Results 1 to 37 of 37

Thread: Fake Accessories - heads up

  1. #1
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Fake Accessories - heads up

    I apologize if this has been discussed before, but I did a search and couldn't find anything by glancing at the topics.

    Over the last year, I have seen more and more fugazi chinese ripoffs of authentic quality gear on the web. They seem to really enjoy copying optics and mounts especially, but I have also seen stocks and bipods. Some of this garbage is easy to spot, but some have proven to be a challenge. This is especially true if you aren't well versed with the authentic product.

    Today, I spotted a phony stamped Larue LT 172 on gunbroker. Although it was easy to spot, it is conceivable how an unsuspecting individual could be heisted while looking for a deal on a Larue mount. There was a $25 bid with a 'buy now' for $35. Here is the link:
    http://v4.beta.gunbroker.com/Auction...Item=144389524

    I got hoaxed last year on a Magpul PRS, when a scummy guy in TX misleadingly passed it off for the real deal. Nobody to blame but myself for not handling real merchandise before buying questionable stuff, as well as not fully questioning an ambiguous listing. Luckily I was able to get out of the bad deal.

    This year, I unknowingly bot a fugazi Harris 6-9" SBR (note that this is NOT the bipod I have for sale here!!!). At a glance, you could not tell the difference. It even felt like a Harris, and the functionality was virtually the same. However, there are a few little things that were the telltale signs:

    1. There is no Harris stamp on the frame; an obvious but overlooked sign, and should not be relied upon since any communist could easily stamp some metal.
    2. If it is a swivel model, the knob is different, and you cannot get a wrench in there to remove it to install a Pod Lock.

    Here are some simple common sense modalities to consider when buying accessories, especially online in auctions and forums. Some of this I learned through my own mistakes:
    1. If the price looks too sweet, keep your guard up. This is especially true for auctions with discounted "buy now" prices. If nobody has inquired, bought or bid on something that is 1/2 MSRP for like a whole day, chances are that the mob knows something is up. The probability of you being privy or seeing something hidden is very small. This is not to say that all good deals are phony, as there are many out there. However, history shows that most good deals are over quickly. For example, search this site for the last Atlas bipod that sold for $190. That took what, like 6 minutes?
    2. Be aware of the term "style" in the subject header, especially on eBay and gunbroker. These guys are using a lawyer style tactic of lying without actually lying. I noticed that some of these "style" type auctions have long winded ambiguous descriptions of the product, sometimes in small print. They are obviously doing this for a reason...to mislead you and me. If I were legitimately selling a ripoff of something, in a short description I would put in bold lettering "This is not an actual widget, but merely a widget clone with the same function."
    3. If the product is something you reeeeaalllly want, try to handle an authentic one first, before shopping around in auctions and 'for sale' posts. Know what the item looks like and feels like. Look for markings of authenticity, and note the font, color, location and method of marking. If something is metal when it is normally carbon fiber, be suspicious. Call the manufacturer and ask if there has been variation in production or multiple generations of product. However, it is understandable that this may be difficult with items that are hard to come by. But these are the times when you are most vulnerable, so take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. i.e. you have been waiting for a Magpul UBR stock or an Aimpoint 3X magnifier for so long, and you finally found one for sale!!! Check the item title, seller origin, and read the description word for word. If something doesn't feel right, the deal may be sour. The good thing is that if this is an auction, the transactions are monitored by eBay, Paypal (dirty anti-gunners), as well as Gunbroker, and the buyer has more clout than the seller.
    4. A seller with poor communication is a red flag. i.e. you emailed the seller with a question, but he/she doesn't get back to you for a few days; when he/she finally does, the reply is a cut/paste or the response is ambiguous or doesn't sound like fluent english. Also, establish communication after the auction is over. The seller should be the one to establish first contact, unless you are so quick that you beat him to it. Don't pay for it until he/she addresses you, preferably by name. Case in point, months before I got scammed on the PRS, I won an "authentic" PRS for like $190. At the end of the auction, I sent an email to confirm. I didn't hear back from the guy for almost 5 days. A month went by, but still no PRS. During this time, I had been emailing the seller periodically and getting the same 5 day delayed response. He finally admitted that he was waiting to get them in stock. In my book, auctioning something that you don't physically have is fraud. I contacted eBay and Paypal, and in a couple of days, my account was credited, and I never heard from the seller again. I checked back soon after, and the seller's handle was gone from eBay. He obviously either lost his ability to sell due to scams or incompetence, or pulled the handle himself because it was tainted with my negative rating, and probably created another handle.

