9OYS Consumer Watch: Viewer warns of potential rip-off
CREATED Feb. 5, 2013
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You know the saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A 9 On Your Side viewer says two men tried to rip him off near a midtown convenience store.
"A white van pulled up behind me and guy rolls down his window and he says, 'Hey you know anybody that's interested in a surround sound system?'" Hornbuckle said.
According to the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona, this is commonly known as the "white van scam." Although no one has come forward in Tucson to report being victimized, Hornbuckle wants others to be aware of it.
Hornbuckle said he took a look at the merchandise made by a company called Rolk Olsen. He thought it looked legit.
"They have little price tags on them that say they're $2,700 dollars and they'd give me a good deal," Hornbuckle said.
But after they opened up the box, he knew better than to pull out his wallet.
"They're saying it's a complete surround sound system, but when they open the box, it's just speakers and I'm like, well there's nothing else here," he said.
So Hornbuckle walked away from the deal.
Nine On Your Side searched the Rolk Olsen Home Theater Solutions website. After clicking on Contact Us, only a generic email popped up; no phone number or physical address.
Nine On Your Side also dug further by visiting the BBB of Southern Arizona.
While no one has filed a report here in Tucson, "other Better Business Bureaus around the country have definitely had consumers complain," said BBB spokesperson Nick LaFleur.
"The biggest red flag is if they're offering a deal that's too good to be true," LaFleur added.
It is never a good idea to do business with someone out of a van, LaFleur said.
If they buy something out of these vans and it doesn't work, there's no way to try to exchange it or find the person who sold it to you," LaFleur said.
Hornbuckle tells 9 On Your Side he just hopes others pay close attention before turning over their cash.
"It makes me sick that these people are out here, especially you know everybody is having hard time, and they just want to make it worse and they just want to take hard working people's money," Hornbuckle said.
LaFleur said if you think you've been a victim of consumer fraud, file a complaint as soon as possible with the BBB.
You can also notify the Arizona Attorney General's office's consumer fraud unit.