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      Richard Fritz

        Scamming is part of our everyday life. We are warned by financial institutions, law enforcement, and our internet service providers to watch out for these invisible predators. I was always leery of places like Craig’s List and to-good-to-be-true offers in any format but now I have to add the LBC forums to my radar.
        I recently experienced a potential scam while searching for a Sunbeam hard top. These hard tops are hard to find in any condition and usually bring a substantial price especially when it’s restored. When one pops up you need to be serious about its purchase and committed to spending additional money to restore it. I was of that mindset.
        When I contacted the seller, he said the hard top was in excellent condition and wanted to know how much I would pay. I said, “Without photos, there would be no deal”, but in order to get things going I said I’d pay $1,500 for it if it was as good as you say. He said I’ll take it to which I replied no photos, no deal. About a week, later after a follow-up email to him, he replied with 4 photos of the top’s exterior and apologized for the delay because he was out of town. The photos show a hard top in very good original condition, but I needed to see the interior’s condition. I asked for additional photos. He replied that the 4 photos were all he had on his phone’s camera. I said, “Take some more photos and send them to me because without them there is no deal.“ That was the last time I heard from him.
        This entire interaction appeared suspicious from the start. When I first saw the 4 photos, there was a familiarity to them. I recalled a Sunbeam hard top sold several months ago on BAT that, coincidently, was in similar condition. I thought what the chances were of two good-looking hard tops showing up for sale in the same relative time frame. So, I looked up the BAT auction and found the 4 photos sent by the seller identical to the photos in the BAT auction.
        Now I was annoyed by this scammer who wasted my time and tried to steal my money. I contacted the BAT seller and explained what was going on. He did not recognize the scammer’s name but confirmed that the hard top was sold in December 2022 to a local man. He added, “It is possible that someone grabbed our photos and is trying to sell a hard top that he does not have.
        This post is my way of reminding you that these scams occur every day and have found their way onto our forums. We may have become immune to them and not even notice we are being scammed particularly when a sought-after part is needed for a repair or restoration of our LBCs. However, I consider LBC owners to be a pretty savvy lot and able to know when something is too good to be true, unlike the scammer who plays the percentages of a sucker being born every day.

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