How to beat the Airsoft Scammers 23/03/2017

The Scammers of the Internet seem to have become aware of the Airsoft community lately, with a noticeable increase in reports of people being conned on social media, forums etc. They’ve obviously worked out that the value of  used Airsoft guns is fairly high, and they could stand to make a fair bit of money from us.

It seems that the current method is to sell an item to an unsuspecting buyer, then trick them into using an unprotected  payment method such as a Bank Transfer,  PayPal “Friends and Family”  or a Paypal money “pool” rather than a normal PayPal address.   You should only use these methods if you know someone personally and know you can trust them.

The item often isn’t even theirs to sell, as in many cases the auction text and images are stolen from elsewhere on the net.  Once they have your money the seller obviously never sends the item, and then becomes unresponsive to the buyers queries when it doesn’t arrive.

Frustrating as it may seem, there’s is almost no point whatsoever trying to bring the scammers to justice.  They are most likely using a fake or stolen identity which along with anonymising internet IP services and bogus email addresses will make it difficult, if not impossible to track them down.

So if if the unthinkable actually happens to you and you get scammed when buying used Airsoft stuff online, what should you do?  Well the first step should be to contact us or whichever platform you are using to let them know you’re having a problem-  That way the seller can be prevented from doing it to others.  Then you should do whichever of the following steps applies to you:

For Airsoft Guns:  Claim a Chargeback

The best chance of recovering your money when a gun sale goes wrong is to tell your card issuer what’s happened as soon as possible and ask them to start a chargeback claim.

What’s a Chargeback?

Chargeback is a  scheme which gives you a chance of getting your money back from your bank if you don’t receive the goods you’ve paid for.   This is NOT a legal requirement for the card processors to do this, but a part of Visa, Mastercard and Amex’s internal policies, under which you have 120 days to claim.

A Prefired Chargeback success story

One of our unsuspecting users contacted us about a seller who had disappeared offline after their item never arrived.  With a bit of support from our team he managed to get his money back in full!

I would just like to thank you for your help as without I would have been hopeless, after ringing paypal the only solution was to contact the card issuer and I have just rung them and I have been accepted a chargeback on the payment and will be receiving my money back within 1-10 days! Thanks you once again!

So it does work and it’s that’s why we consider it the first port of call for Airsoft Gun purchases that have gone wrong.

Please note:  The chargeback system only applies to puchases made by credit/debit card, NOT bank transfers, which are unprotected.

For Non Gun sales:  File a dispute claim with PayPal

Whilst it doesn’t hurt to try this, if you paid by “Friends and Family” you’re not very likely to get much help from PayPal, as payments made using this option are not eligible for Buyer Protection.  It’s best to contact them by phone so you can explain the situation to a real person as this can prove to be more effective in getting a positive outcome.

Even if you paid using the “Goods and Services” option you may not fare any better.  We’ve seen conflicting accounts of whether PayPal will cover sales of Airsoft guns via their platform as in their Terms they do not allow:

“ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories”

So to put it simply, if you bought a Replica Imitation Firearm via PayPal you’re probably out of luck, but most other items should be fine.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Cure

It may be stating the obvious, but it is better to avoid being scammed in the first place.  If you follow these simple rules you shouldn’t go far wrong.

  • Don’t pay for any Airsoft items by PayPal “Friends and Family” or PayPal Pools- no matter what story the seller comes up with.
  • Don’t Pay via a Bank Transfer unless the person is someone you know and trust.
  • Make sure that the seller’s PayPal name and address details match the name they are using to sell the item.
  • Insist on tracked postage, or better yet collect the item yourself.

Check out the seller’s Prefired profile page

  • Do they have any feedback/ a good feedback score?
  • How long have they been a member?
  • Do they have a profile Picture?
  • Are they Verified?
  • Do they have a connected Facebook account?

What are we doing at Prefired to improve security?


This is the new report button – If you see something say something!

We have added a new reporting button at the bottom of each ad listing, this makes it easy for you to report a suspect listing or problem directly from the listing itself.

Prefired already has a user verification and user feedback system in place to help protect you from bad sellers so please use them!  If you buy or sell an item please leave your trading partner feedback and help make things safer for everyone.

