Weird Jobs I’ve Done – Scam FAIL

Story 1 – A Scammer that Failed to Scam Me.

Scam FailThis is the story of a hapless idiot who attempted to scam me but failed due to his lack of intelligence and inability to think his plan through properly.

No names or specific locations are mentioned in this article.

This guy called me one evening and asked for  a price to transport a medical bed from a location in the south of Dublin to his home in northside Dublin. He explained that he had a medical condition and that he had been offered a medical bed free of charge so the only cost to him would be whatever I would charge to transport it to him. I quoted him €55 for transport.

I told him that I would collect the bed at a certain time and would aim to arrive at his own address at a certain time. But I said I would call him to confirm I was on my way to him once I had collected the bed.

All went to plan in relation to collecting the bed: I was there right on time. I loaded it into the van. No problems. It was a bed on which both ends could be adjusted up and down with an electrical mechanism.

As I left the house from which I collected the bed, I called the customer, as promised.

NO ANSWER!

Uh oh!

I tried again several times and got no answer.

I thought, “ok, maybe they just have their phone on silent or in another room. I’ll drive out to them. I’m sure it will be fine”.

I arrived at the address at exactly the time we agreed. It was actually a house with three apartments in it.

“So which one is the customer’s apartment?’, I thought.

The name he gave me was not on any of the bells. I tried calling again, several times. No answer.

I tried all three bells. A guy comes out. I ask him if he knows a ‘David’*. He said he didn’t and that he was the only Irish person on the building. That the other people were foreign nationals.

I immediately had an inkling that this guy was in fact the person who had originally called me. 

I left the premises and went back to the van. I tried calling  the guy again. I texted him. Called again. Then I got a call back but when I answered there the person on the other end said nothing, but I heard sounds of movement.

“Maybe they were asleep and rolled over on their phone and rolled over on their phone, accidentally calling me back?”, I thought. Maybe.

I went back and tried the other bells again to be sure but there was no one there. One of the foreign nationals came home just then. I asked if he knew a ‘David’*. He didn’t.

Then the Irish guy came out again and attempted to sympathise with my predicament. He asked how much it cost me to get there. I said “just the cost of the diesel, but it will cost me €35 to dump the bed”, which I told him I’d need to do since I would need the space in the van and had nowhere to store the bed.

He then said that he would take the bed off my hands if I want and he’d give me €50 for it.

He said he could probably sell it on and as far as he was concerned , €50 was a great price for this bed. However, a few minutes later he said that he actually ‘coincidentally’ had a medical condition himself and could probably use the bed himself. He then said he might know who the guy was who had originally called me, and asked “was the customer from Kerry”**? And this guy I was speaking to sounded like he was from Kerry** himself. Coincidentally.

I accepted his offer of €50 for the bed.

Of course I accepted his offer!. €50 was only €5 less than the price I quoted.

I wondered though, would I bring the bed in and would he then refuse to pay or say he actually only had less than €50 on him.

But even if he ended up paying nothing, he would save me the €35 I would have had to pay to dump the bed. I could not have held onto the bed to sell it or anything. I would have had nowhere to store it.

But he gave me the €50 as promised.

So really, if this was a scam, which I very much suspect it was, what was the point of it? Was the aim supposed to be to get me out there with the bed and then offer me less than I originally quoted so as to get a bargain? Why then didn’t he drive a harder bargain?

He only saved a fiver!

Or did he hope I would just leave the bed outside when I had no other option? Well, I wouldn’t do that even if I was left with no option other than to get rid of it. Not in this case anyway, since the property was not exclusively his. There were, as I mentioned, two other apartments in the building. So leaving it there could have constituted ‘illegal dumping’.

So am I maligning the “Good Samaritan” who took the bed off my hands and saved me the trouble of being stuck with the bed?

No, I’m pretty sure he is the guy who originally called me. For one thing, I never got a call back wondering why I had not arrived with the bed, despite all my calls and texts.

I think what happened was that he attempted a scam in order to get the bed as cheap as possible, but then he forgot the price I had originally quoted him on the phone, and therefore he didn’t realise that the cash he offered me to take the bed off my hands was so close to what I was expecting to be paid anyway, that I didn’t care.

Ha ha. FAIL. You idiot!

He did smell a fair bit of alcohol… and it was late morning time.

*I have not used the customer’s real name to protect their privacy, or should I say, I have not used the name that they gave me: I suspect that they gave me a fake name anyway.

**Not the county actually mentioned by the person. Again I have changed this to protect their privacy.

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