Parking lot salesman scamming Calgarians

CALGARY – While everyone is searching for a good deal, especially as we approach the holiday season, there is one sales pitch buyers should avoid.

Consumers should be cautious when approached in parking lots to purchase items; the salesmen are slick and will have a convincing story to as to where the products came from.

Mark and his brother recently bought a high definition video projector and screen from a man who approached him at a parking lot in northwest Calgary.

He says the man claimed he needed money to go to a funeral for a relative in B.C.; the salesman even had a receipt and warranty for the product. While they were sceptical, Mark says the man was extraordinarily convincing and didn’t try to hide anything.

However, when he searched for the brand name on Google, he found complaints claiming the projector was a black market product from China and breaks down soon after using it.

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“The guts inside the projector, for what projector can actually do, are only worth about $150 and you’re paying $700 in our case and even more in some cases for a product that’s not even worth a $100,” says Mark.

The salesman even came to Mark’s house to hook up the projector and show him how it worked. He also gave him his phone number and address and showed a license for I.D.

When Mark called the man for their money back he was laughed at.

“He’s like, oh, I got about 100 of these. My buddy set me up to do this. He’s like you’re not getting your money back from me.”

He also discovered the address he gave them was fake.

Mark has filed a complaint with the city and the police. The city says it receives complaints about parking lot sales all the time.

“The usual scenario is that it’s a high priced item, usually electronics for a very discounted price. That’s a flag right there,” says Kent Pallister, Chief License Inspector, City of Calgary.

Anyone selling retail products door to door or from a vehicle must have a business license.  

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