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Watch out humans, fake Nvidia RTX 3090s are selling on eBay to catch out bots

Puget System benchmark test
(Image credit: Puget System)

Auction site eBay has long been used by scalpers to sell their jacked up computing components like Nvidia’s RTX 3000 graphics cards, but it now looks like consumers are using the platform to fight back.

If you search on eBay for an Nvidia RTX 3080 or 3090 you’ll find a slew of GPUs selling at a fairly steep markup, though in amongst the few thousand dollar/pound options you’ll spot some at a bargain price. But, be warned: no matter how good those deals look, don’t buy them.

Reading the descriptions lower down on the product’s page you’ll see that you are in fact only bidding on an A4 image of the graphics card. The description will often advise humans to stay away, saying that the listing is intended to catch out bots like this one we found selling for $1,250 (£735 / AU$ 1,310) at the time of writing. 

How to avoid getting scammed 

The point of these scam listings is to trick people or bots into bidding money on something worthless, so they are purposefully easy to fall for. So what can you do to help yourself avoid them?

Make sure to read the listing’s name and description all the way through. Scammers will often write that what you are buying is an image or a fake somewhere in there. This is because the description is often hidden off the screen, so unless you are checking the page thoroughly, you likely won’t notice, and when you request a refund they can then claim that you were informed that what you were purchasing wasn’t actually a graphics card.

Also be wary of any ‘too good to be true’ deals, as they probably aren’t real. While you can get lucky with a bargain on these auction sites, you can also easily get stung, and it can even happen with more expensive listings like the $1,250 one above. 

You can always use the eBay help service if you need a hand reporting a scam or requesting a refund. We’ve reached out to eBay for more specific help on what to do with these kinds of listings.

Via PCMag

Hamish Hector

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar, having previously written for the site and Gfinity Esports as a freelance writer. He has been writing about tech and gaming for multiple years, and now lends his experience to cover news and reviews across everything on TechRadar (from Computing to Audio to Gaming and the rest). In his free time, you’ll likely find Hamish humming show tunes while building Lego or playing D&D with his mates.