Many people will be looking for a deal this holiday season and scammers are taking advantage of the demand for pricey gaming consoles by promoting fake deals for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and other in-demand systems. This is why you must watch out for video game scams online!
How The Scam Works
Your search for a popular gaming console for sale online is successful and you find one at a reduced price. Hoping to save some money, you research the seller’s website and find a couple of positive reviews. Convinced, you make your purchase via PayPal or another online payment method. You receive an email confirmation with shipping information and a tracking number.
If you receive a package at all from the company, you can be sure it is not a gaming console. Instead, it is a valueless phone cover or similar small object. Here’s the problem. Since you technically received a shipment, you will be unable to contest the purchase with the third party who processed the payment.
Trying to get in contact with the company is useless. No one answers your phone calls or emails. One consumer who never received any package reported to BBB.org/ScamTracker: “I attempted to reach out to the email address on their website, however, I received an email informing me that it was not a valid email address. I then attempted to call the phone number listed on the website, [which gave me] an automatic message informing me that the number was not valid.”
Hot To Avoid Online Video Game Scams
- Research the company you plan to buy from. It’s best to purchase items from sellers you already know and trust, but if you decide to purchase from a new online store, do your homework first. Check out all the online reviews, look up the business on BBB.org, and do an online search with the company’s name followed by the word “scam”. Make sure the company has legitimate customer service contact information and clear return and refund policies.
- Avoid impulse buying. Have you ever been tempted to click on a “flash sale” or “limited time offers”? Resist the urge to hand over your hard-earned money on impulse.
- If it looks too good to be true it probably is. Find out the price of the gaming console at a major retailer and compare it to the online price. You can check prices online to get an idea of what the console is selling for. Keep that price in mind as you shop and watch out for sellers who offer the product at a steeply discounted price. You could end up spending money on a defective or counterfeit product, or no product at all!
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