It would seem that scammers will stop at nothing to dupe people out of their money. The latest swindle involves sellers proffering photos of the PS5 for sale, instead of the console itself. Thankfully, eBay isn't too happy about this...
Buy a Photo of a PS5 for $500
Don't worry if you didn't manage to get hold of a PlayStation 5 on release, or on preorder. Or even if you don't manage to get hold of one of the PS5 consoles to come before the end of 2020. Several kindly eBay sellers can fill that void with a photograph of the PS5.
The PlayStation 5 will be available from local retailers before the end of 2020, promises Sony.
That's right, scammers are now trying to make a quick buck by duping unsuspecting eBay customers into buying photos of the new console.
The image above shows one such nefarious seller. Named iammonro, this seller has a feedback score of zero, which should set alarm bells ringing straight away.
As you can see, the starting bid for this particular photo of the PS5 console is $500, which also happens to be the price of the console itself.
Are These Scammers Actually Breaking the Rules?
This is all about what you would consider breaking the rules. On the face of it, these sellers are actually doing nothing against the rules that eBay sets out.
In the above example, the description reads "Ps5 Disc Version (photo Only) READ DESCRIPTION". So these sellers are stating, quite obviously, that this is only a photo of the PlayStation 5.
If a customer was to buy this photo by mistake, the seller could argue that they had listed the item as a photo only, so what the buyer receives will be exactly as described. This would then put the buyer at risk of not getting a refund.
What these scammers are banking on is buyers not actually realizing what they are doing, in the frenzy to buy the new console they really want.
eBay has issued a statement to Eurogamer, informing potential customers that it is currently removing all listings that offer photos of the PS5 for sale at exorbitant prices.
However, eBay also said "Buyers who receive an item which is not as described are entitled to a refund via our eBay Money Back Guarantee, provided they completed the transaction on the eBay platform."
This could mean that, if you do buy a photo of a PS5 and the description says it is a photo, you may not have a leg to stand on when it comes to requesting a $500 refund.
Don't Fall for PS5 Scams
While eBay takes care of these PS5 photo auctions, you should exercise caution. Only buy from trusted sellers, read descriptions properly, and don't bid on the item until you know it is a genuine PS5.
Scammers will stop at nothing to get their hands on your money. So, whether the console is being sold for a small fortune, or someone is selling a photograph of the PS5, you should always try and remain wary when buying online.
Whatever you're planning to buy online, buying with confidence is vital. Learn how to spot scams and fake reviews in this week's podcast.