High Fidelity for less?
There’s an old scam out there know on the internet as the White Van Speaker scam. It’s been around since the 80’s and has changed very little since then. While most people know the “too goo to be true” pricing is well, just that.
How the white van speaker scam works
The white van scam is simple, a person hired by the fake company sits around out side a store like Best Buy or other big box store and waits for someone going in. The salesperson, or shall we call them the scamsperson will try to get you with a pitch of high end speakers for cheap. The conversation looks a little like this,
Sales: excuse me I have an overstock of these amazing Pork speakers
You: Pork, that sounds familiar whats the deal
Sales: Well we ordered too many so we need to get rid of them, they MSRP for 1900.00. But today I can sell them to you for 300 dollars.
(this excuse for the liquidation and pricing changes all the time)
You: 300 dollars wow what a deal
Alternate you: way too good to be true
How the white van speaker scam has evolved
The white van scam works like most, it relies on you being caught in the moment and not being an expert on the scam material. The speaker brands all sound vaguely familiar to most people, or even better sound exclusive or exotic. In the past before the internet was available in everyone pocket the scam was easier, the mark couldn’t just look up the fake brand on the spot. Now that we have the capability to check out this “deal” the scammers have gotten more advanced. Some of them have created whole websites for the speaker brands they are peddling with all the prices jacked up as seen on the boxes in front of you. this means if you try to fact check you may find exactly what they wanted you to find.
How to avoid the scam
The easiest way to avoid wasting your money is to avoid buying things from random people in a van. Real audio companies have a way to get rid of excess equipment if they do manage to get into that scenario, they clearance it through retail stores and on their site. They do not send out nondescript vans to parking lots. The second way to avoid being a mark is knowing the brands they push. Below is a known list of fake brands being used. This list will change over time but this is some of the ones we know exist now. I have seen some of these speaker brands below on Facebook Market place from people who have fallen for the scam and now trying to sell them even cheaper. No matter the price though, they are not worth the money. Always do your research before buying audio equipment.
Fake Speaker brands:
- Acoustic Response
- Acoustic Image
- Acoustic Lab Technology
- Acoustic Monitor
- Acoustic Response
- Advanced Sound Technologies
- Audio Tech
- Divinci Sound
- Digital Audio
- Digital Dogg
- Bach & Odin
- Digital Audio
- Digital Research
- Dogg Digital
- Epiphany Audio
- Elite Audio
- Epic Audio
- Fleetwood Audio
- Genesis Audio
- Nolyn Acoustics
- Panorama Innovations
- Kamron Audio
- Kevlan Media Labs
How bad is the scam
Some scams are bad because you don’t actually get anything for your money, as lot of internet bases scams are basically a method to let people steal your money. Other scams do deliver a product for the money but it just usually isn’t worth what you paid, although that even happens a lot in legitimate retail. So how bad is the white van speaker scam?
Well it varies from crappy speakers marked up to actually non working products. You may get lucky and get a pair or set of speakers that sound just like cheap speakers but they work. On the other hand you may get a cheap press-board cabinet with fake drivers in the front of it and a tiny internal speaker to make the sound. There are reports of them being filled with cement to make the speakers feel heavier and more solid. Most of them do not have crossovers of any sort or even dummy amps. From most of my reading they don’t sound as good as even a cheap couple hundred dollar set up you find at Walmart or other big box stores. The white van scam will continue on as long as people are willing to get the “deal”. The best way to combat the scam is to share and spread information to people who may be unaware of it.