3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

'Speaker Scam' thrives in the Valley

Posted: Updated:
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Amy Milostan and her husband thought they had scored quite the bargain recently when they purchased a home entertainment center.

"I'm a mom. I do my research. I check things out," she said.

But what she didn't check out was that sound system before she bought it.

And as a result, the deal she thought she got was no deal at all, she says.

"Got a little sick to my stomach and I was a little shocked that I had fallen for somebody else and had given him $300 that I really didn't have," Milostan said.

Her problem all began when she was at an ATM in north Phoenix, getting some cash.

That's when she says a guy came up to her claiming to have a high-end surround sound system that he could sell her dirt cheap.

"He told me that he installs home theater systems and that's exactly what he looked like -- a contractor who goes into your house, does work and gets paid," Milostan said.

The guy even encouraged Milostan to scan the QR Code on the box, which she says took her to a website indicating the home entertainment system retailed for $2,800.

But it was Milostan's lucky day because he was willing to sell it to her for pennies on the dollar.

"He reeled me in," Milostan said. "He said, 'You know, I know the ATM will let you pull out $300. How about, you know, $300 and we'll call it even.'"

She pulled out the cash, paid the guy and then took her new system home.

But after Milostan and her husband had a hunch that she had just been scammed, they contacted 3 On Your Side.

Turns out, Milostan was duped. Remember that website indicating the equipment was worth $2,800? Well, that website isn't even legitimate. It's simply used to trick victims like Milostan.

"All fake because if you click on anything, like the company info, there is nothing there," she said.

And when we unscrewed the back of the speakers we found concrete inside.

So, we took the system to Ben Kayl, a home theater expert here in the Valley, and we asked him to check out this so-called high-end system.

He wasn't impressed with what he saw.

"So, this part right here, looks like a speaker. There's nothing. There's nothing connected to it. It's not a speaker at all. It's just a decoration," Kayl said.

He also came across that concrete that we discovered.

"That looks like someone poured concrete just to give it a little weight and that's not good for sound at all," he said.

And when we asked him to put a price tag on this system?

"That costs all of maybe 20 cents for a speaker like this," he said.

It's a far cry from $2,800 or even the $300 Milostan shelled out.

That means the con man who's duping people into buying those concrete-filled cases that resemble speakers is probably laughing all the way to the bank and Milostan probably isn't the only one this is happening to.

"Oh, to lots of different people, lots of hard-working people who work every day and make money the honest way and he's stealing it from you," she said.

3 On Your Side appreciates Milostan sharing her story. She hopes other consumers won't be scammed like she was.

  • Recent 3 On Your Side storiesMore>>

  • 3 On Your Side

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Smart devices: Do you own what you buy?

    Saturday, February 4 2017 9:52 AM EST2017-02-04 14:52:25 GMT
    Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)Consumers are app crazy, and not only to control temps or lights. They're unlocking doors and maybe even seeing what's inside the fridge. (Source: Alexander Kirch via 123RF)

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," he said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >

    "Oftentimes, the companies that make these products insist that even though you might own the physical object, you don't own the software code inside of it," digital rights specialist and author Aaron Perzanowski said. "And that code is really fundamental to the operation of those products."

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Can your HOA issue you a speeding ticket?

    Can your HOA issue you a speeding ticket?

    Friday, August 18 2017 4:20 PM EDT2017-08-18 20:20:32 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Sun Lakes is in the East Valley and is known for having active adult communities for retirees like Bernie Van Emden. "You name it, they got it here,” Van Emden said of all of the amenities in his development.

    More >

    Sun Lakes is in the East Valley and is known for having active adult communities for retirees like Bernie Van Emden. "You name it, they got it here,” Van Emden said of all of the amenities in his development.

    More >
  • 3 On Your Side

    Did you get a 'free cruise' robocall? You may be eligible for $900!

    Did you get a 'free cruise' robocall? You may be eligible for $900!

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:02 AM EDT2017-08-18 15:02:17 GMT

    Information about a robocall settlement has been trending on social media and a lot of consumers are wondering it's legitimate. It is true! Open the story to find out what you have to do to get your money.

    More >

    Information about a robocall settlement has been trending on social media and a lot of consumers are wondering it's legitimate. It is true! Open the story to find out what you have to do to get your money.

    More >
Contact 3 On Your Side