Beware of fake Switch cartridges (label swapped) easy to detect for now.

Beware of fake Switch cartridges (label swapped) easy to detect for now.

I posted this in another thread as a comment but I feel like this needs it's own thread for awareness.

I was in GameStop earlier tonight and a friend of mine that works there said that they have been getting hit; company wide; with "fake" Switch cartridge trade-ins.

The scammers are buying the cheapest games out there like Has Been Heroes (used if possible) and printing fake labels (very believable, glossy labels) for the front that they can then sell or trade in for much more (making them appear as games like BotW, Odyssey, etc...).

They have a company wide directive to check the number on the front of the cartridge (the label) with the number on the back of the cartridge (printed on the plastic itself).

If they don't match, it's been swapped. You can check this yourself before buying any Switch games in store or in person from Craigslist, Letgo, etc... but beware if you are dealing with a scammer they may not react to well if you call them out... be careful!

This isn't a new scam (I think they did this with 3DS game too, but I don't remember), and if they would just photoshop matching numbers on the label it would be much harder to detect, but for now, it's an easy spot if you know what to look for.

What I don't understand is why a company like Gamestop woildnt be checking cartridge based games upon trade in. They check when you bring in a console, even something old like a ps2, they still check if it works.

I understand what you are saying... but they’d need a store use Switch for that and it would take a little more time.

For now a simple check of the numbers by flipping it over is working. If the scammers ever get smart enough to fake the numbers on the label then the only way to know would be to do what you suggest.

Either way... scammers can go to hell!

GameStop solution - lick every cartridge label

If you want to really be sure to not buy these fakes, and are worried that scammers would print the label numbers to match the back number, use this site:

It lists switch releases and their serials. For example if you're looking to buy BotW, the serial is LA-H-AAAAA. So if you see a BotW cartridge in the wild that has LA-H-AAAAA on the front and AAAAA on the back, it's good. If it has LA-H-ABMKA on the front (and ABMKA on the back), it's Has-Been Heroes.

They have a checking system: it’s the buyer. This is why they have a 7 day no questions asked return policy on the used games. The only one who loses if a GameStop takes a fake game is GameStop. The consumer eventually brings it back and then the store is out whatever money they gave the scammer. GameStop has obviously decided that the cost of maintaining every major system for game testing and paying employees to take the time to do that isn’t worth it when compared to the losses from scams. But the customer is still protected.

Someone before you posted that they bought a fake game as well. It seems like this might start being a problem for a while.

Way too much time? How long do you think it takes to stick the cart in and see which icon pops up?

The problem is when a customer brings in 10+ titles to trade while other customers are in the store trying to buy things while others still are calling and asking for help on the phone. With enough payroll to hire sufficient employees it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's a corporate environment so that often doesn't happen. It would be ideal to check every game but this is why they let customers return them I guess.

It wouldn’t take any more time than it does to quickly check over a disc for scratches though would it? And surely the cost of a switch in store is cheaper than being scammed?

Can then sell the switch as pre-owned later down the line?

Well the Switch is a portable system. Bring it along and test it before you leave. Either bring it into the store itself or leave it in your car and test it before driving off and this won't happen.

It's easy to deal with if you think about it beforehand, although it will still affect those who don't expect it.

That will stop when people start rubbing the cartridge on there stank balls before attempting a trade in the fakes.

Why not just take switch with you and test the game? Because it can be that the cartridge doesn't work, you never know.

Just checked my carts to see what you meant, obviously mine are the games that I purchased them as, but with the numbers only part seem to match, not the full number.

What is the point of buying used from gamestop? They literally charge $2-4 less than new for used games... might as well go to bestbuy and get GCU for new games at a bigger discount than gamestops used games...

Not to mention the pop up ads in store when youre paying... would you like to preorder cod?...or selling opened games as new because they used the case as a display copy...we swear we didnt check it out and play it at home... its new!

surely the cost of a switch in store is cheaper than being scammed?

That depends on how many times they have been scammed and how fast they can shift inventory. IIRC most supermarkets with self checkouts still end up saving money by not paying employees despite the increase in theft.

Former low level GameStop management here, it is minimum wage and you are always getting bitched at about Power Up Rewards and Reserve numbers. I was literally consistently top 3 or so in the the district on percentages and I heard a bunch of crap. I can’t imagine what a poor salesman hears. Pair the wage with that nonsense and you’ve got a recipe for getting through the trade as quickly as possible to both get it over with because you don’t give a shit, you want to try to push the card and reserves, and finally you know if you reject something and they cause a scene they are going to get their way and you’re going to get belittled by the DM or store manager. I still rejected my fair share of obvious thieves because it pisses me off. Anyways, GameStop flat out does not create an environment where being extra vigilant is a good thing.

And that’s why Blockbuster went under... you SAVAGE! 😂

Getting scammed by this would probably leave a bad taste in your mouth, so I’m going with yes. 😬

It is so simple to change the number on the label to the number on the plastic before they print it...

Yep... it’s not the full number on the back, but the string that’s there will match the front.

The “fakes” are so different it would be obvious.

The last time I traded in games with EB (GS in Canada) they didn't even bother to check the disc. Hell, they didn't even open the case to make the disc was in there, yet alone shake it to hear if it wasn't empty. I think it's a caring thing.