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Xantrex TR1524: The Most Fraudulent Solar Inverter-Charger Ever

By Wayan Vota on November 2, 2009

Buying solar power equipment for Africa is often a challenge. First, the USA runs on 110V, so most of the equipment here will not work with the 220V standard common to African electrical systems. Then, shipping to you, then to Africa often vastly increases costs. Last but not least, is the long reach of 419.

If you are trying to buy the Xantrex TR Series 1524-230-50 Inverter/Charger, a very common inverter for solar power deployments, you’ll find few companies willing to ship overnight. Most require a day’s wait between payment and shipment. Why?

The Long Reach of 419

The Xantrex TR1524 is often the target of online scams. Fake or stolen credit cards are used to buy it for overnight shipment, getting it delivered before the credit card companies or solar equipment distributors can stop delivery.

In fact, several dealers I called recently said that the 1524-230-50 model is the most common target of such thieves. To the point that any request for it raises alarms.

Yet another example of how honest commerce is degraded by 419 scams.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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