With graphics card shortages getting worse with each month, vendors are coming up with different methods to restock, not all of them legal. In China, a popular RMA scam has resurfaced wherein a seller would ask consumers to send their GPU for replacement and send a different product, without the latter realizing it. AMD’s older Polaris lineup, including the Radeon RX 570, 580, and 590 are the primary targets of this particular scam, with the supposed merchants even offering superior products in return.
If you have a GTX 1050, chances are that you’ll be promised a 1050 TI or even a 1060. All you need to do is send your existing GPU to the seller, and that’s it, a free upgrade. Only, in most cases, you won’t be getting the promised product, rather a knock-off. This could be an engineering sample, a different product re-labeled as the right one, or a different product, outright.
The merchants then sell these second-hand graphics cards as part of pre-built PCs, or upgrades, all the while charging the full price for them. In most cases, the person being scammed will either be a newcomer in the DIY space, or a young adult with little to no experience. Here, for the most part, such a scam is more likely to go unnoticed, thereby increasing the chance of a successful con.