There is a growing scam that even the internet savvy may fall victim to. I’m in need of a chip reseter for a particular toner model. I Googled it and ended up at Alibaba.com for companies selling chip reseters. This chip reseter for the toner model is very rare and I saw only three companies selling them. In short there is a low niche for this market.
Question: Why would scam artists bother with this type of products, unlike most scam artist who goes for the more popular gadgets like ipods, laptops, consoles, etc?
The answer: It is very convincing to the buyer.
- What I learned is this- most companies listed on Alibaba.com, ec21.com and B2B(Business to Business) sites are fake companies. There are only a few legit companies.
- I did my research on the company and owner. The company has a website, a product list, images and specs. Some pages on site though is still under construction. Images are even watermarked with the website url, website has complete contact information, email and phone number. My gut tells me that 50/50, this could be a scam but the device is rare and not many people know that you can reset toner chips, so how could this be a scam. The company is only listed on B2B sites with no reviews and no feedbacks.
- If it passes 2, you should have caught it as a scam when the only payment methods are Western Union and moneygram. But then again the item being rare, why would anyone bother.
Sending money via Western Union is one way, there is no insurance, there is nothing that can be done to get your money back if scammed. They only assist in black listing the person and in filing a complaint with the local police in that country.
I’m still hopeful that it’s not a scam, but I know it is. By the end of the week I’ll spill the beans so this so-called company cannot further scam anybody else.
A very hard lesson learned. When dealing with people in the Internet if your gut tells you it could be a scam then it must be.