I don’t know if this is still a thing. Maybe they cracked down on it recently.
But I remember hearing a few variations of this story over the years.
On buy/sell/swap sites, someone would run this rather uninspired scam:
They’d wait for a product with a lot of hype around it. Like a next-gen gaming console or the next iPhone.
Then, a week before it launches, they put up a picture of the product for sale – probably as an auction.
Not the product itself – just a picture.
And not even an unusual picture, simply something printed off the product’s website.
Then some poor sap pays hundreds of dollars (or more) for this worthless scrap of paper.
Assuming the victim of this scam can’t easily refund the purchase, it’s a reliable (if awful) source of cash. Assuming you don’t care about reputation, self-respect or karma, at least. The odds of someone specific falling for it are low but, given enough numbers, somebody will.
How do they fall for it?
By not paying attention.
They skim the offer, seeing only what they want to see and not the huge red flags.
It’s easy to overlook the obvious sometimes.
But, as easy as it is, it’s never free.
You might not have fallen for this particular ruse, but reality is always trying to sneak something past you.
The world teems with threats and opportunities. With unlimited powers of perception, you would be safe and rich no matter what happens.
“Unlimited” might be a smidge too high for us mere mortals to achieve.
But you can always improve what you notice… and change what happens in your life.
You can begin that right here: