Buy a new PS5, get a rubber duckie instead? How to avoid getting scammed

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:
Sony PlayStation 5

It’s the hottest must-have item right now – the Sony PlayStation 5.

Ask anyone who wants one and they’ll tell you it’s in short supply. But, if you find a website offering a deal and it’s full of positive reviews … buyer beware!

Websites are being set up with fake storefronts, just to ‘sell’ you the PS5 and take your money.

So what’s happening?

Your kid has to have the PlayStation 5 for the holidays but they’re tough to find. Then you get an email offering a great deal. You check the website and reviews and it looks legit, but it’s not. After you place your order you get a tracking number and you’re excited. A package may arrive but it’s a cheap phone cover, a rubber duckie, or other useless item.

The problem is, that makes it harder for you to fight and get your money back because you did receive something from the seller. And the 3rd party that processed the payment probably won’t help you. And then, your calls or emails go unanswered.

You are then a scam victim.

Bryan Oglesby, with the Better Busines Bureau, said, “Anyone looking to purchase a hot ticket item that is hard to find can be the victim of a scam, whether it’s in Southwest Florida or across the United States.”

If you want to buy that must-have electronic gift. Make sure you:

  • Buy from a known retailer (Amazon, BestBuy, etc)
  • Check credible reviews (Real reviews will have critical ones too and link to real profiles)
  • Skip the impulse buy (Too good to be true? Probably is.)
  • Use a credit card (They offer some protections for your transaction)

One more thing you can do is Google search the company name followed by the word “scam” and see what shows up and if there are prior complaints.

There is no shortage of holiday shopping scams. Take the steps to protect yourself and report scammers to law enforcement and the FBI internet crime complaint center.


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