The Soviet ‘Pilum’ ballistic knife has been an object of obsessive and often poorly-informed discussion ever since it was featured in Call Of Duty: Black Ops. I’ve never seen one in person, so I couldn’t possibly speculate as to whether they’re actually more lethal than a torso hit from a .50 BMG at ten yards. But I can spot an internet scam when I see one . . .
What could possibly be wrong with this offer? I’m sure you can find it on the intertubes if you really want to, but I’m not linking to it because I don’t want anyone to inadvertently go there. Or blow their hard-earned rubles.
This one is pretty easy to spot. The first clue is the fact that ballistic knives are totally illegal under Federal law. Just like classified ads offering ‘Full-Auto AR-15 Conversion Kits,’ most offers to sell ballistic knives (or kits) are either scams to steal your credit card number or passive ‘sting’ operations run by law enforcement. Can you really buy plutonium cores, black tar heroin or powdered anthrax spores over the world wide web? Hell no, and you probably can’t buy an illegal ballistic knife either. So don’t try.
The second clue is the generic name of the website (a bridal registry? really?) with its dirt-cheap appearance, no custom graphics, and a single crappy photograph of the alleged product. An image which was probably scraped from a Blade Forum post or Wikipedia entry years ago.
The third clue is the clumsy ‘Google Translate’-ed English text in the ads and web pages themselves. Dig this:
Congratulation !!!, You have got cheap price for Ballistic Knife Parts Kit. Don’t waste time, take it to your cart in store, to getting best price.
Since when did Borat start selling knives?
The final clue, if you haven’t gotten the picture already, is that the ‘Get Discount Price Here’ button only takes you to a succession of other similar websites with no actual product to sell. Congratulation !!! Your computer is probably infested with malware by now.
Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to play with and test a real Pilum ballistic knife some day. I’d also like to test an M240B machine gun and, fire a live-warhead MANPADS missile at a flying target drone, and blast a Soviet tank hulk to smithereens with the main gun of an M1 Abrams. Since they’re all illegal and more or less equally impossible, I’ll have to learn to live with my disappointment.
But I sure as hell won’t give some scammer my credit card number in the hopes of buying a ballistic knife.