I was going to show some specific example with my first post about Armslist, but ended up neglecting to do so.
I did a quick search of Armslist and all but one of the advertisements I glanced at appear to be scams.
Saw this ad for a Barrett M99 .50 BMG with a Nightforce Scope for $3069.
For some reason, the only picture shown is turned 90 degrees. If you do a reverse image search, nothing shows up.
For Sale is an early production Barrett Single shot model 99 chambered ion 50 BMG. Gun comes with the nightforce scope and has a cool serial number of 0069! Comes with the hardcase and manual.
What if we do a search for the text of the ad?
We find the rifle was last in Wisconsin, and the that seller had plenty of photos and info. It is rather unlikely that this guy from Wisconsin moved to the greatest state and decided to sell the gun on Armslist for $1600 less than they had it listed on Gunbroker.
I did find a rifle for sale that didn’t appear to be a scam, but the seller wanted about 50% over MSRP for his used rifle.
If you suspect an advertisement anywhere is a scam, there are a few things you can do to try and figure out if it is or not.
Do a reverse internet search of the images and do a search of the text of the ad. The seller may have listed the item multiple places, but if they did, the details will be similar. If you find this great deal was listed up for a much higher price in a different state, it is probably a scam.
Consider asking for a photo of a specific part of the firearm, or ask details on it. I saw a very cheap listing of a MP5, when I asked the seller about it they claimed they had multiple barrels and swapped them out depending on what they wanted to do. Yea right buddy.
Most obviously, don’t pay for a face to face sale item before you see it in person. Remember services like Zelle and Paypal will not refund you or help you if you have been scammed on a firearm related purchase.
There are some people online that suggest looking up the IP address of the seller and comparing to the advertised location of the item, but that could easily make a false positive depending on what email service or how their internet is setup.
Common sense will help you figure out who the scammers are.