Saturday, May 20, 2023

Warning! Alter Ego Firearms LLC Has a Scammy Alter Ego Impersonator Out There

First off, the actual Alter Ego Firearms LLC has done nothing wrong, at all.  They are a legit business.

Unfortunately, there is a scammer out there using Alter Ego's FFL, SOT,  and address, but of course the scammer's own bank account wiring info, claiming to sell NFA Class 3 items.  They also had a great -- and fake Form 3, with a serial number matching the serial on the pictures sent.

The scam is real good - scammer is using an altered copy of the actual FFL, and replaced the signature and owner name to match that on the wire instructions with what may very well be the scammer's own real name, or yet another fake identity - Ros M. Charles.

Note well, there is no Ros M. Charles at the real Alter Ego Firearms.  

So do not buy an NFA item online from Alter Ego Firearms or anyone else for that matter without calling their real number first to verify you're dealing with the actual company and not a scammer.

First clue I had it was a scam was their using multiple email addresses.

Second clue - a demand to quickly send a wire transfer rather than a money order to the actual address of the real shop and a weird bit of grammar.

I did notify Alter Ego Firearms about this and they are taking action as well.  I also notified the listed bank that the account was being used as a scam, so they are at least on notice, but it sounds like they as a bank are not going to do anything.

I expect I will email the scammers that the bank couldn't send a wire so I sent a money order to their FFL address to see what they say to that.

Unfortunately, NFA items are very spendy due to the Hughes Amendment, and getting spendier all the time.  If the spammers get you for half up front and run, you're hosed and out of a significant chunk of change.

Sadly, due to the antiquated nature of the NFA process, the NFA transaction is based very much on trust - trust that the seller has the item and can actually sell it to you, and that trust and the system itself is ripe for abuse.

I highly recommend not sending wire transfers for any NFA or other firearms purchase to prevent this kind of scam.  Also use the ATFE FFL lookup to verify the address and number on the FFL you're given, and only send money to that address, and finally, call the actual business number (not one found in the fake email, but in a proper business directory) to verify who you are dealing with before proceeding with the transaction.

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