    I am sure that everyone on this site knows that fake chinese merchandise is out there in full force. As far as business goes, the chinese are a bunch of turds (btw my gf is chinese). They have zero ethics and are only concerned with putting product out on the market, regardless of quality. They are not innovators; they are copiers. They would rather mislead people into thinking they are buying authentic merchandise than do some homework and create their own.

    In addition to the chinese, the europeans have run scams in online auctions and "for sale" postings. I haven't seen much of them in the gun world, but I have seen plenty of it years ago in electronics. In 2002, I saw a ton of guys on Ubid.com selling plasma TV's for 20% of retail. Obviously, something was up, and this was confirmed when the replies received were in broken english, and they insisted on payment thru Western Union. They either personally successfully snagged some poor suckers, or heard of swindling success from friends, or they wouldn't have wasted their time posting shit for sale.

    Take home message: keep your guard up and protect yourself at all times.

  2. #2
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Kogapsp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    491

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    What you should do is give picture examples of the products that are faked and what the difference is between the two. Visuals help out lots when it comes to pictures seen on egay and other sites.

    Just my thoughts.

    KN

  3. #3
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    2
    Following
    0
    BOLTRIPPER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Dallas Texas USA
    Posts
    5,464

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Palmike.........very good contribution to the Hide....thank you!

    much of the import stuff has got headers that may direct to the airsoft click....

  4. #4
    Well armed easily annoyed
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Captain Moroni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pocatello ID
    Posts
    1,369

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Palmike you have done something only a handfull of people have ever done you have won BOLTRIPPER's approval my hat goes off to you
    "This is a web site for serious tactical marksmen. There probably is a web site for serious tactical whiners. If you find it, don't come back to give us the link."-Lindy

  5. #5
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Andover, MA
    Posts
    15

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Just gave a quick call to Larue and let Alfred know the item #. FYI

  6. #6
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Outsydlooknin75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    DulUth Jawja
    Posts
    1,796

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Koganinja
    What you should do is give picture examples of the products that are faked and what the difference is between the two. Visuals help out lots when it comes to pictures seen on egay and other sites.

    Just my thoughts.

    KN


    BAD thing with doing that is that when we point out the differences between the fakes and the reals it tells the people that are making the knock offs just what they need to work on.
    Team Pimp Hand.... Keeping it strong
    Real men wear pink and shoot irons

  7. #7
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    9
    Following
    0
    LoneWolfUSMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    8,258

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Saw a Fake PRS at a gunshow awhile back. It looked almost exactly like the real Magpul PRS, but it was lacking the trademarks and felt like a cheaper plastic with a higher gloss finish.

    Someone new to Magpul stuff could easily be fooled into one. I pointed the fake out to the seller and he brushed it off saying he didn't know what it was. It just came on the rifle when he bought it off of another guy.
    Wherever - Whatever - However
    8541tactical.com
    __________________________________________
    Facebook - Twitter - YouTube Channel - Mail Call Mondays and Review Videos

  8. #8
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    paraman1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Boise , Idaho
    Posts
    752

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    After some of the things I have seen on Airsoft websites and things purchased off of them I wouldn't buy anything Larue , Noveske or Troy unless I bought it directly from them . I am sure there are plenty of reputable dealers out there but some of the stuff is so close to the real deal it takes a truly discerning eye to tell the difference .
    infringed
    past participle, past tense of in·fringe (Verb)
    Verb
    1.Actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.): "infringe a copyright".
    2.Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on: "infringe on his privacy".

