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Help for people that can't decide scam or not

shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭
edited May 2021 in General Discussion

Ok, lots of posts regarding scam activity. Like it or not every online activity has problems, is no different, it is up to you to defend yourself.

Here are a few red flags:

1. A non rated seller that just joined in the last week.

2. Underpriced item, normally they have a buy it now slightly under the going rate.

3. Paypal...just don't. Edit- Add Zelle, Venmo or any other quick electronic payment service to that. They all have clauses in the user agreement that it is not to be used for gun transactions. You have zero recourse when you get scammed and on top of that they will lock your account.

4. The word "kindly", have any of you seen a scam communication that doesn't have that word? Must be commonly taught English in other countries but not used as often in our country.

5. Very few pictures.

6. Gunbroker warning on the auction asking if you've seen that exact item listed elsewhere, I believe that comes on after someone reports it.

7. No reliable communication other than text/email.

8. Multiple listings with wildly different backgrounds.

While none of these alone are major alarms but normally scam listings have most or sometimes all.

Sorry if this discussion is not allowed, feel free to delete but man, forums seem overrun with people that can't seem to figure it out on their own.



  • BobJudyBobJudy Member Posts: 5,588 ✭✭✭✭

    Very well said. It is probably against the rules but I wouldn't mind this being made a sticky at the top of the page. Bob

  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,326 ✭✭✭✭

    AWESOME ADVICE. Add to it, if you are uncomfortable in any manner contact the seller for clarification before you bid, keep all emails and phone numbers. If pics are not clear, ask for more.

  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,496 ******
    edited April 2021

    Members are welcome to make additional contributions to the above list. It must be understood that Gun Broker does not tolerate fraudulent listings or scams and has mechanisms in place to prevent them. Demands that the Gun Broker do more, or claims that GB is not doing enough, will be dealt with accordingly.

  • nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,764 ******

    I'm having a bit of fun with one now, asking for more pictures, asking for serial number, etc.

    Oohing and aahing over the item's immaculate condition, and how rare it is. Mmmm-boy! It's a good-un!

  • StoneBasses24StoneBasses24 Member Posts: 3

    this would be great advice on the main site. could have saved me a hard lesson.

  • Locust ForkLocust Fork Member Posts: 31,030 ✭✭✭✭

    A huge hint is when they have you send payment to an address that is different from the registered address on the auction. I've seen a couple people post that suspicious sales had them sending payment to strange places.

    LOCUST FORK CURRENT AUCTIONS: Listings added every Thursday! We do consignments, contact us at [email protected]
  • Dave KempDave Kemp Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021

    I am seeing many scams have the same mo and fairly easy to avoid

    Most are either NR sellers or only feedback is with another account they have

    Most are also using Paypal

    All are using stolen pics,all have pics with different backgrounds ,some looks as thou taken from computer screen.

    Can we post scam auctions on here ?

  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭

    So you basically just parroted several of my points.

    No, you will get this thread locked if you post specific auctions.

  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,496 ******

    No, you cannot. Did you read your posting guidelines? If you failed to do so, focus your attention on #2:

  • tsavo303tsavo303 Member Posts: 8,663 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    Here’s a pro tip. Copy some of the text that has unique language and search I have identified more scams doing this than reverse image search. Find same item for sale on another site for 3x price

    tell them your are local before you bid and see if they will agree to meet at ffl to transfer

  • pauld4pauld4 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021

    It seems there are more GB scams now than ever before. With the enormous volume, you know people are getting ripped off.

  • plautusplautus Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    There is a scam seller on Gunbroker right now who took my money, (and apparently others) but is still listing items. I've already reported them and filed a Bidder Protection claim, but I don't know why they are still active.

    They even re-listed the item I bought and paid for. Their emails originated from Lithuania (reverse whois on their IP address from the email header).

    I sent a postal money order because it is generally better protected by the USPS, but it's still a hassle dealing with the claim and investigation -- meanwhile, they are scamming others.

