A bit more about fraudulent sites

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
krby
Posts: 16
Joined: 3 months ago

#1: Post by krby »

I know this pinned thread exists but I wanted to offer some warnings about more subtle scammers.

I nearly got scammed trying to buy a Niche Zero. I should know better. I've seen this thing before. I'm writing this post because over the last few years, I've seen these scam sites become much more subtle.

The overall scam is the same. Offering hard-to-find-in-stock items or better pricing or better shipping time (fake store shipping from your country for a product typically only shipped from some other country). The pricing is often good, but not obviously too good to be true (600 - 625USD for a Niche Zero shipped from a US location vs the USD equivalent of 519GBP from wherever Niche ships) I've also seen these sites fake low stock levels or things going out of stock while you're shopping. These scams show up in any gear-heavy hobby.

The advice from the thread above is great, check out the DNS records, forum posts, etc. If anything goes to "alternate payment arrangements" (they'll accept a credit card, but then you'll get an email that "our system is down, can we arrange for X payment method?") stop immediately.

In my case, payment method was PayPal, backed up by a credit card. I opened a case with PayPal and they immediately refunded the amount. I don't understand how the scammers thought they would succeed by using PayPal, but honestly the PayPal payment method was part of what helped me believe this was an ok place to purchase rather than a scam, because I knew worst case I could dispute it with PayPal or my card.
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VirTERM
Posts: 61
Joined: 1 year ago

#2: Post by VirTERM »

I am afraid it's more complicated than just a credit card number. They collect the name, address, phone number, and sometimes the common password that some people reuse across all accounts.

krby (original poster)
Posts: 16
Joined: 3 months ago

#3: Post by krby (original poster) »

Yup, totally agree. I was focusing on the fraudulent payment aspect because that's what most folks will see first and what the original post concentrated on. My point was that scammers have gotten better about being more subtle so often out of stock items won't all be in stock at once or prices will be at just barely below the expected price (or with better shipping options) for a less rare item.