What to do if you fall victim to an Airsoft Scammer

Prefired.com March 23, 2017

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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 the unprotected “Friends and Family” PayPal option to send the money. 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.  The seller 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 bank/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.

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.

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”- no matter what story the seller comes up with.
  • 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.

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4 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

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