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Rip-Off Alert | Con artists coming after people looking for a deal

On one AT&T forum, our Sinclair sister station in West Palm Beach, Fla. learned people claim scammers are selling working phones, then reporting them stolen to get another phone through insurance. (KSNV file)

If you think scammers are done with their gift scams, think again. Cons could be coming after people looking for a deal.

As Vladamir Gonzalez was scrolling through classified ads on Facebook in Lake Worth, a post for an iPhone caught his attention.

"You know, $600 looks like a great deal," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez offered $400 for the iPhone and the seller accepted.

"This was the original box, it was unopened," said Gonzalez.

He says it was the perfect gift for his girlfriend, who had just lost her phone.

"Everything worked okay, wow, it is brand new," said Gonzalez.

However, after a couple months, Gonzalez says the phone stopped working. It wouldn't place calls, so he brought the phone to an AT&T store and spoke with a worker.

"And she found out that the phone was recently reported stolen," said Gonzalez. "Horrible! Why would you report a phone stolen if you selling it to me?"

Gonzalez says the seller blocked him, so he went online for help and discovered several people had the same problem. On one AT&T forum, our Sinclair sister station in West Palm Beach, Fla. learned people claim scammers are selling working phones, then reporting them stolen to get another phone through insurance.

As to if he thinks he will ever get his money back, Gonzalez says, "I doubt it."

Our sister station also learned that mobile phones have become one of the hottest products for insurance fraud. They say up to 40-percent of claims are fraudulent with a rip-off going beyond the victims.

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