Several of our members have been emailed about a “free” grand piano that is a scam.
The initial email is usually something like this:
Greetings, Mrs. [XXX] is downsizing and looking to give away her late dad’s/[or husband's] piano to a loving home. The Piano is a 2014 Yamaha Baby Grand used like new. I will not be checking this email often you can TEXT her to indicate your interest on her private phone number (618) 732-1244 [TEXT ONLY] to arrange inspection and delivery with a moving company Regards. Julie
While some of the details (names, phone numbers) vary, the overall messages are almost always the same.
It generally involves a Yamaha grand piano, and pictures (that show a Yamaha grand piano) will be attached to the email. It all looks mostly okay.
If you respond to the original email (or text the number included in the email) you’ll usually get a follow-up email or text from “STL Moving Services” (not a real company).
This email says something like:
Hi [Your name], Thank you for your interest in using STL Moving Services, a nationwide carrier of household and office goods, for your pending relocation. We are excited to have you on board. My name is Ryan Patterson and I’ll be your on-boarding assistant throughout your shipping process for the 2014 Yamaha Baby Grand Piano (Reference: SOL07375104288). Dimension of the 2014 Yamaha Baby Grand Piano as follows Length 5′ 3″ (161 cm) Width 59″ (149 cm) Height 40″ (101 cm) Weight 627 lbs. (285 kg.) COST OF DELIVERY Please find below the different prices we have for delivery depending on your choice. OPTION 1. GROUND SHIPPING: 10 Days Delivery Cost Of Delivery: $350 OPTION 2: EXPRESS SHIPPING: 5 Days Delivery Cost Of Delivery: $550 OPTION 3: FREIGHT SHIPPING: 2 Days Delivery Cost Of Delivery: $800 Payment is via Zelle or Cashapp. Will you be able to make the payment using any of these methods? N.B: You are not the only person inquiring about the piano. We are going to be delivering it to the first person that pays for delivery. Thanks, Ryan
This is the endgame of the scam. You’ll pay for “delivery” but never actually receive the goods.
If you visit the STL Moving Services website, there are some subtle clues that it’s not a legitimate company, and I imagine that it will be more difficult to get a refund from Zelle or Cashapp than Paypal or your credit card company.
If you get an email similar to this (or anything that seems too good to be true) be skeptical!