One of the most popular and well-known Pokémon card collectors had their Instagram hacked today in an attempt to scam unwitting collectors out of tens of thousands of dollars. Gary, or “King Pokémon” as he goes by, has been engaged with buying and selling Pokemon cards for decades. He has one of the largest and most valuable Pokémon card collections in the world. The hack was confirmed by Gary’s wife on Instagram.
Once the hacker compromised Gary’s account, they posted a story indicating that several incredibly rare and high-value cards were for sale: a PSA 10 1st edition Shining Charizard and a PSA 10 1st edition Lugia from Neo Genesis. However, the asking price of $60,000 was well below market value. Recent sales have placed the Lugia on its own at over $70,000, while the Shining Charizard is worth over $20,000 in PSA 10 condition.
The hacker would only accept payment via cryptocurrency, a key hallmark of a scam. Unlike traditional credit card or PayPal payments which can be reversed if the buyer is scammed, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible.
As Pokémon cards continue their meteoric value rise, scams are increasingly likely and are getting even more sophisticated. From fake cards to account hacks, collectors need to be wary of how they are purchasing items. If a deal sounds too good to be true, even from a trusted member of the community, it probably is. Especially for high-value transactions, ensure adequate protection with a signed contract or in-person exchange. Be even more cautious with payment methods that are irreversible, like bank wire or cryptocurrency transfer.
Ethan Pohl – Ludkins Media
Follow Ethan on Twitter and Instagram @fourthstartcg