This week is the official release week of the highly-anticipated PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Xbox Series X and S! While many gaming fans already completed their purchases at major retailers and are awaiting their purchase, there are still many other gaming fans that are waiting to purchase these gaming consoles. Major retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Amazon have sold out of these gaming consoles, and gamers all across the globe are wondering how to get their hands on one. Some have even gone as far as to buy them for high prices on eBay and off of unfamiliar online stores, which are probably fake. Scammers know how highly-anticipated these three gaming consoles are, and will create fake websites and high-priced listings to trick their victims. Here are some examples of PS5 and Xbox shopping scams and how to avoid them.
Types of PS5 and Xbox Shopping Scams
People who did not want the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S in the first place will sell these gaming consoles on the Internet. First, they will go out to purchase these consoles from major retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, or Amazon to purchase the console.
Then, as soon as they get their hands on this console, they sell it on Internet platforms such as eBay or StockX. The original pricing for these gaming consoles is $499, but these Internet sellers are selling them for over $800! They then make a profit of about $300 or more per person that they sell a gaming console too.
Scammers have been sending out phishing emails to their victims, pretending to be Amazon. These emails have stated that Amazon is not getting the agreed amount of stock that these gaming companies have processed, so your order has been delayed to 2021.
There have also been emails that have stated that additional payment is required before delivery. These emails contain links where if you click on them, they can steal your financial or personal information by filling out instructed forms or with malware. When malware is downloaded onto your device, it could then steal any stored information off of your device and gives it to the scammers.
Fake Online Stores
Scammers set up fake online stores that sell PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles at either the market or higher prices. They have also done this when the Nintendo Switch was in high-demand. These fake online stores could look like actual retail stores, like Best Buy or Amazon, that are sent to customers via email and phishing links. The URL is usually misspelled but is usually unnoticed since the website looks so real.
There are also fake online stores with different names that claim they are real. Once you enter your account information or financial information to purchase these consoles, scammers can then steal it and use it to commit identity fraud or steal your money. These websites can also contain malware.
Fake GAME accounts via Twitter
Scammers messaged Twitter followers of British retailer GAME that have bought the gaming consoles, pretending to be GAME’s official Twitter account. These scammers claimed that they need to make payments immediately on the consoles they bought. They ask that you either provide them with additional credit card information or gift card numbers via a phishing link sent to you or through direct message back to them. With that credit card information, they then drain their victims’ bank accounts and steal all their money.
Scammers call their victims and pretend to be salespeople selling the PS5 and Xbox gaming consoles. The scammers ask over the phone for their victims for their personal and financial information in order to purchase their gaming consoles, and the victims provide the scammers with this information. Once the scammers have this information, they can then commit identity fraud and steal all the money from your bank account.
How to Avoid PS5 and Xbox Shopping Scams
- Don’t click on any random links.
- Always check the URL of the retail store you are shopping at for spelling errors.
- Don’t give out more personal information than you need to.
- Don’t give out your financial information, unless it’s on a credit card form on a trusted retail website.
- Report any suspicious messages on social media sites.
- Block any suspicious text messages or emails.
- Only agree to pay the market price of the gaming console you are trying to buy.
- Only shop at well-known trusted retailers.
- Report any scams you come across to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You With PS5 and Xbox Shopping Scams!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of PS5 and Xbox shopping scams.