GunPal (now GPal) was launched on November 3, 2009 as an alternative to the firearms-unfriendly PalPal service. Not 2004, as CEO Benjamin Phillip Canon claimed. That would be the same Benjamin Phillip Canon who was arrested in February ’10 for impersonating a police officer. That charge was eventually dismissed. But there’s another case a brewin’ that could put Canon on the other side of the law. The Internet Complain Center or IC3—- a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance—has GPal in its sights. Here’s the headline from their December Scam Alerts: “PAYMENT PROCESSOR POSSIBLY CONDUCTING A PONZI SCHEME”. I wonder who that could be . . .

Since January 2010, the IC3 has received hundreds of complaints regarding a website that victims reportedly used to transfer money for the sales of firearms; however, the website has not allowed them to withdraw the funds after their merchandise was sold.

The website claims to be a payment processor to be used as an alternative to other familiar online payment transfer services and was created to allow for the purchase of items that others of its kind do not allow (e.g., firearms). The website encourages consumers to use their services by advertising that they send money to consumers or anyone with an email address, an individual can easily pay for anything using the web, and sign-up is free, quick, and easy.

The website appears to have been set up as a legitimate business but shortly after operations began, customers started experiencing funding delays. Ultimately, customers who received funds only received partial payments, and those payments were delayed by months.

Additional research indicates that the money submitted for transfer may have been fraudulently misappropriated. This scam appears to have become a Ponzi scheme with previous customers being paid by funds from new customers.

Quite why IC3 (as it’s known) doesn’t refer to GPal by name is an interesting question. Even a quick troll of the Internet shows that there’s a way better than even chance that the feds are fingering Canon’s mob. For one thing, their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since June 28; commenting has been switched off.

On October 26, GunsAmerica revealed that “even though we never endorsed Gpal or integrated it into GunsAmerica, a number of our sellers did take payments through them. Many have emailed us that they are unable to withdraw their funds now and have asked for help.”

GunsAmerica left the issue an open book. “Whether you choose to use Gpal now or in the future is up to you,” they semi-cautioned. But we’ll go further and recommend that no one should use this service until these “problems” are cleared up. This also applies to the auction site bidscapes.com.

We’ll call GPal later today when they open on the left coast.

12 Responses to Feds Finger GunPal as Possible Ponzi Scheme

  1. “This scam appears to have become a Ponzi scheme with previous customers being paid by funds from new customers.”

    Sounds like Social Security.

    • Sorry Dan but your money is probably buying Ben and another gentleman a few drinks in a Frisco gay bar club right now. File a complaint with the IC3 (www.ic3.gov) and get in line. It’s too bad but I think your money is probably gone.

      I don’t know if you live in California or not but if you do keep in mind the fact that the people at Calguns.net gave Ben his start, promoted his business, defended him in a few criminal matters and invested a considerable amount of time running around the Internet threatening website owners to remove factual (and embarrassing) information about him. When g-pal started to fall apart they circled the wagons and helped him stay afloat long enough to rope in another wave of suckers. They’re just as bad as he is IMHO.

  2. What a disappointment! I have a new website to sell items and was considering GPal but looks like this isn’t a good idea.
    I joined GPal from the outset with the intent of using them on my website. Guess I’ll set up the website with PayPal buttons as much as I don’t want to. But I have to have a reliable company to take my payments from customers AND I need to get my money out.
    I know ProPay is another option but they don’t have a ‘button’ feature.

  3. I would give up probably already have the $75 they clipped me for just to see the
    whole lot go to jail. Can’t get any kind of response from them in over a year. I started using them after paypal suspended me for selling a gun part and using them for payment. They were a big deal at the 2009 Shot Show and folks were signing up
    right at left with them. Wonder what NSSF has to say about them. The best I remember they were set up by the gunbroker.com area.

  4. Did one transaction for $72.00 2 years ago and have never been able to collect my money or get them to respond. I contacted them a month ago and had one email telling me it may take 48 hours to get back to me. Nada ZIP
    As a FFL I’ll not do business with them again. If anyone has a street ddres please email it to me.
    Thanks
    Bill

  5. I have a customer who ordered a 78.00 ring once it shipped they did a charge back thru gpal, who were inept as humanly possible. thye gave her her money back in spite of a signature conformation of delivery. We went after her on our own, she had her bank replace the funds 78.50 (gpal took 113.50 from our account) gpal has the money. she has the ring. and dont even think of propay as an option they kept 500.00 we had on deposit there. Epier used to have a service called pay made easy, it was pay made brainless.

  6. Gpal also stole $127.00 from me! I did the “transfer” to my bank account, but money evaporated…as others found, a year of trying gives NO response. Do NOT give them ANY info about you! To be safe, I’m asking bank to change the electronic account number of my account—who knows what they’d do if they kept it and want to buy another round of drinks for their buds…! BEWARE!

  7. my browser won’t allow you to go there without signing the exception form, and there’s also gunpal.net and .com..

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