eBay has issued a warning to scammers who are selling photos of a PlayStation 5.
Since the PS5 went on sale, people have flooded auction sites such as eBay with misleading listings - and one of the more prominent of these involves the sale of a photo of the console masquerading as the console itself.
One eBay user contacted Eurogamer to say they had talked to eBay customer support to flag the issue of people bidding on photos of a PS5 thinking they were bidding on the console, after nearly falling for the scam themselves.
Eurogamer has covered the issue of scalpers and the next-gen consoles extensively, but it seems auction sites such as eBay have the additional problem of housing straight-up scams - listings that look like they're for a PS5 but are in fact for something else entirely. Can anything be done about the scalpers? That's something the Eurogamer news team discuss in the latest episode of the Eurogamer next-gen news cast, below:
eBay has now issued a statement on the matter, saying it's working to pull these listings from its site, and vowed to take action against those it finds to be scamming others.
"We condemn these opportunistic sellers who are attempting to mislead other users," eBay said in its statement.
"We are in the process of removing all listings for photos of PS5s from our marketplace and will be taking appropriate action against the sellers.
"For any purchase, but especially highly priced or in-demand items, buyers should exercise caution and thoroughly read the listing description.
"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."
At the time of this article's publication, many scam listings for a photo of a PS5 remain on eBay. I got 324 results for a search for "PlayStation 5 photo". "Brand New Sony PlayStation V5 White 2020 Photo," is the title of one listing. In the description further down the page: "Please note this is a picture only, delivery will be sent within 2-3 working days. You will be sent an A4 printout of the 'PS5' - this comes with no refunds."
Some of the listings are quite obviously being ruined by outrageously high fake bids, presumably in an attempt to block any potential sale. Others, though, have worryingly realistic bids attached.
Away from the PS5 photos scam, eBay has hundreds of listings for a PS5 that do not include the console itself. Someone is listing raffle tickets to win a PS5 - and of course you can't buy the raffle tickets on eBay. Perhaps don't buy one of those.
Someone else is selling an empty cardboard box under the title "PS5". "Here I am selling an artist's impression of how empty my life feels not owning a PS5," reads the description. "NOT SELLING A PS5 itself.
"The winning bidder will receive an empty box. Representing how sad and empty I feel inside.
"Any money I receive from the winning bid will go towards buying a PS5 off one of these selfish bastards on eBay. The same bastards who blocked up the internet so people who genuinely wanted them for themselves or their children for Christmas couldn't buy one. Just so they could sell them for an extortionate amount of money - shame on you.
"Also shame on the people who start selling photos of PS5s, scamming people's hard gained money."
Again, perhaps don't buy the cardboard box. There are also multiple listings supposedly from parents trying to raise money to buy their kids a PS5, too.