KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The ATF is warning gun buyers in the Kansas City area as the agency works to crack down on fake online gun stores.

The agency said it’s seeing a spike in the fake sites that offer great deals hoping buyers will be interested. Instead of selling a firearm, the ATF said the sellers steal the buyer’s personal information or keep the payment for themselves and never ship the order.

Some of the sites in question operate under the names of real gun shops that used to hold ATF-issued Federal Firearms Licenses, but have since gone out of business.

The ATF said many of the websites in question list physical addresses in Nebraska and Kansas but no federally licensed gun store exists in the location listed. 

Agents said a simple way to know if the site is legit is to contact it and ask for the store’s ATF-issued Federal Firearms License number. Take the number and verify it by running the number through the ATF’s Online License Search.

The ATF said gun owners should also be cautious of email solicitations and online ads on social media.

It’s also a good idea to read the fine print before ordering and make purchases with a credit card, if possible, according to the agency.

Another red flag: If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is, according to experts.

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