News 4 Investigates: Buyer Beware -

News 4 Investigates: Buyer Beware

My son is excited about buying an Apple laptop. He searches for deals on websites almost every night. Fortunately, he's become a saavy consumer very quickly without getting burned.

Monday night, he thought he found a steal from a seller in Kansas City. In a response to my son's inquiry the seller writes that he actually lives in England. Of course, that may not be true either. My son got the same e-mail response about a different computer that was supposedly for sale in the St. Louis area a couple of weeks ago.

When my son realized it was an apparent scam he was disappointed, but also relieved that he didn't bite on the bait, which includes photos of the computer and the request to send money. Like most teenagers my son thinks his parents should give him more freedom (and most of the time he makes great choices), but his attempts to buy a laptop online have shown him that there's a good reason why his mom and I require him to use our e-mail account and conduct business from our family computer in the kitchen. Not only do we want to know what he's doing on the computer, we also want to know what people are trying to do to him.

UPDATE: The same guy (Andrew) responded to a third e-mail inquiry on Wednesday night.

craigslist and other websites warn consumers about the risks of buying from strangers on the internet. This is the first tip at the top of the website's list:

DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.

When we want something badly it can prompt us to make poor decisions that can cost us alot of money. I'm grateful my son didn't learn that lesson the hard way.

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