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PC parts scams
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Before you buy parts for your PC, read this warning

Whether you use it for work, gaming or simply browsing the internet, you want your computer to run in tip-top shape. This takes some work on your part, however. Tap or click here for an easy way to speed up your PC.

If your computer is old, there’s not much you can do short of upgrading some parts. But you’ll eventually hit a limit there, too. You’ll need a newer machine to support the latest and best programs. That’s when it’s time to go shopping for a new PC.

While the chip shortage shows signs of recovery across all industries, PC part scams are still rampant online. So you’re ready to build a rig and create a powerful workstation? That’s great, but watch out for crooks taking advantage of the present situation. Here’s what you should know.

NVIDIA graphics card resellers (Frankenstein GPUs)

NVIDIA makes some of the best graphics cards in the world, which makes them targets for scammers. Everyone wants this hardware, and scammers will create a false promise that you’re getting the best to get your money.

Third-party sellers on eBay and AliExpress will rip apart an NVIDIA GPU and put many low-end parts into the chassis. They put a low-grade cooler on there and call it a day.

This is becoming common, so you should only buy graphics cards through verified sources and NVIDIA partners. While some deals can be found, one that’s too good to be true probably is.

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Watch out for PC building services

I know a guy who gets parts for cheap. I can make you a custom PC for less money than you’ll find online.

This is just one variation of a scheme that online scammers use to get you to send them money for custom PC builds. They promise cheaper parts because they know someone in the industry, but in reality, they’re just taking your money and walking away.

Unfortunately, this can even happen in online forum communities centered around PCs and building rigs. Be careful about who you trust. If there isn’t a money-back guarantee from a PC building company or studio, don’t risk it.

Don’t trust unrecognized SD and microSD

Scammers typically don’t target low-ticket items, but it’s not unheard of.

SD and microSD cards have become relatively inexpensive compared to other storage solutions. This lowers the risk for buyers, but you still need to be vigilant about your purchases. Many obscure companies sell outdated storage modules that significantly underperform compared to what they’re listing.

For example, a 32GB microSD card could only have about 200MB worth of memory on it. Crooks use old or ineffective devices and sell them as new storage with fast write speeds. This is another case where you must buy directly from a reputable manufacturer.

PC setup can be daunting for seniors, but if you or someone you know needs help, we’ve got you covered. Tap or click here for five must-do setup steps for seniors.

Legitimate PC builders can rip you off, too

This can loosely fit the definition of a scam. PC building companies take advantage of unknowing buyers by jacking up prices and making new PCs extremely expensive.

They have to make money for labor and building the PC, but they could fluff the cost of each PC part considerably beyond a fair amount. Always haggle for a reasonable price. If they don’t offer one, take your business elsewhere.

For DIYers, you can use a website like PCPartPicker to design a rig yourself and buy the pieces individually.

Keep reading

Three immediate steps to take if you fell for a scam

IRS warning: Don’t fall for this tax scam text

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