The market for used board games is booming after the board game boom phase during the corona pandemic. Many fans are now looking to thin out their collections and are selling games through classifieds platforms. However, there are also black sheep 

A Terraforming Mars in almost new condition for 20 euros, a Nemesis for 60 euros or the blank Gloomhaven for 75 bills - on the large classifieds portals there are many offers that in the field of board games in the bargain hunt for joy while at the same time astonishment at the suspicious favorable course. Again and again board players and board games - even experienced ones - are ripped off. You're always smarter afterwards. 

The slightly too good offer

If an offer is too good to be true, you should better keep your hands off it - or at least pay special attention and reassure yourself. The offers for board games are booming on the classifieds portal, and scammers take advantage of exactly that. They work with alleged bargains, asking for rock-bottom prices that, as an enthusiastic gambler, you almost have to strike. So there is now also a bit of “FOMO” on the sales portals: the fear that someone else could snag the supposed mega bargain is part of the hunt for the best board game deals. 

Everything often seems so uncomplicated: title requested. Is still available. Pay quickly via "Paypal friends". Have fun. Wait: PayPal friends? Exactly - this is the service that strangers particularly like to use with fraudulent intent. The reason is simple: if the sum is sent digitally, the money is gone. The financial service provider then pays back the sum of money at best as a gesture of goodwill – but you have to ring the bell of the particularly nice customer service staff for that to happen. 

It is not easy for scammers and scammers. Uncovering the fake bargains is not easy, especially when the financial pressure is breathing down your neck. Keep calm - that is the top priority when hunting for cheap board games. The other side knows that too - and they take advantage of it, putting even more pressure on them so that the money only flows through Paypal's friendship service. Anyone who is suspicious and says they prefer to pay via the regular way or even secured, for example via Ebay classifieds, will be ensnared: When paying via “Friends”, there is usually a big discount again. 

At this point at the latest it should be clear: Things are not going right. 

With a few tips, suspected scammers can be exposed:

  • The picture of the classified ad should be hunted through the Google photo search. If the photo appears several times, possibly also in other ads, there is a high probability that the person who created the ad stole the photo and is simply using it for his own purposes. 
  • One should ask for a new original image with a photo element that is freshly added: For example, a piece of paper with a specific code word, the date or the name of the portal user. In times of fast smartphone recordings, such a picture can be taken quickly. If the request is denied, it is better to keep your hands off the purchase. 
  • However, even that does not guarantee 100 percent security. Criminals might actually have a board game within reach and take photos like this.
  • Used board games can and should be cheap, but prices that are too low indicate at least ignorance of the value, at worst a fraud. 
  • You should look at other ads by the creator: Are prices well below market value called there too? Are there any other board games? 
  • The account can also provide information, the ratings given are decisive. But be careful: In times of hacking and the like, criminals sometimes use the real profiles of other users to negotiate fraudulent sales. 
  • At the same time, the age of the account is an indication, but not a sure fact to be able to rule out fraud. 
  • It can be worthwhile to compare photos from several recordings: Do the individual photos on the classifieds portal match? Are the backgrounds different? Are playing cards sometimes provided with protective covers and sometimes not? Are miniatures painted in one picture and gray in another? Does the game box suddenly have quirks on one of the recordings?
  •  Do not rely on supposed insiders: Even in this country, rare and therefore cheap game titles are sometimes offered with fraudulent intent. 
  • It's not always expensive games that criminals want to cash in on. Small extensions or supposedly cheap accessories can also be the subject of a false classified ad. For the fraudsters, it then accounts for the mass of "sales".
  • Never act under the false assumption that you would not fall for a scam yourself. 
  • Sometimes helpful: Make a deal and use a second account to ask if the item is still available. If it is a clear yes, it may be an attempt at fraud.
  • Payment upon collection! 

Scammers are particularly common on classifieds portals and now also in flea market groups on social media, for example on Facebook, i.e. wherever it is particularly easy to create false profiles. 

If it happened despite all caution, you should inform both the financial service provider and the police. You can easily file a complaint online with the local police authority. The authority itself regulates who is responsible for the investigation. In any case, you should try to secure evidence or information: Screenshots of the ads, for example, the chat history, a payment receipt or similar. 

Incidentally, no one should be ashamed of being cheated by a criminal. Because it happens often. According to police crime statistics from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, there were around 22,5 percent more such acts of fraud or computer fraud using illegally obtained non-cash means of payment last year - a total of 79.192. In the case of cybercrime, however, there was a drop of around 9.500 cases (-6,5 percent) compared to 2021. The total number remains high: the ministry reports 136.865 cases in its statistics. 

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