Android Phones: Samsung Galaxy Fake Sales
Samsung Galaxy Sale Scams: How They Work
The Android smartphones have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Needless to say, scammers have been making fortunes luring victims into 'buying' the newest models, whether is a Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, A8, A6 or Note 8. In this article, we'll expose the most prevalent scams when it comes to buying smartphones.
Although the scams could be pulled on you with any kind of phone, the most common ones are done with the Samsung Galaxy S9, A8 and A8, which seem to be very popular Android phones this year. The most prevalent type of fraud is the "Bait and Switch" scheme. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see a perfectly pulled old Bait and Switch scam:
How does it work? A criminal advertises on Craigslist, Facebook, Oodle or Kijiji that he is selling a brand new Galaxy S9 for a particular believable reason (e.g. received two on his birthday or that his company gave one to every employee right after he purchased his, etc). Let's say you are interested and set up a meeting.
You meet him. He has two brand new sealed boxes. He says one is for another client, who should be there as well, any minute. The price is great, say $250 each.
As he opens one of the boxes to verify that there is a real Samsung Galaxy S9 inside, the other client – usually a girl, his accomplice – shows up and claims to be the second buyer. While you are checking the phone, she tells the seller that her dad has the cash, but he is around the corner and for some reason he can't come (he might be parked illegally and has to move the car if a parking officer comes over).
Meanwhile, you finish examining the gadget, feel happy, and give the seller $250 in cash. He gives you the sealed box, puts your money in an envelope, seals it, and while he sticks it in his pocket asks the girl if they should go where the dad is. She says yes and leaves first.
As you are ready to go as well, he stops you. He looks reluctantly at the girl and asks you for a small favor. He hands you back the envelope with your money. "Could you please hold on to this for a minute, until I come back? She seems a little sketchy, I am afraid of being robbed by going around the corner with a bunch of cash", he says. Well, you have the phone and the money, so you can wait a minute.
After he's been gone for 5 minutes, you start to panic. You open the box and instead of a Galaxy S9 you find a stone. Then you open the envelope and find paper instead of money. What he did was to create a fake Samsung Galaxy box wrapped perfectly, while the envelope with paper was just a double he had in the same pocket.
The same scam was reported to happen particularly during cruises. As the ships stop for a few hours or days in different towns, tourists are approached by locals when they're about to step back on the ship. Very friendly, the crooks show them a new phone, let them play with it, and then sell it to them for half of the regular price. Or so the tourists think. As soon as they get back on the ship and unpack the box thinking they've got a fantastic deal, they find rocks and stones. By that time it's too late to go back.
There are also a few other Android phone sale scams, coming in different forms:
1. Shipping Info Email Scam
Crooks send mass emails impersonating workers at UPS or FeDex offering you info about your "shipment and delivery". A confusing but tempting statement along with a great photo of the phone might make you click on a link they provide, just so you see what they're talking about.
Opening the link will take you to a website preloaded with the Blackhole Exploit Kit, which is currently the most popular web threat according to Wikipedia. The page contains a hidden script which will give scammers control over your computer. You can now imagine the rest.
2. Buy The Galaxy A8 Now Scam
Scammers also create fake websites advertising themselves as official retailers of Samsung products. All you have to do is to pay and you'll get the Galaxy A8 delivered to you "by Friday"! The page might also have an available file for download called galaxys6.gif.exe, which is a virus that will compromise your computer.
3. Samsung Galaxy S9 Contest Page Scam
You see them everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, any other social media platforms. There are companies that organize legitimate contests but the majority are bogus. The most popular in this category comes from Facebook, where a link on your wall appearing to come from one of your friends informs you about "Samsung Galaxy S9 contest page". The scammers make the link look like it comes from a big company, such as Wired magazine.
Once you click on the link you are invited to fill out a captcha, which makes you feel more confident that is not fraud. Once you've done that, you are taken to a page where you are required to post personal information in order to get a shot at the free Galaxy S9. Not only you won't get any phone, but you will also spam all your friends' walls as well.
How to avoid:
It cannot be any simpler. Buy the SGalaxy or any of the other Android phones only from the Samsung authorized dealers. If you already are in the situation described in the "Bait and Switch" scam, don't leave anything out of your sight. If you opened a box, take that product and don't switch it with anything else.
Smartphone Fake Sales: How To Report Them
Let your family and friends know about the smartphone fake sale scam by sharing it on social media here, using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers and questionable sellers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below: