Hoverboards may be at the top of many a gift list this holiday season, and companies are racing to supply frenzied shoppers with the motorized gizmos. But some merchants — including Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy — are being targeted by scammers.
According to a BuzzFeed News report, as recent as Dec. 7, Soulja Boy’s Stripe account had a negative balance of nearly $175,000.
"I need help all the payments are fraud,” Soulja Boy wrote in an email to Stripe. “And it sent my account to negative because they all say they weren’t authorized. please help in any way you can thanks. I don’t want to have to pay all this money because of frauds is there any way to reverse these payments and get my account to Good standing."
The rapper is speaking of chargebacks — credit card transactions that are disputed by the cardholder. Typically, the merchant is financially held accountable for the amount, and liable for fraudulent charges.
From June 30 to Dec. 7, more than 75 percent of "of all orders associated with (Soulja Boy's) account were disputed after the fact," according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed.
Although Soulja Boy is one of the most high-profile hoverboard merchants, his fate is not unique.
According to BuzzFeed, IO Hawk, one of the most popular hoverboards companies in the U.S., has also been targeted by scammers. Consequently, the company reportedly has a negative balance with Stripe totaling more than $900,000.
BuzzFeed reports: "Orders for IO Hawk skyrocketed after a 'Today' show appearance in May 2015, and so too, according to the postmortem, did fraud."
These findings are bad news for a product already facing safety concerns.