Are There Fake PS5 Consoles? What You Can Do


Though the PlayStation 5 (PS5) has been on the market since late 2020, the rise in popularity during the pandemic made it nearly impossible to find any in stock at retailers. Even now, it’s difficult to find a PS5 at market value, so naturally, you question if scammers will try and take advantage of the supply and demand issue and put out fake PS5 consoles.

There are fake PS5 consoles floating around on the market, especially on the internet. Fake consoles can go for as little as $15 to upwards of $1000, nearly twice the amount of the legitimate PS5 console. 

Due to the high demand, stores are constantly selling out of the console, so buyers must turn to third-party sellers if they don’t want to be on a long waitlist—this is where you will need to know how to spot a fake console before handing over your money. 

How to Avoid Buying a Fake PS5 Console

With so many scammers trying to get your business, you need to be in the know to protect yourself and not lose hard-earned money. It’s not unusual in supply and demand shortages for opportunists to purchase as many of a single product as they can, then turn around and resell for a higher price. Those who covet the product would rather pay the higher price, even hundreds of dollars over, than wait for a restock. 

So, the more a product is desired and the longer it takes to restock, the more likely scammers will try to sell fake versions of the product to fool a few unsuspecting customers. This tactic is especially true of electronics, like gaming consoles, but you don’t have to be unarmed. There are ways to spot the fake and save your cash.

Purchase Through Legitimate Third-Party Sellers

The most important decision you can make to avoid getting scammed is to make your purchase through legitimate third-party sellers, like Walmart or Amazon. You’re taking a risk if you go to some obscure website you’ve never heard of or make a deal with a random individual from Craigslist. It won’t be worth the $30 you think you’re saving when $500+ gets taken, and you’re left with a useless piece of electronics.

In person, there are telltale signs of a fake console that will be covered later. If you’re purchasing on the internet, do your research. If the site has scammed someone before, there will be a review on the internet somewhere, and social media reviews don’t count because they can be faked. When in doubt, go with the trusted source, even if you have to pay more or wait for a restock. 

Check the Packaging for Branding

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Something that has been consistently reiterated by those that almost got scammed with a fake console is the packaging. Many noted that the box the console came in was random with no PlayStation branding whatsoever. If someone is handing you a plain white box that your console is housed in, you’re likely being given a fake.

Even if the seller has an excuse for why it’s in different packaging, a product that has been opened and removed from its original packaging could have been tampered with or damaged. Make sure the packaging is PlayStation branded for the PS5 and unopened. 

Use Protected Payment Methods

The payment method alone doesn’t denote that a seller is scamming you, but scammers prefer to use payment methods that pose the least threat to their profit. Unfortunately, those payment methods are also the ones that tend to be the easiest to use, especially for online purchases. Zelle, PayPal, CashApp, etc., can be red flags if they are the only payment methods the seller is willing to take. 

Unlike a credit card, Zelle does not offer payment protection for authorized payments made through their service. Authorized meaning you clicked the button to send the money, regardless of whether or not you get what you paid for in the end. 

PayPal and CashApp will likely have you reach out to the seller to request a refund, which they can deny, assuming they haven’t already deleted their account after transferring your funds to their bank. 

Familiarize Yourself With the Console

Most willing to go to a third-party seller and possibly pay more to obtain the PS5 have already familiarized themselves with every facet of the console. It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but the more you know about the console, the easier it will be to spot a fake. 

Mind you; this is strictly referencing in-person exchanges. If you buy a product over the internet, you have no idea what’s coming to you until it arrives, and by then, your money may be long spent. 

If you have the opportunity to conduct a face-to-face transaction, check the merchandise before handing over your money. Many have noted obvious blunders regarding fake consoles—different branding on the console itself, different structure and materials, lack of serial numbers, etc. Victims of PS5 scams have mentioned receiving controllers from previous consoles, like PlayStation 1 controllers. Be vigilant in your inspection. 

Who Are Legitimate Third Party Sellers for the PS5 Console?

After reading how easy it is to scam customers and how often it takes place, you may be wondering who you can trust. Even some recognized options, like eBay, can have questionable sellers on their sites. The PlayStation Store should be your number one choice, but if they are sold out, there are other options. 

Here is a list of 5 retailers you can trust to purchase the PS5:

  1. Amazon (check reviews and ratings of sellers)
  2. Walmart
  3. Best Buy
  4. Target 
  5. GameStop 

If these retailers are currently out of stock, call the store and ask them when they should expect their next shipment and if there is an option to place one on hold if you call back when they are in stock. 

Final Thoughts

Waiting for a restock might be hard to do, but at least you will have the peace of mind that your PS5 console is coming from a legitimate source. Hop on a retailer site today, and you might get lucky. 

Sources

https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/sony-playstation-5-stores/

https://retrododo.com/fake-ps5/

https://screenrant.com/fake-ps5-sold-scammers-trick-online-shoppers/

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