As more and more penny auction sites face closer inspection from both government agencies and consumers, many are shutting down operations either for necessity or out of fear of legal action. Recently, a deceptive auction site called Big Deal went the way of the dodo; however, the BigDeal scam may be getting new life, thanks to a savvy move by BidCactus.

BidCactus keeps BigDeal.com alive

Although Big Deal is out of business, the site isn't coming up 404; instead, consumers are now redirected to a page on the BidCactus.com domain, where they are told that the latter has contracted with the dead company to acquire its former members. According to the message, BidCactus.com will honor all bids from bidpacks purchased at BigDeal.com, as long as former members agree to transfer their accounts.

Will things be any different?

For years, there was talk of a potential BigDeal scam in which the site was accused of using automated software to make fraudulent bids on behalf of the company. Although you'll find similar online reviews regarding Bid Cactus; the company does enjoy an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. That said, the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a report warning consumers about the potential pitfalls of every penny auction.

BigDeal not alone

According to the FTC, it doesn't matter if you are participating in an auction at Big Deal or BidCactus, QuiBids or DealDash; in the end, if it's a penny auction, you're putting your money at risk. According to the agency, most people lose their money at these so-called bargain websites; and even those who win usually end up paying much more than they expected.

Although these auction sites may satisfy your appetite for high-risk entertainment; they aren't likely to provide you with consistent bargains on merchandise. In the end, consumers would be well-advised to heed the FTC's advice and thoroughly analyze each auction's terms of service prior to signing up.