  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    There are scam sellers everywhere, looked at or tried to sell anything on c-list lately?

    It is up to YOU to educate yourself so it doesn't happen to you.

    Send me a link to the auction you won.

  • plautusplautus Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    i reported the scammer over 10 days ago and he's still listing auctions.

    i filed a bpp at that time and faxed in everything. no response.

    pm sent.

  • Mikey20Mikey20 Member Posts: 2

    CCI 500 sp primers 40 bucks for 1000... in stock. Check out Royal firearms LLC They got me and 4 other friends. A SCAM they do not sell on Gunbroker but I have to warn people of this place for people who spend too much time search for primers!

  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    Scams are everywhere, not just on Gunbroker, like I say above it is up to YOU to protect yourself. Scammers on gunbroker are pretty easy to detect.

    The biggest one I see is a non rated seller that recently joined, don't bid on them, especially if something has a buy it now under market price.

  • A057846A057846 Member Posts: 1

    I encountered two scams this week, with never before seeing one. Seems to be getting very popular. Avoiding speaking on the phone seems to be a quick tip off as well. I reported both, but is there any recourse or prosecution of these people? Have purchased many, but never sold on GB, so I don't know what the initial screening or background check there is for a new seller, apparently none. Is there no way to prosecute these people, as a deterrent? Luckily I avoided both losses. Can't believe they're stupid enough to steal exact pictures from GI, when most buyers shop to compare anyway.

  • oldWinchesterfanoldWinchesterfan Member Posts: 1,049 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    Ummmm, if the seller has only 5 feedbacks, all F, it might be a scam...... (edited to delete the specific auction)

    Come on people, the scams are not hard to spot if you pay attention. And there are some good deals to be had from new sellers. If I see something I really want I send a question I know the answer to, and I try to educate the new seller. If they are not responsive or illiterate, or stupid, I move on and don’t bid. They are not hard to spot. But this 5 Fs is the best I’ve seen yet!

    And yes, I reported that seller to Support.

  • StoneBasses24StoneBasses24 Member Posts: 3

    Well first time buyers, coming here from places like ebay and amazon don't know that. They are trusing that a large site is only presenting legitimate items for sale.

  • plautusplautus Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    Exactly -- and they see "Verified Seller" and the claim that the seller's identity and address has been verified.

  • Sal_160Sal_160 Member Posts: 4

    Well, I was taken. I paid, and I didn’t see the other side of the transaction, the merchandise. How can contribute to take these people out of business? What are really my options with law enforcement?

  • davidpksdavidpks Member Posts: 2

    I almost paid. When the guy sent me the email for Zelle of his supposed wife, I open the email as "show original" in my Chrome (it also can be done in Outlook), and I found the IP of sender. Using I located the IP geo location is in Chile, South America. I had no loss other than my expectation to get a nice original Glock 17L. GunBroker is able to know from where the IP comes from and block it. I understand they can use proxy and VPN IPs of US territory but a constant monitoring of those IPs would help to prevent connections from some countries.

    Be careful friends. This frauds on GunBroker would happen on time or another. It happened to eBay many years ago. We all need to be more aware of technology in order to avoid frauds.

  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭

    Good work on protecting yourself. Scams are all over right now. I spot at least one everytime I look through my saved searches.

    #1 and #2 from my list above are the most prevelant and telling. Did the auction you won fit those?

  • davidpksdavidpks Member Posts: 2

    Yes, fits #1 and #2 but the price was not super lower, in my judgement, it was slightly lower than normal. Let's say it was $750 and a fair price would be like $1,000 .

  • Vee_KayVee_Kay Member Posts: 1

    Just had an auction bid up shortly before it ended, it had been at the opening bid for days, the bidder hasn't had any activity since 2018... Suspicious...

    Any way to check if the bidder was connected to the seller?

    How can I report it to have it checked into???

