Roundup: Scam Alert, Girls Basketball, Be Prepared …


I get over 250 emails a day. I’m pretty good at separating the real “06880” readers from the fakes, frauds and grifters.

But the “free piano” story I posted yesterday is — despite its perfect grammar and syntax — probably a scam. A reader warned me that he’d heard the same story.

I Googled “piano sale fraud,” and found this, from a music educators’ website:

I wanted CEOMTA to be aware of a recent iteration of the “free” piano scam. One of our members received an unsolicited email from someone claiming to be an elderly woman who was downsizing and looking to give away her late husband’s piano to a loving home.

The piano was a Yamaha baby grand. The email came from a legitimate sounding Gmail account and included several pictures. The teacher did have an interested student, so the student made contact and arranged the delivery with a moving company they were referred to.

However, the moving company was a fake. Although they sent a convincing invoice that included details like the size and weight of the piano, the parents realized after payment that the invoice had a different name than the company they were originally referred to.

After being contacted again regarding the discrepancy, the moving company immediately took down their website and the family were unable to get back the money they had already sent. The original email said that she got the teacher’s name from a friend in her piano teacher’s association, so please be careful if you are contacted with a similar sounding situation.

So, if you contacted “Charles Webb”: I hope you did not get into any financial transaction with “him.” If you did: cancel immediately. My profuse apologies!

The piano offer is a scam.


The Staples High School girls basketball team is on a hot streak. The Wreckers are undefeated — 6-0 — in FCIAC play.

Last Friday they went to Cold Fusion. When it opens this spring, the gelato shop will be one of the hottest spots in town.

On a cool afternoon, 22 varsity and junior varsity girls spent some bonding team decorating the storefront, during construction.

It was their way of making Main Street look a little brighter — and of bringing a bit of attention to a truly great team.

Go get ’em, girls. You give new meaning to the hoops term “in the paint.”

Staples girls basketball scores at Cold Fusion (Photo/Justin DeVellis)


Jesse Levin believes in being prepared.

The 2003 Staples High School graduate owns the Readiness Collective — an emergency training club and outfitter. He’s had a pop-up shop in Bedford Square.

Now he’s offering a special Civilian Medical Course. The material — which includes Basic Life Support and Tactical Combat Casualty Care national certifications — adapts combat life-saving techniques to everyday emergencies.

Two US Army Special Forces medics, a Special Ops surgical team leader and a flight nurse will prepare people with the skills and confidence to provide medical care to themselves and their families, in the critical time before first responders arrive.

Hiking accident? Car crash? Active shooter scenario? Whatever you worry about: Be prepared.

The course runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 5, 6 and 7 at the Readiness Collective in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection. Click here to register.


And finally … today in 1998, “Titanic” became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide. “You jump, I jump!”

3 responses to “Roundup: Scam Alert, Girls Basketball, Be Prepared …


    I had something like this happen to me a few years ago when I posted an antique bed for sale online (Craig’s list? don’t remember). Someone responded by text with a Massachusetts phone number and said that a trucking company from New York would swing by and pick it up. All I needed to do was pay the trucking company when they came and the buyer would reimburse me with a check drawn on a California credit union.

    It sounded fishy, and calls to the credit union just sent me to voicemail, but the trucking company had a web site with a street address. So instead of waiting around I sent them a check by registered mail, and wasn’t exactly surprised when it was returned as undeliverable. Needless to say the “Massachusetts” guy wasn’t happy and stopped responding to my text messages. I should have called the FBI (interstate fraud), but let it go and gave the bed away to a non-profit.

  2. Ellen Dale Naftalin

    Also re: free piano, my husband, a professional keyboardist, points out that it would be foolhardy to aquire a piano without having it completely examined by a technician There are about 12,000 moving parts on a piano all of which are effected by humidity, heat, cold and poor maintenance. So beware.

  3. Trisha Jumper

    Thanks for the info on the piano. I was thinking that it might be a scam, but almost responded by suggesting he donate it to a high school or music program at a local college in Tennessee. What a crazy world! A bit upsetting for sure.