Ever had your pocket picked? Been ripped off by a taxi driver? Well, every year, hundreds of millions of tourists have their holidays ruined by conmen and scammers and often in the most glamorous cities on earth. Now Conor Woodman enters the underworld of petty crime and gets scammed…so you don't have to.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Scam City - White van speaker scam - Netflix
The white van speaker scam is a scam sales technique in which a con artist makes a buyer believe they are getting a good price on home entertainment products. Often a con artist will buy generic speakers worth around $40 and convince potential buyers that they are premium products worth over $2,000, offering them for sale at around $200. Con artists in this type of scam call themselves “speakerguys” or “speakermen”, and usually claim to be working for a speaker delivery or installation company. The speaker scam was common in the 1980s and is believed to be the origin of the use of the term “high-end” , and despite widespread information about the scam on consumer forums and watchdog sites, the scams continue operating across several continents.
Scam City - Logistics - Netflix
Despite the age of the scam and its dubious legality, white van scams often have relatively sophisticated logistics. Distributors rent a warehouse and obtain licenses and distribution rights, then import large quantities of poorly made goods. They ship these goods to local warehouses in major cities and hire 'salesmen' to distribute the shoddy goods. In the United States and Canada distribution is often in major cities. The marketers at each office establish a promotion, benefit, and bonus scale for the speaker sales teams. Bonuses may be paid in cash, checks, fake credit cards or, with some irony, speakers. In Australia the same tactic is used. Receipts are issued, but the contact details are usually fake so that the goods cannot be returned. As an added measure, vehicles are leased so that they cannot be traced to either the distributor or 'sales person' driving.
Scam City - References - Netflix