Sports Card Girl is a Scam

Normally, I’m pretty a pretty laid back person–but once in a while someone on the blogosphere makes me mad, and then I have to call them on their bullshit. Such was the case last year when another hockey blogger stole content from my site. What is irritating me now is a relatively new person on the sports card blog scene, a fabrication known as Sports Card Girl.

Be warned–do not buy anything from Sports Card Girl. Her website is not secure, and the whole thing smells of a scam.

Sport Card Girl started following my blog last week. Whenever I get a new follower, I immediately check out their blog or website. Upon looking at “her” site, many of the links were broken. Intrigued, I did a bit more digging around. Here is what I figured out.

#1 – Too good to be true

Yes, it is completely possible that a super-attractive woman would like sports cards AND blogging AND also happen to run an online retail store. Possible, but highly unlikely.

Many companies have hired attractive women to promote their goods. My old boss–who once worked for Marvel Comics–told me that he used to hire Playboy Magazine models to work at the Marvel Comics booth at Comic-Con. Sex sells.

And those Topps “Rip Party” videos feature an attractive model/spokeswoman. Everyone does this–from beer companies to automobile manufacturers.

The pretty girl that you see on the Sports Card Girl website is just a spokesmodel.  No harm in that, but it gets better (and worse!)

#2 – Her name is Brandy Ruth
Well, that’s the “character’s” name,  Brandy Ruth. And she is an attractive woman–a “babe,” you could say. Babe Ruth. Obviously, an alias–and a poor one at that.

#3 – Have you seen the videos?
Pretending to be the blogger that “she” isn’t, Sport Card Girl has a website, a Twitter account, and a blog that features videos of the model opening packs of cards and such.

One video is particularly telling, where the pretty girl opens up a box that has a signed football helmet inside. Once she gets the box opened, she goes straight for the certificate to read off that it is a Cedrick Benson autograph. Most REAL collectors would look at the item first, and then the certificate of authenticity.

In another video, the footage is flipped. You can tell because the text on the cards is backwards.

This just gets funnier and funnier.

#4 – Her website uses a foreign IP address
A foreign IP means that “her” website is hosted overseas. Why, when there are tons of web hosts in the United States? Over the weekend, fellow blogger and Twitter user Project1962 brought this matter to light, and questioned “her” use of a foreign IP:

Aug. 20, 3:09 PM – @SportsCardGirl what’s your true story? Why the suspicious IP address and the overabundance of stuff for sale?

Aug. 20, 6:28 PM – @Project1962 I hire people to help promote my site (who doesn’t outsource). I have all this stuff to sell because I’m starting a business

Aug. 20, 6:41 PM – @SportsCardGirl Fair enough. It still doesn’t explain the foreign IP address. Not hating, just questioning.

Aug. 20, 6:43 PM – @SportsCardGirl To me it looks like a dist. trying to use a pretty face to boost sales. I could be terribly wrong but that’s my thinking.

Aug. 21, 10:17 AM – @Project1962 i have outsourced to other countries for building links for my site (main purpose of building up search engine rankings)

Aug. 21, 10:18 AM – @Project1962 well, I am trying to turn my hobby into a business. After all, who wants to work for someone else? This is 2yr in makings 4 me

Sports Card Girl didn’t really explain that too well, did “she?” Why a foreign-hosted website? And how can a new business afford a TON of product and to outsource for help with search engine rankings? If none of that is suspicious to you, read on…

#5 – “She” writes like an ESL student…and a man

In my August 14 write-up about the upcoming Ultimate Memorabilia 10 set from ITG, Sports Card Girl gave this lively response:

“Cool cards, but expensive hobby, that best way to have it like what they have said is a group break. And it is fun doing it also.”

A day later, she replied to a thread on The Real DFG:

“I like your story, it is true that a woman [sic] are hard to understand (you can’t read their minds). Just be thankful and place the cards that matters [sic] to you. Keep it simple but contented.”

What…? I know we live in the age of LOLspeak and Tweeting. But who really wrote this? This “broken English” grammar ties in nicely with the website having a foreign IP address.

And what REAL woman (singular) would talk about women (plural) in the third person? According to my girlfriend, an actual woman would say “us” or “we” when referring to women as a collective group.

