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2002.05

New York City. Two Dutch guys, Gen and Dominic, sell me a pair of speakers out of the back of an Enterprise rent-a-van.

I was walking back from the post office when they pulled up in a hurry, desperate to get rid of a few sets of speakers before heading back to Maryland.

I talked to them for a few minutes, suggesting a few stores on Canal Street that would probably buy the speakers, but they seemed so desperate that I finally paid a couple hundred bucks for a pair of speakers.

When I got home I checked the Internet, and realized I was the newest victim of the “White Van Speaker Scam,” a.k.a. “Speakers for Suckers.”

Ironically, I’d just been reading an article about alpha and omega persuasion strategies the night before, so I was looking for the scam the whole time, but just didn't see it. They had invoice slips, receipts, and a glossy catalog; as a scam, it was a damn good one.

No long-term damage. I actually think it’s funny, and I learned a lot. The speakers look impressive and work just fine ... the only problem is that I have to look at them every day.