  9. #9
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Witch_Doctor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Same swamp, different state
    Posts
    1,054

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Oh yea, last year I got dinged by a M68 ripoff, luckily for me it was from a guy I know real well, he took it back, but he bought it from a reputable shop on line.


    "The probability of anyone watching you do something is in direct proportion to the stupidity of what you are doing" - Warren Miller

  10. #10
    Google-Fu Master
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    MinorDamage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Edgewater, MD
    Posts
    1,517

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    I always try to stay away from eBay and other auction sites just because of this. Plus, when it comes to Larue, Mark throws in so much free stuff it is awesome. You really can't beat the authentic Armadillo bottle opener.

  11. #11
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    dtask's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    4

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    If the word "Style" is anywhere in the title or description following the brand name, it's counterfeit. Placing "style" (magpul style, larue style, aimpoint style, etc...) is an eBay copyright infringement rule work around.

    You can thank eBay and Paypal for proliferating the sale of shitty knock offs - they do nothing to stop it because they'd lose money - even though they claim to be anti- firearm everything. Kinda like Hollywood: they're all liberal anti-gun assholes but they make movies with Arnold hip shooting M16's for the money. End rant.

  12. #12
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Koganinja
    What you should do is give picture examples of the products that are faked and what the difference is between the two. Visuals help out lots when it comes to pictures seen on egay and other sites.

    Just my thoughts.

    KN


    Noted. I will post pictures of a fake Harris next to a real one when I get a chance.

  13. #13
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC
    Saw a Fake PRS at a gunshow awhile back. It looked almost exactly like the real Magpul PRS, but it was lacking the trademarks and felt like a cheaper plastic with a higher gloss finish.

    Someone new to Magpul stuff could easily be fooled into one. I pointed the fake out to the seller and he brushed it off saying he didn't know what it was. It just came on the rifle when he bought it off of another guy.


    Phony Magpul stocks are easy to spot, especially the PRS...that is if you have handled an authentic one before, so please heed my advice above. The fake PRS I bot like a dumbass, had the following telltale signs:

    1. The buttplate was not rubberized; it was grooved metal. I was told that the 1st generation PRS was not rubberized either, so don't use this as the sole indicator.

    2. No Magpul stamp. I don't care what the dickhead says; if it doesn't have the Magpul insignia on it, then it is NOT a Magpul.

    3. Butt plate adjustment has some play and rattles when extended. The real PRS has absolutely no play at any length. The adjustments should be tight, and the wheels should take a little force to turn them.

    4. The rods extending the butt plate look like cheap, highly polished metal. These should not look like silverware; they should have a matte finish.

    I'll keep saying it; make every effort to handle the genuine product. If you ever handled a genuine PRS, you will be able to finger one of these shit ripoffs in less than 5 seconds.

  14. #14
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Outsydlooknin75
    Originally Posted By: Koganinja
    What you should do is give picture examples of the products that are faked and what the difference is between the two. Visuals help out lots when it comes to pictures seen on egay and other sites.

    Just my thoughts.

    KN


    BAD thing with doing that is that when we point out the differences between the fakes and the reals it tells the people that are making the knock offs just what they need to work on.


    I understand what you are saying, but I don't necessarily agree with that. I am sure that the con artists are well aware of their shortcomings. There are probably good reasons why the subtle differences exist. It is conceivable that it might not be cost effective for them to produce a fake product that is looks identical to the original. For example, something as simple as stamping a Magpul insignia can be a huge cost barrier; the fckers would have to go through the trouble of tooling a machine to stamp their shitty product. If it eats into their margin, guess what? That stock ain't gettin stamped!!! They wisely concentrate more on the appearance of the product from afar, ignoring the subtle differences. Also, they get a boost from any slimy scumbag salesman looking to boost his bottom line by buying cheap shit and selling it for full MSRP of the original.

    Remember, these guys are playing the numbers game. They may not fool you or me, but there is a sucker born every minute, and there are 1440 minutes in a day.