#6 – “Her” site is NOT secure
Thus far, all of these points have been to prove that Sports Card Girl is not a real person, but a fabrication–a model/actress and a piss-poor social media user. Most likely, this is the efforts of two or more people here. “She” likes and agrees with everything on other blogs, and seems to have an awful lot of trading cards for sale. So I tried to buy something, and noticed that the pages that collect personal data (name, address, payment information) are not secure

A secure page starts with https in the address bar–the “s” stands for secure. Here is an example of a secure web page:

A non-secure page starts with http–no “s”–and is fine for most web pages so long as you are not entering any personal data. Here is an example of a non-secure web page:

Pages that collect personal data on the Sports Card Girl website–as illustrated above–are not secure. Name, email password–all that stuff could easily be intercepted by a hacker if you input it into that site.

All online sellers have to have a detailed Privacy Policy–a page that tells the visitor what information is collected, why it is collected, how it is stored and for what purpose it could be used for. An example would be stating that the site collects a username and password to expedite future purchases. The Privacy Policy on the Sports Card Girl website tell us nothing–literally:

No Privacy Policy and no secure server for ordering. That’s two strikes. Having worked in e-commerce for 6 years, I have spent quite a bit of time writing and revising privacy policies for my former company’s various websites. No credible business collects personal data without telling you how it is used.

Of course, credit card information should never be entered on an unsecure page. Strangely, payment information is collected on another site, which brings me to my final point…

#7 – Who is really selling these cards?
I decided to go through the order process, and bail out once it asked for a credit card number. I added two items to my cart:

  • 2004-05 Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball Cards Hobby Box/Pack @ $2,300.00
  • 2010 Donruss (Panini) Classics Football Hobby Box @ $99.99

I tried creating an account on “her” site, and that did not work (strike three!).

But I was still able to check out my $2,400 “order.” After filling out a a fake name, I was told that the final step of my order would take me to Amazon.com

Upon clicking to Amazon.com, I discovered that one box of cards would be shipped by an Amazon.com Marketplace seller named hotwheelskingdom, while the other box would be fulfilled by Georgetown Card Exchange, Inc.

I went back and tried ordering a different product to see what happened, and according to the Amazon checkout it would be fulfilled by Charm City Cards. 

So, who is really selling these cards?

Is Sports Card Girl just a front for a conglomerate of Amazon Marketplace sellers who need someone sexy to sell their stuff?

Or is “she” really a third party that is trying to cull personal data from sports card collectors easily hypnotized by boobs?

Either way, all of this proves that Sports Card Girl is not a real collector, is not a real blogger and is not a real business. This whole thing is suspicious. Thus, I have blocked her from commenting on my blogs, and would urge others to do the same.

Update (9-14-2010):
Things didn’t end here. Read what happened after I posted this article.

 

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

26 thoughts on “Sports Card Girl is a Scam”

  1. Nice observations. I too have already deduced that the model is not the actual blogger. I did not however go through the lengths you did in figuring out the other stuff. I did also notice that she has become a follower on pretty much every trading card blog under the sun.

  2. Outstanding, well done! It's possible that "she" is just getting referral click $ for linking to various Amazon sellers. Although she does have her own Amazon store front.

    What gets me is how sloppy the execution of this whole thing has been, they should have never gone anywhere near youtube but in their arrogance I guess they decided that filming fake "maildays" and horrible "product previews" (that all use the same After Effects project file) was needed to build "street cred" or something.

    Its like a business whose main message to its target consumer is "you're a fucking idiot"

  3. @ Captain Canuck – Old?

    Perhaps not the most timely. I'm more of an "investigative" rather than a "breaking" news kind of guy.

  4. @ Captain Canuck: this is the first blog post of any kind I've seen addressing this, if this is "old" news then please elaborate.

  5. I like boobs.

    …and cards.

    I knew it was fake from day one. No, really I did. Seriously. I swear.

    But since "she" seems only focused on basketball, I haven't paid much attention lately.

  6. I feel the biggest complaint here is that the site is unsecure. Is it a scam? Well, I don't think so.

    Have the people who run this site taken your money and not delivered the items asked? Have they in any way robbed you or anyone else that you know of?

