Scam, Scam, Scam

Guys – I’m feeling very guilty this morning.

I, too, received one of those purple leaflets through my door on Friday evening, advertising a ‘clearance sale’ yesterday evening. I even considered writing a piece warning against even thinking about going – but assumed that it’s such a regular scam everyone must know about it by now. Sadly, a reader did get got. I’m going to keep them anonymous as they must be feeling a bit silly today, but it doesn’t stop this being a part of ‘old’ Greenwich that I could happily lose.

I can’t put it any better than our friend themselves, so here’s their experience:

“Last night I received a leaflet through the door for a special sale at the King William Pub on Trafalgar Road, the flyer went on to say the goods were ex-catalogue and you could pick up things like the IPOD Nano for £20 a Nintendo Wii for £30 Laptops for £50 etc.

Stupid as I am and seeing a bargain (I’ve previously purchased ex-cat and know the sort of discounts available – google “gem discounts” if you don’t believe me!) I turned up paid a £2 entry along with around 80 others. The guys claimed it was the third and final sale of the day (despite only one time being advertised) they claimed that it was a promotional gig in preparation for next Saturday where a far larger sale will occur (at the Holiday Inn Express in Greenwich).

Just to warn you that not one sale occurred; the con-men kept promising people a bag of electrical goods however they kept taking cash from everyone to prove you were a serious bidder. Any goods received turned out to be empty boxes boxes of cheap gifts like perfume you could buy for £5 off the Internet (despite being told about laptops etc). Would you please warn people not to be fooled by this con, and not to go to any similar sale if a flyer comes through their door.”

Yes, Dear Anon, I’m shutting the stable door after this particular ringer-horse has bolted, but with a caveat for next time.

This kind of ‘sale’ happens about once every six months or so. Everyone in East Greenwich gets a glossy leaflet through their door – usually in a colour that just screams ‘dodgy,’ (purple this time) just after the doors of the local Trading Standards Office are shut for the weekend, advertising goods at prices that are – well, unbelievable, actually. That’s because they are.

Let me tell you now. You will NEVER get a legitimate ipod for twenty quid. You just won’t. Nor will a Nintendo Wii fly into your shopping basket for thirty notes or a Corby trouser press ever flatten your trews for £12.99.

Phrases to look out for:

1) “No admittance 10 minutes after doors open ‘for security reasons.’ What will they be, then? That these creeps might get nicked, of course. We spent some time around the breakfast table yesterday morning, trying to work out exactly what real security reasons might be for not allowing punters in after 10 mins. Anyone who can supply one of those is a brighter spark than me.

2) “Cash payments only due to fast turnover.” HONNNNNNNK! That’s my alarm horn going into overdrive. Cash payments are due to their intention to do a runner about twenty minutes into the operation, nothing to do with turnover.

3)”All goods perfect unless stated.” “All goods guaranteed.” Yeah, right. And to prove it, they will be there in person, at the King William IV Hotel, next week, to reimburse any faulty goods. Folks – this is a purple leaflet shoved through your door. They are lying.

4) “Please note this is not an official Argos, Index or Freemans sale.” Ok – so they’re not lying on that one.

5) Sale to be held at the King William IV Hotel (shrugs helplessly.) What I don’t get is why the police don’t just insist the Guv’nor tells them who hires this place on a regular basis – or force him to tip them off next time. It’s the sort of thing they do on the telly. But then maybe I believe the telly too much…

I am sincerely sorry that you got ripped off, Anon (and feeling suitably guilty of not warning the world. Trust me, I will next time.) It’s a well-known scam – but clearly not well known enough. Please. Don’t believe everything that comes through your door. No – not even Sister Angelina, the medium with 98% accuracy or Professor Manjou whose accuracy is an amazing 100%.


2 Comments to “Scam, Scam, Scam”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Same trick again last night, they held one today though only about 25 ppl this time… maybe word is getting out.

    Can't Trading Standards work on a Saturday…?

  2. Paul C says:

    Haven’t seen the pub part of the King William open for a few weeks now. All lights out, even on Saturday night. A peep through the windows shows a few of the seats & fittings to have been taken out. Refurb or reposs?