Just weeks ago, a friend of mine are talking about how good people are in the NBA Sports Card hobby and how easy it is to take advantage of them.

My friend and I came from the esports scene. We’ve been there for more than a decade already and we’re also one of the first people who made a living buying and selling in-game items in DOTA 2 so I can say we know almost every play in their playbook.
Just a moment ago, I was tagged by my friend to a post in a local NBA Group and upon reading the post, the scenario we’re just talking about a few weeks ago is now a reality. DOTA 2 scammers have infiltrated the hobby.
So I’ve decided to compile the most famous scams in the DOTA 2 trading scene so the NBA sports card will know about these and prevent themselves from falling into victims.

  1. 3-way Scam

So this is the one that was used to the post I’ve mentioned. We call it a 3-way scam because there are 3 people in this scam. The scammer, the person he’s dealing with that he’ll have a legit transaction with, and the victim (which in this case is the NBA Collector)

We’ll use this legend so you won’t be confused


V= Victim

X = the other person

NOTE: In this modus, X is usually NOT A PART OF THE SCAM.

The modus:

  1. S will look for the goods. He will look for items that are for sale and will inquire to the seller and ask for a lot of videos and pictures of the cards they’re selling. They will then save those pictures and videos then block the seller.

How did I know this was the scam used in the post and how did I know the scammer was a DOTA 2 player?

VP game is the go-to website for DOTA 2 trading. So in this scenario, S is buying DOTA 2 items from X so S can bet on DOTA 2 matches. How did I know? S doesn’t care what items he will be getting. He just wants items of the same value. He said, “Ikaw na bahala ate kung ano kasya” (It’s up to you. Whatever this money can buy.). That’s the typical mentality of a bettor. At the end of the day, it’s all about the value of the items not the type of items themselves.

How to prevent this: Just ask the seller you’re transacting to take a video of the card along with a piece of paper with your name and date on it. If they’re a scammer, they can’t do it since they don’t have the card.

2. The Pay and Block

We already mentioned that NBA card collectors are too trusting right? This is my only hobby that people agree to “payments first”.

The Modus:

So this scam is pretty straight-forward but it requires time and another V to make this work.

  1. S will try to build up his credibility first. So he’ll do some legit deals with other collectors first. They’ll just do small-time deals with these people because they’ll just use these people as “vouchers”.

How to prevent this:

  1. Please stop vouching for people you don’t really know. In my other hobby, vouchers are the ones who will take responsibility when the person they vouched for scammed other people. So unless you really know this person, please stop vouching because you had one deal.

3. Grab Scam

This scam is also a common scam nowadays. Since COVID prevents us from doing meet-ups, we rely mostly on delivery services and scammers take advantage of this.

The Modus:

  1. S will look for the goods. He will look for items that are for sale and will inquire to the seller and ask for a lot of videos and pictures of the cards they’re selling. They will then save those pictures and videos then block the seller.

NOTE: S can also be the real owner of the cards with intentions to scam people

2. S will post the cards for sale and wait for a V to struck a deal with him.

3. S will send an account V to send money to and once V sent the money, he will now say that he’ll book a Delivery service to send the card to V.

4. S will tell V that the Grab driver will contact V. Someone will message V that he’s the grab driver S requested and is now on his way to deliver the card to V.

NOTE: S won’t give V any screenshot from the app. Just the info that the grab driver already has the cards and he will contact V.

5. V is now confident that a deal was made and will just wait for Grab driver to deliver his card not knowing that there’s no card coming. Why? S is the one posing as the Grab driver and the one texting V all the time. V will then get blocked by S and the scam is complete.

How to prevent this?

  1. Ask for a screenshot of the grab application from the seller. It already contained information about the driver. You can then ask the driver to share the location with you.

My Suggestion:

I really hope that admins of the groups can be middle men for online transactions. I know we’re all busy and doing this will take a lot of time but I know there’s people out there that are trustworthy that will be willing to do this. Put a transaction fee for your time. I used to do that in my esports groups. It’s a small price to pay for the members’ peace of mind.

Hope this blog helped you. Happy collecting!

Product Manager and Esports expert at day, A collector and a Panda at night.