    As far as I know, they have not, which means it is not a scam. Just a business model to get more people to their site to buy their items.

    They are using a face for their business. A face that is going to draw card collectors to their site.

    The first time I saw the site, my reaction was that it was a front for a business but didn't see anyone doing anything wrong other.

    Muscle cars are sold in much of the same way. Hot girls and boobies draw in guys.

    How are you going to feel when you find Wendy isn't really making your hamburgers?

  7. Wow, somebody actually reads my twats! I still don't know what to make of it all, but I don't trust any of it. I think labeling it a scam is way fair. As a blogger in the small but ever growing blogosphere, I like to know that other bloggers are genuinely honest and who they really are. If your putting on a front and pretending to be something you are not to peddle your goods to fellow bloggers, then you are scamming us! Therefore it IS a scam! Good work!

  8. Watching her open that National Treasures box was just painful and awkward.

    She doesn't do hockey, so she won't get the time of day from me.

  9. @ Sooz – Thanks for your comment, and your difference of opinion.

    The site in question collects your personal information (name, email, address, phone number), but the actual fulfillment of the order is handled by Amazon.com Sellers.

    So, why does the SCG website need my name, etc. if someone else is actually doing the selling?

    Would you give someone your name, address and phone number if they had no business with you?

    How would you feel if you were tricked into giving that information, under the guise that you were purchasing a product?

    Many bloggers participate in affiliate programs: "Buy this book now at Amazon.com," or "Buy these cards now at Website Name." The blog owners get a commission, but everyone knows that it is an ad.

    What SCG is doing is wrong.

  10. @ TheIronLung – Those box break videos are funny at best, and unwatchable at worst.

    AGAIN, I urge all of you to block SportsCardGirl from your blog.

  11. What kills me is the blatant disregard of the English language in her 'comments'. I figured something was up after she left her first comment on her site, but I didn't give it the time of day. If you can't even ATTEMPT to formulate a coherent sentence, I'd rather not read your work!

    And also, I'm still the 'cautious' type on the internet. I'll buy boxes from only the places with a long, proven track record. Anything less than 100% feedback on ebay and you can guarantee I'll be reading the feedback comments.

    Paranoid? Perhaps. But I've never gotten burned, either.

  12. I think everyone is missing the big picture here, so she isn't the "real" blogger, oh no but I get to stare at her tits. The site has a foreign IP, what? you think your support calls for your hosting account go to the US, ever heard of India? Plain and simple SEX sells, that's marketing 101, if these guys have a 8 Mantle for $5000 and they wanna sell it to me awesome! I'm just hearing whining on a fresh new take in the sportscardgirl industry, the products are Golden and legit end of story. Stop hatin', and as for ALL of the resources and stock they have do have any idea how many brick and mortar stores go under daily in the US? It's just a matter of picking off the weak from the herd. And that's my 2cents. Sorry guys, I callem like I see them.

  13. You call 'em like you see 'em…yet you post anonymously? Interesting.

    Sooz does have a point about the advertising bit as a front to sell but the fact remains that it is a data mining site acting as a gateway to something else. It makes me apprehensive all the same.

  14. "I'm just hearing whining on a fresh new take in the sportscardgirl industry"

    WHAT?

    Maybe they haven't been outsourcing their social media comments, maybe they're just retarded.

    However what "anonymous" said about brick and mortar stores (referring to hobby shops I'm assuming) is true. It's hard to make any money doing that these days.

    As a result, by now the only ones left are for the most part greedy, cutthroat bastards who are only looking to screw you. Something like "Sportscardgirl" was bound to happen eventually. I mean these people are real bastards for the most part, yet they get glorified by all the industry exec's whenever possible.

    Sadly, their are more then enough people that will absolutely believe that the girl you see in the videos is running this whole thing herself for this to be profitable for a long time.

  15. I dont no why you picket on me??? Why do you must h88 on honesty making sales modality? I am realest girl on innternet with tanktop!! Buy to me my cards @ checkoutmyboobs.com

  16. I was ripped off by a sports card company called STEELBEAR SPORTSCARDS, beware of that business, they take your money.

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