Scams on the internet are as old as the internet itself, and people continue to fall for the same old tricks. However, with the ongoing worldwide chip shortage making hardware difficult to get, scammers have found a new way to trick desperate buyers.
Below, we explore these tricks and how you can avoid them when necessary.
The Effect of Chip Shortage on Buyers
In case you haven’t noticed, a global shortage of computer chips is now generating issues for manufacturers.
The demand for hardware has risen dramatically as a result of the shortages. Since semiconductors are now used in so many products, this has had an impact on items like games consoles, graphics cards, automobiles, washing machines, and so on.
As a result of this, scalpers have risen in popularity, demanding high fees on sites like BestBuy.
This has put buyers in a difficult situation, some people are ready to pay exorbitant rates for luxurious graphics cards because they feel that having any graphics card is better than having none in the current market.
Because of this fear of missing out, desperate buyers will react instantly to updates about new supplies irrespective of what they are. This leads to hasty purchases where the buyer does not do their research before entering their credit card information and handing over their money.
How Scammers Prey on Desperate Buyers
Practically, chips sell out in minutes, leaving buyers scrambling to get to the checkout as soon as possible.
Scammers are aware of this, and they're exploiting it with one of the oldest tricks in the book which is referred to as the email scam.
It’s the same trick you’ve probably heard about before, and one you believe you’re resistant to.
Scammers send official-looking emails posing as prominent merchants, announcing that limited quantities of graphics cards or consoles have recently become available, along with a link where you can buy them.
The website appears to be authentic, and the store is, of course, offering these things at the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) rather than the inflated price seen on reseller websites, adding to the allure of the trick.
Most times, these emails are not identified as suspicious, if you fall for the trick, you will not receive your item, and depending on how you completed the transaction, you may not receive your money back.
However, email scammers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the chip scarcity.
Scalping is another notable trick because some “retailers” don’t have stock of the thing they’re selling, and being aware that buyers are desperate will try tricking buyers to fall for their scams.
Therefore, it’s left for you to identify these tricks when you spot one.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed
It’s easy to inform someone that has fallen for a scam like this to have their email content double-checked, poking around the page they came on before handing over their money can also spark a red signal. However, fake emails and websites often seem and work exactly like the real thing.
The chip shortage has created a conducive environment for distraction, and instead of worrying about being duped, you might rather be worried about checking out before others beat you to the product.
If you receive such an email, it is advisable to rather go to the official websites of authorized retailers, instead of clicking a link from the mail, if there is an actual product for sale, you can be safe while dealing with authorized retailers.
You can always check the URL bar on your browser to know if the website you’ve landed on belongs to an authorized retailer, landing on a similar page can be tricky as scammers can clone an authorized website, but the URL can’t be cloned.
In conclusion, you should be cautious of any mail stating the availability of chips, in order not to get scammed.
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