her own, “every penny counts” for her is not a figure of speech at all.

The old iPhone served Lisa for almost six years, she changed the battery once, but now it’s time to replace the phone, its term has come. I somehow imperceptibly got used to the iPhone, but the prices for the new devices are prohibitive, I considered the possibility of buying the device from my hands in order to save money. Android smartphones, according to Lisa, were as expensive as the iPhone, and, as you know, this system is much worse, phones break much more often and at the same time “glitch every hour”. Among my acquaintances, there was no one who would sell their old smartphone, so I searched among the ads in different places. On one of the forums, I came across a tempting announcement: I sell iPhone X, refurbished device (new !!!), price 25 thousand. Call… I dialed the indicated number, a young man named Aleksey answered and offered to meet at any convenient time, show the phone itself, and if you like it, then make a deal. The meeting was made in a cafe, Alexey was punctual. He showed a white box, a charger and the phone itself, not in a film, but in excellent condition, without the slightest scratches and scuffs. He did not press, did not insist, offered to think and return to this issue later. Liza did not hesitate for long, after Alexey closed the account (a couple of cups of coffee), she decided to buy and immediately gave the money.

Lisa walked to the hostel. A successful purchase pleased me, there were troubles ahead with how to transfer photos and information. Climbing up to her room, she had a quick bite and took out her phone to set up. The screen glowed: Your iPhone is locked. If you want to unblock – then write to… In shock, the girl looked at the purchased device and could not understand what was happening. Alexey’s phone did not answer, calls did not go through. A study of the issue on the network showed that this is a common trick, they extort money for unlocking, and it is not a fact that you will be lucky and the phone will work. Liza had no money, she cried all evening.

In the morning, Lisa went to the police station with the phone. Long waiting in line, a quick conversation with an employee who advised to forget about it and just move on, nobody will be able to find, since the damage is minimal, and there are simply no police officers for such searches. Liza did not write a statement.

The new phone was still needed, so I had to choose an inexpensive Android smartphone and take it in installments for 24 months. I will not name the model so that once again attentive readers, afraid of advertising, would not suspect its presence, but I will note that she is happy with the phone. And the perception of Android has changed dramatically, as personal experience crossed out the bikes around the system.

But do you know what Lisa drew from this whole story? That she will never buy phones hand-held, that she will not be low-priced in such ads. Only in stores, only for those who have a website and will not go anywhere. Alas, Lisa’s reasoning makes her an ideal victim of scammers who specialize in “selling” electronics.

The prepared shopper who will never fall victim

It is difficult to deceive a person who is grated, beaten by life and who knows exactly how everything works. Large retail stores are expensive, they cash in on customers and charge prices – expensive staff, space rentals, and more. Do you know, reader, how much the rent of a one-room apartment in Biryulyovo costs? And these hucksters have a store on Tverskaya, which costs like a dozen of these odnushki, and all this is not free! In the eyes of a sophisticated person, big stores are simply obliged to cash in on him, but he does not give them a single chance to do this. If large stores that are spent on advertising, retail space lagging prices, then a small store without much advertising can sell phones and other electronics inexpensively. He simply does not have such costs, and therefore the price can vary greatly. And this is not a purchase from hands, because the store exists, they have a landline telephone, and they give a real guarantee! Everything is decorous and noble.

I don’t know why people think this way, because the economy of large retail chains is such that they make money on the turnover and at the same time do not set prohibitively high prices. On sales days, you can catch offers that are so profitable that nothing like it can be found anywhere else (especially if they are superimposed on discounts of the loyalty program). But the stereotype says that big retailers are greedy and nothing can be done about it. Each person has his own ideas of beauty and common sense in his head. And thanks to this, there is a noticeable layer of scammers who have been successfully “selling” phones and other electronics for “real” money for many years. They are honest, not greedy, and are on the side of ordinary people, giving the right prices and not wanting to cash in like other businesses. Such a message itself should alert, but it convinces people of their correctness and correctness of thinking.

It is important to understand that scammers almost always exploit the ideas that exist in people’s heads. Selling customs confiscated for a penny? It is clear that this is a product that has been taken away and simply sold for a minimal cost. Is not it? A phone for half the price? Because he’s from America, and they give them away there for free, the iPhone costs $ 200. There are a huge number of such deceptions, but they are all based on people’s ideas about how the world works. Alas, this world order is only in their heads.

Previously, scammers sold air, hiding on the web behind fictitious addresses and invented stories. Now they are creating real stores, opening companies to cheat people in a big way. And the “prepared buyer” is easily bought at a low cost of goods. As an example, I can cite the store, which sells the same iPhones and not only.

Beware of scammers. Low prices for electronics and lost moneyBeware of scammers. Low prices for electronics and lost moneyBeware of scammers. Low prices for electronics and lost money

This is a classic scam that has been taken to a fundamentally different level. A store that you can come to in Moscow, a registered LLC and an attempt to take an advance payment with low prices for almost everything. Perhaps, the example of this store will need to be disassembled separately, since it is actively advertised on the Yandex network, is present on social networks, and so on. It was made with high quality and on a grand scale, its life span is several months, then it will apparently close, as a certain number of deceived people will appear. The creators of this fraudulent scheme did not trivialize and not only sell devices, but also attract those who want to passively make money on the sale of equipment. You invest money, and then you count the income, the profits flow by themselves into your pocket. From a legal point of view, all this is absolutely illegal, but there is an agreement, people talk to you, and it seems that everything is as legal as possible.

But even a minimal check of the phone number from this site shows that scammers have settled there.

I always have a question why the same phone numbers that are used by scammers live so long, the operators do nothing with them. In private conversations, they all claim that they cannot do anything within the framework of the law – they are paid money, they provide services. Law enforcement agencies have no complaints about them. On the other hand, it’s good that you can see who used these numbers and for what, there are a huge number of services for this, and they really show what is happening.

In my opinion, there is only one way to protect yourself from buying a pig in a poke. You need to know that the cost of electronics cannot differ by tens of percent in different stores. Distinguish between gray and white goods, the difference in their price and understand how it stacks up. Realizing that small shops cannot offer you very low prices is simply incredible for them.

Many users reason that they do not need to know anything like this and this is not their business. To some extent, they are right, since it really is not their concern. Law enforcement agencies, shops and anyone else are appointed responsible, but not themselves. But the problem is that even articles about scammers are extremely reluctant to read, as if this is unimportant information or a repetition of the past. For some, this may be so, but the trickle of those who lose their money and time does not weaken. Possession of information saves time and your emotions.

Don’t be fooled by cheapness, as this is a road to nowhere. I understand that I really want to hit the jackpot, become the lucky one who cheated the system and won. But in most cases, this is a direct road to losing money.

PS I plan to tell you about how the economy of the scam works and what profits the organizers extract, using the example of a real “business”. In the process of digging into this topic, a person got in touch, who for many years successfully “endured shoes”, the feeling that he feels at least unpunished and confident in his abilities. I will try to combine several conversations in Telegram with him into one material and do it in an interview format.

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