I know somebody that has happened too, only he was span the "i bought this in Leroy Merlin story and they wont take it back because.....blag...blag.." The person i know bought a crappy chainsaw. I also know quite a few people in the UK that have bought fake gold and fake watches from the scammers that hire new BMW's for the day, the Police have really clamped down on those guys now.
Its a forgone conclusion really that theses types of people exists, if a deals too good to be true thats usually because it is.
but he is a thief and he targets men in their late 50s early 60s who remember communist life and the black market buying and smuggling--and then speaks in only Italian to make his story more believable.
He sounds like a pretty good scam artist, he should work for an insurance company.... Its the bargain angle they like to exploit, everybody love a bargain, and the people they are selling to start thinking "i can sell this merchandise on and make a killing", essentially its greed that makes us buy this crap and fall for the BS stories.
Your father in law not know what a decent generator or chainsaw looks like? the fakes usually stand out a mile.