Home Forums Harps and Accessories WARNING!! NEW SCAMS

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    There’s a new scam afoot targeting people who have harps for sale. A friend of mine in Boston was contacted a few days ago, and I received a similar email this morning. The scammer contacts the owner of the harp and says he wants to buy the instrument. No questions, no discussion, no story about who it is for or why he wants it. Just: “I want to buy your harp. Send me an invoice and I’ll send you the money.” When you start asking questions like, where is this going to be shipped, there is no answer or its very vague. Then the scammer says that he will have an “agent” examine the harp. The scammer says he will send a $4,000 deposit(or some other figure), and that you should pay the agent $1,500 or some such figure out of that amount. That’s the scam part, to get you to pay someone some money from the deposit the scammer supposedly sends you, which of course will bounce. So anyone who is advertising a harp for sale: under no condition should you have to, or agree to, pay someone money involving the sale of your harp.

    There’s another situation that happened to me recently that was fishy as well. I rent harps, lots of them. So I regularly get calls for rental instruments. I got a call from a young woman who wanted to rent a pedal harp. As I talked to her on the phone, something just didn’t sit right. But she was anxious to come look at the harps I had and start renting. Well she showed up, a very pretty young woman from a foreign country with a foreign name whose origin indicates a nationality that NEVER plays the harp(that’s as diplomatic as I can make that). I explained that I would have to write up a contract, which she would have to sign, and give me some identification, and put insurance in place, and pay the first three months up front. She didn’t bring her check book, and had just enough cash to pay the first month. She told me she could come back two days later to pay me the balance, but she really wanted to take the instrument then. I said it would have to wait until everything had been done by the book. When she left, I saw her get into a gigantic SUV with a driver. She had been planning all along to pay me one month’s rent and walk off with a harp. Later that night she sent me an email saying that she was not going to rent the harp after all. She was concerned that I didn’t trust her!! That cancelation was proof to me that she had planned to steal the harp. To those of you who rent harps, be very vigilant!

    Bonnie Shaljean

    Thanks for this useful input – I had been wondering who pays for insurance on a rental harp. You get your customers to do it, I guess? Good advice!

    It’s always a worry with hire harps – even at three months’ rent it would be cheap at the price…

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