  • shootuadealshootuadeal Member Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭✭

    Most of the action on auctions happens towards the end. Very common for a gun to sit at one price for several days and shoot up at the end. I don't think there is near as much shill bidding as some people think there is.

  • keithbeachflkeithbeachfl Member Posts: 6

    I was one click from losing $599 to a fake FFL online dealer. AKA - my Lesson on why to only buy on and still check out the sellers :)

    Here’s what saved me – and for those smarter than me – you don’t have to do every step!

    1)     I got lucky – I did a very quick pay to the email stated on their website for payments. Somehow, they didn’t take the money from that transfer and instead texted me asking me to cancel that payment and pay to some other person. That made me suspicious. So actually - i did lose my $599 and was lucky i could cancel the payment - read on.

    2)     I googled the address stated on their website – it appeared in google maps as a farmhouse in UT. I asked them for their address, they replied with “San Antonio”.

    3)     I asked them to send a photo right now as they were texting me telling me to “not worry this is safe”. They texted three photos – I uploaded them to a google site that tells you where else on the internet that picture has appeared. The first picture I uploaded was shown to actually have been in a news story.

    4)     I went to see who owned their site using this lookup   and found they are based in Cameroon Central Africa!

    5)     I asked them for their FFL # - which I learned you can confirm here: “ATF FFL eZ Check”. If you are given an FFL – and even if it checks out – call that store or location to confirm THEY are really the ones selling you the gun. They stopped communicating after I asked for the FFL

    I have sent the entire story to the BATF and my local State enforcement – the fake FFL site is still up - - if anyone has law enforcement friends – please forward this to them! Let’s catch these F’ers…  please don’t confuse that fraud site with or any other well established online seller.

    --- entire story below -    

    Scam FFL dealer - website shows address of a house in UT - they state they are from San Antonio... feels like overseas actor impersonating a US gun store.. the photo they sent in response to my ask that they prove their storefront – were found from google search!

    On 5/24 i attempted to purchase firearm from

    I clicked checkout and agreed to pay $599 for them to ship to my local FFL whose address i provided.

    Their website - instructed to pay by Bitcoin (wtf??) or Paypal using address: [email protected]

    I did immediately pay to paypal and sent them the paypal reciept.

    I then got a text asking me to pay - they had no idea i paid paypal - and told me to pay to a different person not listed on the website. with bad english instructions below:

    On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 5:10 PM <[email protected]> wrote:

    Yes sir we ask you to make payment using our manager account because the company account its at the verge of deposit. Yes. Your right we sent you the email via from our service so don’t be skeptical okay. Make sure you pay using this PayPal email bellow, make payment under friends and family.

    Email: [email protected]

    Name: Florence wanyama

    I asked them for pictures of their store – they sent me stock photos I found elsewhere on the web.

    I asked then for a copy of their FFL - no reply...

    They text me from phone 415.323.3341 which when i call it goes to google voice mail.

    On their home page they have a product category "machine guns" with a picture of an AK-74 for $750 - i highly doubt a true fully auto AK goes for $750...

    I can send you the emails or provide any additional info I may have -


  • keithbeachflkeithbeachfl Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2021

    Also note - a scammer sent me great pics - it wasn't until i checked them out on google images and found the photos were not of the gun shop - but from other posted online news stories.. I uploaded them to a google site that tells you where else on the internet that picture has appeared. In my case i asked the seller for a photo of his store / and some inventory... he just pulled some down off the internet..

  • keithbeachflkeithbeachfl Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2021
  • BobinnhBobinnh Member Posts: 12

    Holy Cow! I have NEVER had a single issue. I consider myself lucky. I'm thinking, I am not using GB anymore!

    I have recently been getting warnings from my Credit Cards, and Email ACCT, I have had to change acct names and passwords more frequently.

    I hope it's not from this site?

