Be Wary of Online Console Crooks When Buying Your New Play Station or Xbox

Whether it is your son or daughter, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent or friend, someone in your life likely has been trying to get their hands on one of the newest gaming consoles for nearly a year now. On November 10th, 2020, Microsoft’s Xbox released its newest two editions, Series S and Series X. Both options come with upgrades over the previous Xbox One and the primary difference between the two is the memory — Series S has 512 GB of storage capacity and Series X has 1 TB of storage. Xbox’s main competitor in the realm of gaming consoles is of course Sony’s Play Station, which released the PS5 only two days after the newest versions of the Xbox were unleashed on the market. Similarly to Microsoft’s approach, Sony unveiled two different consoles, the classic or regular edition which can operate physical disc games and the PS5 digital, which as the name implies, allows users to only download games rather than the traditional method of placing a disc into the console. As with any new release of one of these beloved consoles, demand was incredibly high leading into the launches for each company. There were over 1 million pre-orders for the Play Station 5 and likewise both Xbox series consoles sold out in just minutes on the day of the launch. Needless to say, demand for these consoles has been incredibly high.

Shortages & High Demand

Since the initial launches, these consoles have been incredibly hard to find — frustrating many individuals who would love to get these as a gift for someone they love or possibly just for themselves. These gaming systems are partly difficult to procure because of a supply chain issue; just as many industries saw COVID-related delays, all gamers are aware of the global chip shortage that has caused a supply issue for building these systems.

The other side of the coin when it comes to these issues has been the aforementioned incredibly high demand. Ever since the initial supply chain issues made it apparent that trying to get your hands on one of these consoles would be tricky, scalpers have come out of the woodwork and have, in many cases, listed these consoles for sale asking for over double the retail price being asked by the companies that made them. Many of them were unfortunately successful in taking advantage of many desperate gamers or loved ones of gamers who wanted to get the best possible gift following a new console drop. In addition to taking advantage of those anxious to get the newest systems, malicious actors online have been sure to try and dupe consumers online in multiple ways — below are some tips to avoid getting tricked by console crooks!

Be careful where you buy — Do not buy a console from someone on social media. Especially do not send money to someone online ahead of a potential meeting so that they know you are serious. Though demand is incredibly high for these items with all major stores, be sure to buy your console only from a recognizable retailer who you can follow up with in case of any issue. Additionally, be wary of any deals that seem too good to be true such as giveaways for a free console (if you just give away some vital information). If a deal seems too good to be true, it definitely is.

Double check type of console before ordering — One of the dupes that the not so reputable sellers have been going with is buying one legitimate new console and then keeping that for themselves and putting the old generations of consoles into the box and advertising them for sale as being legitimate new gaming systems. This is something that those who are seeking out a PS5 or new Xbox for a loved one should be especially aware of, as you may be less familiar with what each of these systems looks like. In a less dastardly instance than cybercrime, one grandmother purchased what she thought was the newest Xbox for her grandchild and packed it up to give them on their birthday — when the child realized what they thought it was, they got so excited, only to open it up and realize it was the Xbox One (the Xbox generation that came out in 2013). Though the child was grateful for the well-intentioned gift, grandma could have been saved some money and the child some slight heartache if she had double checked the type of console before purchasing.

Image from NBC News.