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Don’t buy a second-hand RTX 4090, you may be getting scammed

One buyer in Hong Kong has been left $1,600 out of pocket following a scam where the Nvidia RTX 4090 they purchased didn't even have a GPU.

RTX 4090 Scam

There are plenty of horror stories floating about when it comes to buying second-hand tech, but this latest RTX 4090 story hits hard. One unfortunate customer has been left with no help from authorities in Hong Kong after they were scammed out of over $1,600.

The buyer in question was using Carousell, a marketplace only available in certain Asian and Oceanic nations. The Nvidia RTX 4090 was spotted early in January but once the transaction took place, it didn’t take long for the ruse to become clear.

The victim, identified in the original HKECP story as Mr. Hong, handed over $ 13,000 HK, equivalent to around $1,662 at the time of writing. Upon returning home and plugging in one of the best graphics cards the market has to offer, it seemed strange that the fans were not operational.

When taking the card out for further inspection, the painful truth was revealed. There was no GPU in the graphics card, and even some memory had been removed, the sale was a scam.

Despite meeting the seller in person and likely having communication before the sale, local authorities showed no interest in helping Mr. Hong with any urgency despite the clear case of fraud because the transition between the two parties was difficult to follow up.

This is in some ways similar to the case where a stolen Steam Deck was sold and Valve then refused to repair it, but at least in that situation, the buyer had a working product for over a year and was none the wiser to what had occured.

Sadly, transactions like these are all too common, regardless of the item being sold, but it certainly hurts more when so much money is on the line.

Mr. Hong has ended his pursuit of the seller and reached out to HKECP simply to warn others about the risks of a second-hand marketplace. It’s worth noting that cases like this a typically a greater risk in the Asian markets – due to the RTX 4090 being pulled from China before being reinstated but with lower performance – so it’s a stark warning that you should always verify a working product before handing over your hard-earned cash.

Starting to plan which GPU you’re going to buy next, consider the Nvidia RTX 4080 Super which is set for release later this month.