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Man gets 'box of trash' instead of phone; warns of scam

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - May 11th, 2013 @ 10:30pm

WEST JORDAN — A West Jordan man is urging others to be wary of KSL Classifieds and Craigslist advertisement scams after he unknowingly purchased a "box full of trash" that was advertised as a phone.

The man (who has asked that his name not be released) said he saw an advertisement on the KSL Classified listings for a Samsung Galaxy S3, and he went to purchase the cellphone on March 28.

He met with the listed buyer at a K-Mart parking lot on 4100 S. Redwood Road in West Valley City. The man said that the woman selling the phone gave him a shrink-wrapped phone box in exchange for $250.

"I found the IEN number on the box and I called Verizon to make sure the phone hadn't been lost or stolen," he said. "Verizon said the number listing was good. I thought it was a brand new device."

The man said that he often buys cellphones and other items from KSL Classifieds and then he resells them. It wasn't until he had already sold the phone and shipped it, that he discovered the cellphone was a fraud.

"If you felt the box, it felt like the weight of a real phone. She knew exactly what she was doing."

"It's embarrassing losing money over the whole thing," he said. "However, it's more embarrassing to send it to my customer. It's like being violated twice."

The West Jordan man said that when his customer opened the box containing the "phone," he found instead a deck of cards, a lighter and some metal pins. The customer had recorded opening the box, and "it was pretty obvious that I got ripped off," the man said.

"If you felt the box, it felt like the weight of a real phone," the man said. "She knew exactly what she was doing."

The West Jordan man refunded his customer's money, and the customer shipped back the box of random items. The man then contacted the seller again, pretending to want another phone. They set up a meeting for April 2 at the same K-Mart parking lot.

The West Jordan man filmed the meeting with the seller on his phone as "evidence of the deceit."

The video shows him receiving a second shrink-wrapped box from the woman, and when he confronted the woman about the false contents of the cellphone box, she said she had gotten the cell phone boxes from a friend.

When the man told her he was going to call police, the video shows the woman get into her car with a man and attempt to drive away. The West Jordan man's friend tried to block the path of the car to prevent them from leaving, but the woman drove her car over a grass median and fled the scene.

The man called the West Valley Police department prior to the meeting, but police officers arrived on the scene after the woman had already driven away. The West Jordan man opened the second cellphone box to discover another deck of cards and several essential oil bottles inside.

The two cellphone boxes and their contents were given to the West Valley Police department along with the videos and a picture of the woman's license plate. The investigation is currently underway.

"Others need to realize they need to open the box when they buy things online," he said. "It's good to trust people, but not to the extent of getting ripped off."

"If you're buying a device, the best thing to do is test it out, put it in your hands, check it out," he said.

The woman who answered the number on the classified ad said she did not know what was in the cell phone box and left because the man was "in her face" and she was scared. She said she is in contact with police.

West Valley City police were not available for contact until Monday morning.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

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