DEFINITELY READ THIS FIRST: Your credit card information is 100% safe on our website. The following statement has absolutely nothing to do with any technological vulnerability here.
TLDR: Don't buy from any sketchy online sellers. Make sure you support legitimate retailers (or buy directly from the publisher if you wish) that will not rip you off, nor rip off Stonemaier Games.
And now for the saga of the persistent internet fraud ring...
This game is currently listed as "out of stock" here on the site as a result of a persistent internet scammer that has targeted us, as well as Stonemaier Games directly (which Jamey has talked about publicly in his 2019 Stakeholder Report), and possibly others. We have accumulated a massive amount of data regarding the extent of the scam, which includes many (hundreds, in fact) of fraudulent websites that are used to peddle in stolen goods, including Wingspan. Seriously.
For those who are interested in knowing more about how it works and how to avoid being involved in it, it is what is called a triangulation fraud. The scammer(s) are operating, at least in part, from elsewhere in the world (country to not be named here, but the information has been passed to law enforcement). They run "cheap deals" and other websites using fake information as if they were located in the US. They collect money for sales by Paypal, and then use stolen credit cards to "fulfill" their "orders" using legitimate websites with legitimate products. Companies such as ours, and Stonemaier Gamers directly. Other retailers in the industry may also have fallen victim to this widespread fraud as well, and Stonemaier Games has notified other retailers to be on the lookout for this illegal activity. When the true cardholder sees the fraudulent charge, which it is, they dispute it with the card issuer who charges back the merchant. That's who ultimately pays for the well-intentioned buyer's Wingspan game.
If you are wondering how this could possibily continue, it is because the scammer has full and correct billing information for all of their stolen credit card numbers, often passing conventional fraud checks that websites employ. They spoof IP addresses to match the orders. They try tricky variations that larger companies might not be able to catch, but we are a small company and I look at each order personally. We can't share all of the details here publicly, but like I said above, we have huge amount of provable data that will be very helpful to the multiple law enforcement agencies that we have been in contact with.
The scammer is not shut down by Paypal as long as they are able to successfully "fulfill" their buyers' orders via a stolen credit card purchase. So, when we cancelled and refunded a huge number of transactions in November and December (and continue to do so now), those buyers on the scammer's website didn't get the game as expected. So they may start disputing transactions, which will cause the Paypal account to go into default, but this is a big game of whack-a-mole here. I'm quite sure they have many other Paypal accounts waiting to be used to collect money. As for websites to sell the soon-to-be-stolen goods on, they are currently selling Wingspan on a number of sites that we know of, and have others that are ready to be used if these ones get shut down. We have a list that is literally hundreds of websites that they own and are "aging" them for future use.
So that you can be aware of what the scam sites look like, here are a few examples for you to see (UPDATE - Some have since been shut down): HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and there are more... many more. If you come across more, please do not post links on BGG or social media groups. Other people may think that buying from one of these sites is OK, which of course it isn't. I hesitated to link these here (for obvious reasons), but I think that the power of many people being on the lookout for this criminal activity is worth the unlikely risk that someone reading this decides to "chance it" with stolen goods. Also, if you find other copycat sites of these, we would love it if you send us a link privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all heroes wear capes!
What can you do to help? Well for starters, only buy from legitimate companies. Of course we would love your business! Buying from Stonemaier directly is also a great idea, as well as your local game store (if they have it in stock). Anyone who buys from these scam sites is receiving stolen goods from legitimate retailers, and possibly from the game designer/publisher himself, if you receive anything at all.
Lastly, if you are another retailer in our industry that comes across this rant and has been a victim of this same fraud, please reach out to us. We will be happy to provide you with some information that will help identify orders on your site that are likely not valid, as well as details that will be helpful in conducting your own investigation if you wish and/or supplying information to law inforcement.
OK, that wasn't the real "last". Lastly, if you are our famed scammer, you'll want to stop now. This has been very costly for us (and others), in both lost product and a huge number of working-hours. We will stop at nothing to prevent the scam from persisting. Keep placing orders if you insist, even some of those ones that don't include the Wingspan game, since you're doing a bit of that too. I see you, and everything you do is being recorded for the investigation.
Whew! OK, so who wants to play the awesome bird game? :-)
PLEASE NOTE: This is the new edition of Wingspan, which includes the swift-start pack (4 guides and 10 new bird cards) to help guide new players through their first game of Wingspan.
Wingspan is published by Stonemaier Games. It was designed by Elizabeth Hargrave. Art by Natalia Rojas, Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, and Beth Sobel.
Wingspan is a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game.
1-5 players | 40-70 minutes | ages 10+
· 170 unique bird cards (57x87mm)
· 26 bonus cards (57x87mm)
· 16 Automa cards (57x87mm)
· 103 food tokens
· 75 egg miniatures
· 5 custom wooden dice
· 5 player mats
· 1 birdfeeder dice tower
· 2-piece Game Trayz custom tray
· 1 goal mat
· 8 goal tiles
· 1 first-player token
· 40 action cubes (8 per player)
· 4 clear plastic resource containers
· 1 scorepad (50 sheets; 1 sheet used for all players each game)
· 3 rulebooks (core, Automa, and Appendix)