BBB says gun scammers are using former Nebraska business name, info

The Gun Shop in Morrill hasn't been open in years. So why is there a website claiming to be the same place?

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – If you drive a few hours west, to Morrill, you can go visit The Gun Shop.

The problem is, it’s been closed for more than ten years. Still, that hasn’t stopped a website from using its name and location to sell guns, or more accurately, to claim to sell guns.

The Better Business Bureau has received nearly 800 inquiries related to this site, with almost 600 of them coming just this year. For reasons you’ll discover, it’s definitely not the same business as the old local store.

“It’s folks capitalizing on maybe some word of mouth in that region,” explains Josh Planos with the BBB. “Maybe an understanding of ‘Hey, there was a company that did do business here in the past. This must be legitimate. They must be restarting their operation.'”

This website, however, is as bogus as they come. What is it that tricks people, then?

It could certainly have something to do with the deals promised.

“Something that you would get at Scheel’s, you could get for half as much from this store that you’ve never heard of,” Planos said. “It’s really easy to convince yourself that that’s a legitimate opportunity.”

People from all over the country did just that, sending thousands of dollars to this faceless company. The ways they were asked to pay should set off some alarms.

“It was never with cash, it was never with a credit card, it was never with something that had any sort of built-in fraud protection,” Planos said. “It was all transactions that are irreversible. Because of that, it became easy for folks to get scammed and to get nothing in return.”

Those irreversible transactions include cryptocurrency, or peer-to-peer payment like PayPal or Venmo.

At this point in the story, it’s not much of a surprise that nobody actually got what they paid for.

But when it comes to a site that doesn’t necessarily throw up any red flags, what defense do you really have?

If it’s a company that you’ve never heard of, no matter how legitimate they seem, just make a call.

“If you pick up the phone and call somebody for customer service,” Planos said, “there should be someone available and willing to help you out on the other end of the line. The minute that there isn’t, there should be something going off in your head that something isn’t right.”

Once that alarm goes off, that’s your chance to get out before you make a payment.

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