Fake PS5 sellers online are violently mugging potential buyers during meetups according to the Toronto Police, who put out a warning to citizens.
Reports have begun circulating that PS5 and Xbox Series X/S sellers online are setting up meetings only to be mugged by would-be buyers, with the Toronto Police Operations receiving enough tip-offs to warrant a social media post warning people against this kind of crime. The PlayStation 5 officially released on November 12, 2020 in most regions, while the Xbox Series X/S launched on November 10, 2020.
The demand for the PS5 – and Xbox Series X, too – has far outstripped supply of either console, but it’s been particularly egregious for PlayStation, which went through a pre-order period that was messy and difficult to follow. With many consumers missing out on the chance at a PS5 through official channels, they’re forced to make a choice: wait and hope they’re able to pick up a PS5 restock through one of the few retailers offering them on Black Friday, wait until a second wave of stock becomes available, or purchase a console from a reseller. The latter practice has already been widely criticized and rightfully so, since it enables botters and scalpers to turn a profit on something they have no interest in.
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According to a Toronto Police Operations tweet, first reported on by blogTO, PS5 and Xbox Series X reselling has taken a darker turn, too. The Toronto Police Operations Twitter warned citizens against selling PS5 and Xbox Series X online, as the department has been receiving reports of robberies involving weapons and violence surrounding people selling systems to fake buyers who then rob them. The tweet also gives people interested in buying a PS5 or Xbox Series X through resellers some advice, suggesting that meeting areas be chosen carefully and to let someone else know when the meeting is happening.
PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT:
City of Toronto
– People are selling game systems online
– We have had numerous reports of robberies
– Some robberies are with weapons/violence
* Sellers advised to choose meeting areas carefully *
* Let someone know where you’re meeting *#GO2174796
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) November 17, 2020
Replies to the tweet also suggest that the process is happening both ways, with fake sellers advertising consoles only to show up to the meeting with weapons to mug would-be buyers. Either way, the Toronto Police Operations’ tweet offers some good advice for anyone looking to either sell or purchase a PS5 or Xbox Series X this holiday season – though, truthfully, it seems to be an unnecessary risk for many with restocks almost certainly coming down the line early into the new year. Xbox Series X, for instance, is only supposed to be scarce until April 2021, which may seem ages away, but is certainly a safer proposition at this point.
The excitement for PS5 and Xbox Series X seems to be justified based on reviews, but it’s not worth putting anyone in danger over. There aren’t even any major launch titles for either console – save, perhaps, the Demon’s Souls remake on PS5 – and there aren’t that many big ones scheduled over the next few months, either. While those lucky enough to already own a current-gen console have cause to celebrate, those without should definitely choose to wait for official sales from retailers – or, at the very least, take every precaution possible to prevent these kinds of crimes.
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