  15. #15
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    48

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Great post. +1 to only buy from reputable dealers and/or really do your homework on what the real deal looks like when using an auction site or another board. I've seen/handled several fake LMT SOPMOD stocks. There are even Chinese fakes of most of the major Red Dot Sights and even some Leupold scopes out there...

  16. #16
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Kahuna
    Great post. +1 to only buy from reputable dealers and/or really do your homework on what the real deal looks like when using an auction site or another board. I've seen/handled several fake LMT SOPMOD stocks. There are even Chinese fakes of most of the major Red Dot Sights and even some Leupold scopes out there...


    Some sites have a section where they show you what to look for to confirm authenticity. I believe I saw it for Leupold and Aimpoint.

  17. #17
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Here is a link to Leupold's counterfeit warning:

    http://www.leupold.com/corporate/res...rfeit-warning/

  18. #18
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    SNIPERS4DUMMIES's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Canal Winchester,Ohio
    Posts
    2,296

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    funny, the guy on GB selling the knockoff "style" YHM offset mount is asking the same price as the real deal YHM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klzZs...eature=related
    ...for those of us who must endure keyboard Commandos

  19. #19
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Strangedays's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hayden Lake, Idaho
    Posts
    1,802

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Koganinja
    What you should do is give picture examples of the products that are faked and what the difference is between the two. Visuals help out lots when it comes to pictures seen on egay and other sites.

    Just my thoughts.

    KN


    Thats the fake knock off!
    Here is the real one!

    Notice some big give aways like no markings!
    Though such fear carries us into darkness may such grace carry our souls into the light.
    -Passage from 'Nathaniel and the Key to the World of Shadows'-

  20. #20
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Doc1911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    367

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: MinorDamage
    I always try to stay away from eBay and other auction sites just because of this. Plus, when it comes to Larue, Mark throws in so much free stuff it is awesome. You really can't beat the authentic Armadillo bottle opener.
    +1, on Mark's gifts.

    There is definitely a risk in purchasing over the net - "from some" sellers. As others have already said purchasing direct is the safest way to go.
    Sincerely,
    Doc1911

    NRA Life Member
    Certified Instructor


    For tactical, precision, and reliability: Accuracy International AW + S&B

  21. #21
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: SNIPERS4DUMMIES
    funny, the guy on GB selling the knockoff "style" YHM offset mount is asking the same price as the real deal YHM


    Yup, misleading is what scammers do best. Had he listed it at a lower price, nobody would think it was the real deal. It is all a numbers game. Someone is bound to overlook the word "style" and buy it.

  22. #22
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Gold Canyon, AZ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    There are also fake Mark 4's on ebay. I reported them but they are still there. 2 sold for approx $250. Yeah like you are going to get a new in the box Mark 4 for that. Common sense should kick in but....

    Also tons of aimpoints.

  23. #23
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Doc Holiday13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    LoCo, VA
    Posts
    365

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    LaRue sucks anyway and that guy is selling it for what is actually worth
    Originally Posted By: black_ump

    I had a FFP falcon but it was a 10x fixed i never had one with magnification

  24. #24
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: DocHoliday13
    LaRue sucks anyway and that guy is selling it for what is actually worth


    Please elaborate on why you think LaRue sucks. I am not going to debate you, but for educational purposes, I would like to hear some facts behind the claim.

  25. #25
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Caveat Emptor

  26. #26
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    JR_V's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Londonderry, NH
    Posts
    356

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Just so you guys know Magpul makes some airsoft products also. Don't think they make any PRS stocks though. I think most of these knockoffs are due to the airsoft craze. People want their airsoft guns to look the part but are not willing to spend the dough, so the knock off pieces come in and flourish.

  27. #27
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Originally Posted By: Jr_V
    Just so you guys know Magpul makes some airsoft products also. Don't think they make any PRS stocks though. I think most of these knockoffs are due to the airsoft craze. People want their airsoft guns to look the part but are not willing to spend the dough, so the knock off pieces come in and flourish.


    Problem is that a bunch of the fake stuff is advertised at prices way out of touch with reality.