  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,698 ✭✭✭

    >>3. Paypal...just don't. Edit- Add Zelle, Venmo or any other quick electronic payment service to that. They all have clauses in the user agreement that it is not to be used for gun transactions.<<

    I know PayPal prohibits using their service for firearm transactions (for firearm parts and accessories it can be acceptable), but when I signed up with my bank for a Zelle account, I searched my user agreement for any prohibitions on using Zelle for something like a legal firearm sale, and there was no such prohibition. (I don't know about Venmo, as I do not use it.) Where is this information coming from that Zelle cannot be used for a legal firearm sale?

    I do know that one cannot "pull back" a Zelle payment, so unless I trust the seller, and everything "matches" I wouldn't recommend a buyer use it for a payment method. When I sell, I am offering it as an option to buyers, and some have chosen it; I don't like the "association" -- suggesting sellers who accept electronic payments from services like Zelle or PayPal -- are somehow more likely to be fraudulent.

    Also, SELLERS need to be aware of scams. I just got an e-mail yesterday through GB's system asking if I "shipped immediately"; when I explained that I shipped after a payment cleared my account, I got a "response" from the "buyer" that "she" (the username indicated a female) has "chosen three of my items" (I have only three items listed, none are a firearm right now) and payment and FFL information was at a link they included in their message -- the link wanted me to "sign in" using one of common accounts (social media or common e-mail accounts); no doubt entering my user-name and password at this "link" would have involved the scammer stealing that information (phishing attempt).

    I may take a moment to alert GB, but my recent experience trying to get issues resolved indicates it will be months before they get to my issue, at which time I'm sure this scammer (using their GB account) will have phished multiple sellers and will be long gone. (If a moderator here can contact GB management more quickly, and wanted this user's name, let me know; I'd like to see this scammer shut down quickly, as a lot of damage could be done if sellers are falling for this.)

  • Centurian77Centurian77 Member Posts: 1

    I've been a member on GB for a long time, I've never posted on the forum here that I am aware of. I'm only going to say this, whomever is managing this website needs to begin cracking down on scammers and non paying bidders with an absolute iron fist. It's gotten bad on here, really bad.

  • LunarcallLunarcall Member Posts: 1

    I found a scammer last night.

    I was looking for a galil ace2 pistol...found listing that was way below value....looked at his other listings....and all populat guns that all had buy it nows that were way to good to be true. I googled pics and sure enough they are "borrowed" from others and all had different backgrounds....I then checked his completed auctions, and he has sold same guns multiple times, and as one is purchased now, it gets far since he opened his account on July 20 2021 he has sold over 15k in the same guns.....oh and he just takes paypal....I have reported to GB with links to where pics were stole from etc....and it's been 24 hrs and still selling same guns over and over. Gunbroker seems to be ignoring my warnings....his user ID is BUFFALO471......It makes me sick seeing this happen and no way to warn the buyers since GB doesn't care it seems......anything else I can do?

  • fatcat458fatcat458 Member Posts: 364 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    Been buying on GUNBROKEN since 2001. Most of my buys are from Kasey. My feedback is almost 400, all postive. l've had to get a refund from sellers only TWICE. No problems EVER. First scam hit me 3 months back by a first fime seller. No feedback. Just one item to sell. l was the only bidder. Paid with USPSMO. Took me a couple months. Post Office got my money back. One little unmentioned FACT here. The US MAIL owns YOUR mailbox. They dont take kindly to crooks using THEIR boxes to steal from folks😵

  • pjeffreyspjeffreys Member Posts: 1

    Well it has finally happened to me. I purchased and saw the Verified Seller and I paid. I've filed a BPP claim, and I'm waiting for GB.

  • Lyela2Lyela2 Member Posts: 2

    With the Post Office understaffed give it a little extra time. I bought off one old guy and he had gone to the hospital. It took a while, but I got it. The biggest problem I have is with people that just should not have an FFL. To put it bluntly, they are just a little slow.

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