While every effort’s been made to ensure this article’s accuracy, it doesn’t constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. We can’t assume responsibility and don’t accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it.

No Tags

6138 total views, 1 today


8 comments to this post

  •  :  Hi I was gonna purchase a bundle of gear from a seller named Mark redwood from Bournemouth but when he sent me the link for paypal it says dawid guminski and he's in Inverness. He also requested to pay by friends system and the items he was willing to give me them very cheaply. Please could you advise me the best way to proceed. Thanks
  • Siggi
     :  The flipside to this is buyers scamming sellers. There are hundreds of examples to be found on the net of how the buyer said he was sent a box of crap, which leaves the seller in a world of grief as he then has to deal with paypal's kafkaesque process (and usually ends up with his item gone and no money). This is why I will never accept money as goods & services...I give my facebook details, friend the buyer and then he can post freely in my groups and establish from others that I'm trustworthy. I'd sooner lose the sale than take the chance. Last RIF I bought, I paid £500 friends & family, because I was able to establish the seller's bona fides. Yes, it's all a minefield but it can be safely negotiated with common sense and a smidgeon of luck. Lol.
  • Admin
     :  Whilst it’s certainly true it's a common problem on the wider internet, eBay etc, having overseen Prefired since 2016, I feel I can say with a fair amount of confidence that it just isn’t happening within the Airsoft community. In fact, we have not had so much as a single report of a seller being scammed this way so far. In our experience, by far and away the greatest risk in a used airsoft sale is to the buyer, and In every case that has been reported to us where someone has lost their money, “Friends and Family” or PayPal Pools has been used to stop the buyer having any comeback on the seller.
  •  :  Siggi I totally agree. I've been stung twice. On one occasion I had a gun sent back to me missing its internals (HFC mauser) and had the PayPal payment reversed leaving me with no money and an ornament. Add in the bungletards who work for parcelforce (I believe the only courier in the UK that will let you send RIFs) and it's a minefield.
    • Admin
       :  @Cromulon1994 Where did these sales occur? It's important to report these issues to us, or whichever platform you're using in order to weed out dishonest users. We take this stuff seriously, PayPal may not do anything about it, but we will. We can and do block users that get up to antics like this.

Leave a Reply

  • Buy and sell your airsoft guns in the UK

    Welcome to Prefired- The new way to sell used airsoft gear

    by on 10/08/2016 - 4 Comments

    Up until recently, selling airsoft guns in the UK was a simple matter of posting in a group on social media. That is until the site in question put a stop to the sale of anything remotely gun-shaped. This left a bit of a vacuum, with most Airsofters, us included having nowhere to sell unwanted RIF’s.  This […]

  • New Rules for Ad Images

    by on 06/02/2018 - 15 Comments

    In order to verify that ads are genuine, we are changing the rules regarding the images you upload to your ads. Introducing Guntags and Ad moderation A Guntag is Prefired lingo for a little bit of paper with some writing on it.  Going forward, you will need to display a Guntag card showing your Prefired user […]

  • How to beat the Airsoft Scammers

    by on 23/03/2017 - 8 Comments

    The Scammers of the Internet seem to have become aware of the Airsoft community lately, with a noticeable increase in reports of people being conned on social media, forums etc. They’ve obviously worked out that the value of  used Airsoft guns is fairly high, and they could stand to make a fair bit of money from […]

  • Overcoming the Dangers of Buying Airsoft Gear Online

    by on 27/03/2017 - 2 Comments

    We’ve been listening to your feedback since we launched, and one of the biggest problems mentioned when talking about buying or selling Airsoft stuff online is that you don’t really know who you’re dealing with. We’ve tried to address this with our Social login, which links your Prefired account page with your Facebook account; and […]

  • Upload your Mugshot!

    by on 30/11/2017 - 0 Comments

      Due to popular demand we have finally added the ability for you to upload your own profile images in place of the standard Gravatar pictures Prefired has used up until now.  You asked for it, now you’ve got it!  But please… Keep it clean. To change your profile image go to Click on […]