Throughout the year of 2011, two conmen preyed on the elderly in the United Kingdom. Now both are going to jail. Darren Sharpe has been sentenced to five years and Christopher Andrew Simpson to 18 months after both plead guilty to fraud.
Their scam was a hodgepodge of unethical practices. They sold mobility aids such as power scooters and stair lifts at ridiculous prices using high pressure sales techniques. Sometimes they would not even deliver the devices they sold. Other times they made unauthorized transactions from their victim’s credit cards.
But the largest part of their scam was selling overpriced mattress covers, claiming they had magical abilities such as curing bad backs and stiff joints. Victims would pay £300 for a completely non magical mattress cover worth only £30. Converted into American dollars that’s paying $472 for a product worth $47. In total, the two made over £50,000 ($78,735).
But eventually the truth found them out. After dozens of complaints from their victims, the Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards investigated Sharpe and Simpson and uncovered their fraudulent practices.
Moral of the story: don’t get cheated by high-pressure salesmen and beware of $500 mattress covers.