Victim Location 22302
Type of a scam Moving
The scam starts with a touching story from someone who is offering a free upright piano, owned and played by her late husband. The free upright piano is by Steinway and Sons and was a posting on Craigslist. I responded to the listing on July 30, 2019 via email. The owner Alison posted this ad, her story changed by the way by the time we corresponded via email and texts:
“We offering this upright piano for free. You would need to arrange transport and tuning. The piano was well taken care of, and so it is in great condition. We found this fabulous instrument hiding under a custom cover in a dealers music shop in Key West in 2005. We fell in love with its sound and purchased it for our private studio.
I’ve had two children use this piano for their first couple of years of lessons. This piano is showing it’s age and thus better for a beginner player, or someone who is looking for a piano to properly tune and/or restore.”
Allison, contacts me via email with more touching story about the piano and she’s not able to tolerate having the piano around as it reminds her of her late husband. Allison has moved from Baltimore to West Palm Beach and has her late husband’s beloved piano in the care of a moving company, Proton Moving Company, based from West Palm Beach. She provides the information of the moving company via text to me so I can arrange delivery to my address. She never once picked up my phone calls and only communicated via text. The moving company’s head person is George, who called me once and sounded a little suspicious. Once he confirmed that he’s able to route the piano delivery to Alexandria on the way to West Palm Beach, he only commuted mainly via texts and I asked him to email me an invoice. The only form of payment his company accepts are gift cards such Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart transaction and then he agreed to accept Amazon gift cards. He demanded the information behind the gift cards and asked that I scratch them off for verification. At this point, I knew it was a scam when he only accepted gift card payments. I played along to see what else he would say and how else Allison would play into the scam. Since she’s been working with George, I ask her if he would be okay receiving the payment from me at the time of delivery. This went on back and forth for days. On August 7, 2019, I ended the scam by firmly saying that the gift cards or any payments will be given at the time of the safe delivery of the free piano and a long text to the Allison character who would allow me to fall into a scam over her late husband’s beloved piano, which was the hook on this entire scam. The company is non-existent and the address was a residence condominium in West Palm Beach.