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March 14 12:44 PM

Online scam using fraudulent firearms licenses

On March 7, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) notified federal firearms licensees and firearms purchasers of fraudulent online firearms sales. Some individuals are using fraudulently altered Federal firearms licenses to sell but never deliver firearms online.

A typical online scam starts with an online firearm advertisement. Purchasers who respond to the advertisement by telephone or e-mail receive an invalid, counterfeit copy of a license that appears to be valid. After sending payment, the purchaser never receives the advertised firearm(s), and the fraudulent seller removes the original online advertisement and contact information.

To help you avoid this scam, licensees are reminded that only transactions between licensees require the furnishing of a certified copy of the license. Licensees should consider only providing the basic license number to individuals. The individuals can use FFL eZ Check to confirm the validity of the license number before sending payment for firearms advertised online.

You may also wish to contact other federal, state and local resources regarding internet fraud.

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