Look out Cleveland, it seems Rodney Bowling is back with a brand new scam.
When last we saw the charming con artist ("Reality Bites
," December 21, 2005) Bowling was promising to make television stars out of local actors and businesses. Now he's got a new scam, charming businesses into buying false sales leads.
In April, Josh Domo, the sales manager for IGM copy products, received a call from Bowling, who claimed to be looking to buy some office equipment. Before the conversation ended, Bowling, being quite the salesman himself, decided to pitch Domo on his own company.
Bowling said he was running a business in local malls, asking consumers to fill out surveys for the chance to win $100,000. For $750, businesses could pay to get their own questions in the survey. Domo thought this was a good way of generating names of potential customers who might be in the market for office equipment. He paid Bowling $750 to ask shoppers whether they were in need of office supplies.
Two months later, Domo had no customers' names and Bowling was nowhere to be found. He contacted the Better Business Bureau, who put a notation in Bowlings' file.
But that wasn't enough for Domo. He decided to google Rod Bowling and see what came up. The first reference was Scene's article on Bowling's scams. Domo slapped his head.
"Holy shit this is the guy," he thought. "And I read that story, too."
Just like Bowling's other victims, Domo doesn't think he'll be seeing his $750 back any time soon. -- Rebecca Meiser