  28. #28
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    xxsjj2007xx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Walworth, Wisconsin
    Posts
    157

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Unfortunatly I got fucked and bought a fake PRS for 175. I still use it but there is definatly a quality gap. Sucks when that stuff happens. Its so hard to find what u want in stores and places on the internet are so handy. Wish it always had a return policy or a real one I guess. Sorry to carry on.
    SEND IT!



  29. #29
    Gunny Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,975

    Re: Fake Accessories - heads up

    Magpul inventory has finally started to soften up. Be patient ad you will be able to snag a real deal PRS or UBR from a reputable vendor. Stay clear of the auctions now.

  30. #30
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dekalb IL
    Posts
    43

  31. #31
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    240
    Agree with everything said.
    To reiterate...if it sounds to good to be true...it most likely is.
    In truth I have nothing against knockoffs if:
    -They are advertised as knockoffs. All the Rolex fakes come to mind, sold on websites like 'fakerolex.com' ...anyone who buys a watch from a website like that knows it ain't real.
    I have a real Rolex. My kid has a fake Daytona, one of the better fakes with an actual mechanical movement. No way he can afford $10K for a watch. What pisses me off is the fact that it keeps better time than mine ;-(
    -The person buying has a reasonable expectation of what they're getting. Really, the weekend shooter who goes shooting for an hour or so every couple of weeks may not need the best.
    Really (going back to the Rolex)...this is not as the argument goes, taking money out of Rolex's coffers. The person who is spending $100 bucks for the fake likely has no where near the cash to buy the real thing.
    All that being said...the dealers and private sellers who try and pass off the fakes as the real thing should end up in jail.

  32. #32
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    BigJohn141's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Elk City, Ok
    Posts
    554
    I just ordered the fake Atlas, I gotta see this thing. I will post up how to spot a fake other than the rail attachment knob on the side when it gets here.
    If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence you tried.

  33. #33
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nixa, Mo USA
    Posts
    102
    The bipod is a POS. There is no tilt to it, it just pans. It is also real gritty on the extension knob. The leg swivel rides on a piece of stamped metal instead of being machined. Don't waste your time thinking if it is worth saving $140. It is not. I have the real deal and bought the fake to compare. There is no comparison.

  34. #34
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    BigJohn141's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Elk City, Ok
    Posts
    554
    Thanks for the info. I have a real one also so I ordered the fake just to compare. I have no expectations of it being a replacement for a real Atlas or it being anywhere in the same realm as Kasey's work. I plan on taking a few pics and posting them for reference purposes because where there is a fake there will be someone trying to sell it as the real deal.
    If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence you tried.

  35. #35
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Name Enough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Rosenberg, Texas
    Posts
    409
    Quote Originally Posted by Piqqy12 View Post
    Anytime a seller asks for payment via western union turn and run immediately. Once you send the money it's gone and no way to get it back. Just my 2 cents.
    Amen to that. There as a KelTec KSR offered for $1100 on Texas Gun Trader recently and when the seller said send payment via Western Union
    I turned and ran. I will only pay with a postal money order and if the merchandise is not forth coming threated them with a postal inspector and Federal Mail Fraud Charges. Doesn't sound like much but it works. I bought a PTR 91 off Gunbroker and when they didn't send the gun after six weeks I told them I was going to press Mail Fraud Charges and I had a check in three days.

  36. #36
    Private
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    "over the bridge", Grasonville, Md
    Posts
    24
    Even though "An armed society is a polite society" usually applies here, it's still mostly a "buyer beware" world out there.
    Save the Whales!
    Collect the whole set.

  37. #37
    Sergeant
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    BigJohn141's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Elk City, Ok
    Posts
    554
    Alright guys, this is more serious than I thought. I just got the fake "Atlas" in and if I didnt have a real one here with me I would have a hard time telling them apart besides the mount on them. I am going to take a few pics and do a write up when I get a chance to tell the differences. They are subtle but they are there, the fake one does actually say the exact same thing on it as the real one. I will start a new thread when it gets finished because this could be a $150-$200 scam.
    If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence you tried.