Fake stores lure with cheap PlayStation and Switch games

Nintendo warns customers about fake stores that offer Switch games at low prices and lure buyers into a purchase trap. The situation is similar with games for the PlayStation.

There are numerous sellers on the web that offer tech goods or designer clothing and accessories at bargain prices. However, behind some of the offers are scammers who lure buyers to their websites with the unbeatable low prices. Manufacturers and retailers warn against the fake stores that lure their customers with discounts for Nintendo and PlayStation and cheat them out of their money.

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Nintendo warns against fake stores with cheap games for the Switch.

Currently, scammers are up to their mischief online with fake stores. Customers are lured with low prices for Nintendo Switch games and then cheated out of either their money or personal information.

Nintendo now issued a warning to potential customers to beware of fake stores with fake offers. If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is in this case.

Both the console itself and the games are holding steady on the market in terms of price. However, demand is high and both potential gamers and current owners are constantly searching the net for cheap offers. Fraudsters take advantage of this and advertise games at unbelievably low prices on a fake website to lure these gamers.

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PS5 and games are also offered in fake stores

Online, however, fake stores not only advertise offers for Nintendo, but also discounts for the PlayStation 5. But these are also scammers who are either after your money or private information. However, they do not only attract customers through fake stores that claim to have the console in stock and advertise games at low prices. Some scammers even go as far as posing as legitimate retailers. GameStop therefore issued a warning at the end of 2021 that a fake store existed that claimed to be operated by GameStop.

The PlayStation 5 has regularly sold out since its release. The demand is huge, but the supply is limited. So when a PlayStation 5 is offered new for a lower price than is currently the norm on the market, the first alarm bells should go off. In fact, it’s more likely that the console is being offered at a higher price than in stores due to limited availability.

So, the same applies here: If the offer is so good that it is almost unrealistic, then it might be.

Recognize fake stores

The tricky thing about the fake stores is not only the unbeatable prices for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation games. The sites also look deceptively real. To this end, the scammers use the real logos to suggest authenticity to customers and even state in the imprint that the website is operated by genuine, reputable retailers.

Tips to get on the trail of the scammers

Nevertheless, there are some clues by which you can recognize a fake store:

  • Striking Internet address: The domain has been extended (for example: “.de.com” instead of “.de”) or the domain does not match the offer on the website at all.
  • Unsafe payment method: The website advertises that you can use many ways to pay, but when you are then at the checkout, payment is suddenly only possible by prepayment. All alarm bells should go off here at the latest!
  • Unrealistic prices: Of course, not every cheap store is automatically a fake store. But if your gut tells you that the offer is too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Fake seals of approval: fake stores either use invented seals or copies of real ones, such as “Trusted Shops”, to boost their credibility. You can find out whether it is a scam or not by clicking on the seal. If you are redirected to the page of the seal operator, it is a real seal. If there is no link, then it is a fake seal.
  • Customer reviews: Google the website and read through the customer reviews. Maybe past victims will warn you about the scam. In any case, do not rely solely on the reviews that the fake store operator shows on its website.
  • TERMS AND CONDITIONS: If a privacy policy or the T&Cs are missing, this is clearly an indication of a fake store. But even if T&Cs are present, you should check if the spelling and grammar are correct. It is possible that it is a bad translation and copy.
  • Imprint: Without imprint you buy nothing! If there is an imprint, it should contain an address, an authorized representative and an e-mail address. Do not be fooled by this! Make sure you check the authenticity of the information by Googling the address, for example.

With many of these items, you need to look closely to spot the scam. But especially with expensive goods like games for Nintendo or PlayStation, you should be especially vigilant.