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Things Aren't Looking Good For This Alleged Video Game Forger

Scams in the gaming world have occurred for as long as collectors have paid premiums for iconic or scarce memorabilia. One-time scams, like those involving shady video game Kickstarters, have blown up before. In those cases, financial backers only realized they'd apparently been deceived when those projects languished and failed to appear. However, continuous scams — like the ones of which prominent game vendor Enrico Ricciardi has been accused — may prove more insidious, as collectors untrained in spotting fakes may never know about the fraud unless tipped off.

Community members of major Facebook group Big Box PC Game Collectors came out last week with a Dropbox full of evidence pointing to their claims that Ricciardi has allegedly scammed video game collectors since at least 2015, selling them fake copies of decades-old titles like "Mystery House," "Temple of Apshai" ("Donjonquest"), and "Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash." According to their investigation, Ricciardi has allegedly scammed buyers for over $107,000 USD.

Big Box PC Game Collectors members looking into the case have been comparing Ricciardi's seemingly false copies to official counterparts, finding grammatical mistakes, differences in packaging textures and colors, and even game discs containing zero game data. Big Box PC Game Collectors has not yet detailed how or if the group will take legal action against Ricciardi, but he has been removed as a member and admin of the group's Facebook page. A public document posted by the group has also stated the police will likely step in soon.

Game over for a possible scam?

In addition to warnings of probable police involvement, the admin group at Big Box PC Game Collectors posted a document debriefing the investigation's findings and how the group's members came to determine they had been defrauded. The group also encouraged scam victims to view its anti-scammers guide and contact them confidentially with questions or concerns.

"If you bought a game released ~1984 and earlier from [Enrico Ricciardi]... the possibility that it is not genuine is really high," tweeted @Dominus_Exult, one member of the group who had reportedly been scammed. In a reply inquiring about the price of a specific game, the collector reported feeling "ashamed to have trusted" a single person with such a large sum of money.

Big Box PC Game Collectors admin Kevin Ng has corresponded over a two-week period with @Dominus_Exult and others who have spoken up, putting together their case. According to one of the group's reports, Ng also purchased memorabilia from Ricciardi on multiple occasions, only to find out later the items were apparently forgeries.

Further action has yet to arrive, but the scope of the scandal and compelling evidence for fraud seem to indicate that this case isn't over.