PSA: Don't Get Caught Up In Scams When Buying / Selling Guns Online

Always protect yourself and your investments when buying and selling items online, especially firearms and other weapons-related items. While we do our absolute best to keep scammers off of our website, they will always find a way. Here are a few tips for spotting scams and how to avoid them.

Because the threats are a little different depending on your activities, we will break this down into two categories... Selling and Buying:

 

SELLING: Firearms, Ammunition, Accessories and other Weapons Related Items

When you list items for sale on sites like GunsAlaska.com, your goal is obviously to be contacted about them so that you can arrange a sale. However, inevitably you will also receive fake contacts from people looking to scam you out of your item(s). It's important to identify these scams and don't allow yourself to get involved. Here are a few ways to easily identify scammers:

  1. Contact email has bad grammar and it's obvious that English is not the primary language
  2. Phone number is from out-of-state
  3. Buyer does not want to meet you locally, or they want someone else to meet you instead
  4. Buyer wants you to ship the item
  5. Buyer wants to pay with a credit card or via online services like PayPal

While any individual reason above might not mean 100% that the person is scamming you, you must be smart and ask additional questions or take further steps to figure out if you can trust the person. Here are a few tips for what to do in the above circumstances:

  1. Don't ship your items.
  2. Don't agree to take credit cards or online payments of any kind. NOTE: PayPal does NOT allow their service to be used for anything weapons-related.
  3. If you suspect the person is authentic and you want to chance shipping an item, insist that you will ONLY ship to a known, reputable FFL holder where the buyer will have to pick up AND PAY the for the item at the FFL holders location. Make the buyer pay for the FFL fees.
  4. Never sell a firearm to anyone other than the original, intended buyer. This can lead to serious legal consequences.

 

BUYING: Firearms, Ammunition, Accessories and other Weapons Related Items

Similar to when selling items, buyers want to easily contact the seller and arrange the sale. When the person is local, can meet you in-person and pays with cash, this can be a smooth transaction. However, be aware and learn to recognize the signs of a scammer. Here are a few ways to easily identify scammers:

  1. Correspondence from the seller via email has bad grammar and it's obvious that English is not the primary language
  2. Sellers phone number is from out-of-state
  3. Seller wants you to meet someone else locally
  4. Seller wants to ship you the item(s)
  5. Seller wants you to pay with pre-paid cards or via online services like PayPal

While any individual reason above might not mean 100% that the person is scamming you, you must be smart and ask additional questions or take further steps to figure out if you can trust the person. Here are a few tips for what to do in the above circumstances:

  1. If you agree to have an item shipped, insist that it be shipped ONLY to a known, local FFL holder where you will pay the FFL for it directly after it arrives and also pay the FFL fees.
  2. Do NOT pay directly to the seller with pre-paid cards of any kind and do NOT use any online payment services like PayPal. NOTE: PayPal does NOT allow their service to be used for anything weapons-related.
  3. If things aren't adding up and you strongly suspect the buyer is trying to scam you, just stop communicating with them completely. It's not worth it.

 

Be smart and don't get scammed! If you experience something on our website and believe you are dealing with a scammer, you can also feel free to Report it to us.

 

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