Monday, January 02, 2023

Beware Scam gun sales sites


Rock Island M14Y .22 rifle 10 shots sale! $86.10 - Scam Alert!

When checking firearm availability and firearm prices on the Internet, this correspondent frequently comes across web sites which claim to have highly sought after models, at extremely attractive prices. They are almost always scams.

The purpose of these scams is two fold: First, collect your personal information and credit card information, so it can be sold and or used to defraud you. Second, collect money via an untraceable payment system. Surprisingly, Paypal seems one way; another is one of the digital currencies; another is through the use of gift cards, another is a direct bank transfer.

There is an old saying which applies: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

As humans we are always looking to score valuable things for minimum effort. It is part of the genetic makeup of people who hunted and gathered to keep breath flowing in and out.  There is always the chance of finding that bonus of a super thick berry patch, or the silly bison calf which wanders into spear range, just when you huddled behind a bush. When we deal with other humans, there is a greater potential for deceit and fraud. It was difficult to pull off when we lived in close-knit clans and villages. Those who cheated received a reputation very quickly. The results were often unpleasant. As  society and commerce grew with more unrelated people, the potential to cheat and not be held accountable became greater and more lucrative.

One of the "lures" which causes people to "bite" and get caught up in these scams is, occasionally, you come across an excellent deal. It usually doesn't last for long. In the nature of things, great deals are temporary, of short duration. The temptation is to bite while the bait is in front of you. Often, in the process, people get caught by a scam.

Here are some telltale signs to help avoid these traps.

1. Your caution should increase to higher levels the better the "deal" is.

2. If they cannot be reached by telephone, beware!

3. If there are few reviews, lacking detail, or only recent reviews, beware!

4. Payment methods which do not use credit cards are a flashing warning sign.

5. If there is no address listed, beware! If an address is listed, check it out with independent means, such as a realtor's web site or a search on a map site.

6. If they do not require an FFL for a firearms sale, it is a scam.

7. Scammers often use a .net address.

One way to check, which this correspondent has found helpful, is to do a search for the name of the website and the word "scam".  In the vast majority of cases, there were plenty of people who explained how they detected the trap, how they avoided it, or how they regretted being caught.

It is easy to set up a web site with images and details which look legitimate.  Once set up, it is easy to duplicate it, shut down the old site, and open a new one with a different name. Thus, a scam site only needs to succeed in defrauding a few people to make it profitable.  Unfortunately, we do not have rigorous Internet police which track down tricksters and recover money which is lost.  In reality, amounts of hundreds of thousands of dollars disappear into scammers hands without any repercussions.  If you lose a  few hundred dollars, it is only noise to the authorities.

The best way to prevent loss of assets to scammers is to avoid the scam to start. Be very careful who you give identity information to. Be careful about giving out credit card information.

Remember: If it is too good to be true, it probably is. 

Use caution, avoid scams, and enjoy the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanuka to all!

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch






1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I continually get thank you emails from Pay Pal with a customer service number listed, I have never had a pay Pal account I buy nothing on line and I haven't used a credit card in over 22 years.. I did go online to check the pay pal customer service number and it was not the same in the email.. I got a call from a guy said he was going to clear up all of my credit issues. He hung up when I told him I don't owe a penny to any one and did not need his service. If you call a fake number they sell it. My ex wife stole my I.D. and a credit card over 22 years ago it took 18 months for the bank to get it resolved. She was trying to destroy my credit. they bank gave her seven days to pay the account in full or face federal changes. she paid it off with the money she took before she left. I live within my means and pay cash for any thing I want. The interest I would pay using credit I spend on my self.