I have said it once and Ill say it again. If something has value, there will be people who find ways to take advantage of that situation. Because there are so many uninformed users on Bunt, there is a major push by scammers to take advantage of that ignorance as of late. Unless you take the steps to educate yourself, it can be that easy to fall prey to their influence.
The scary thing is, most of the users who scam are functioning on a copycat type of operation. Either they get scammed, and then try to pull it over on another unsuspecting person, or they get told by their friends. Because so many younger users have started to sign on, its easy to see how they might see its okay if a bunch of people are trying to get ahead illegally.
New scams have been found over the last few months, whether its adding a black boost to a bunch of commons and hoping people wont notice before they accept, or even asking to borrow cards and then never returning them. You would think people would be more skeptical of these situations, but they arent. They expect the best from people, when in reality, that is only going to get you hurt at some point in the future. Its a very cynical way of looking at things, but online, where no one has a face or an identity, its the truth.
Topps has done their part in banning discovered scammers as quickly as they are reported, but I think there is something to be said for them officially educating the public on what is going on. I would like to see them show the underbelly with a very strict zero tolerance policy. Yes, it will show people how to scam, but education is the most powerful weapon against it. It will also let people know that there is a way to report this awful behavior that demeans the wonderful community. At the very least, create a survey to report these individuals for investigation. Make it public that there is a defense.
Another scary element is that even if someone does get scammed, its likely the cards will not be returned, as we have seen. The offender is banned, but they are usually not able to return the card(s) that were taken. This is why it is so important for us to be that much more careful in the way that we operate.
How to protect yourself:
- Use the lock system – lock the cards you absolutely dont want to trade. Take offers through 1:1 messages if absolutely necessary.
- Lock black boosts – unless you are going to be trading them that minute, lock them up. They have been a huge target as of late.
- Review EVERY trade thoroughly – at the very least, make sure you take a quick glance before any offer is accepted. It may take some extra seconds, but you will be happy when you avoid a scam as a result.
- Avoid “card to be named later” deals – unless you are getting the card in hand when giving up your side, stay away. Scams feed off “ill send you this card in another trade” scenarios, which give the person a chance to walk away without fulfilling their end of the deal. Card in hand 100% of the time or no trade for me.
- Trust no one – Sad that it has to be this way, but it is. Trust is something I give to very select groups of individuals, people that I have vetted. The same thing goes for their trust of me. Outside of those people, I dont trust a single person.
- Seek out the stories – Dont sit and wait for the scams to come to you. Read the posts on facebook and twitter, and familiarize yourself with the way things happen. I have posted a few times on common scams, search “Scam Alert” in the box above.
Again, the only person who can protect you is you. Not the Bunt staff, not Twitter, just you. Be vocal, use your voice, and dont fall for anything you cannot tangibly see the result. If everyone always played nice, these types of posts wouldnt be necessary.