What Would You Do for a PS5?
With every innovation comes new opportunities to take advantage of a general population that is too overwhelmed to promotions to use discernment against cleverly disguised cons. Most recently, there have been reports of a sham giveaway for one of 2020’s biggest releases: the PlayStation 5.
Techradar goes into what makes the PS5 so special, from a game-changing controller to faster loading times and general ease of use, not to mention ray-tracing capabilities which are especially important as games evolve. The only thing that seems to make the previous model a contender is the price. Needless to say, there was a mad dash for Sony’s well-timed new edition.
TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter were flooded late last year with different trends and challenges to earn the new console, and scammers have jumped on the opportunity to pilfer personal financial information from those that were not able to afford or make it in time to buy one for themselves.
Those Who Monetize on Trying Times
With Covid-19 causing shortages in all manner of products and production materials, Sony faced no exception with a shortage in the chips necessary to manufacture the PS5 fast enough to meet demand. This demand, which is happening at a time when the need for at-home entertainment is at an all-time high, has opened an opportune door for those who make a career of taking advantage of the tunnel vision that comes with “shiny object syndrome.”
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Using simple graphic tricks that are easy to miss at a passing glance, fake contests have risen, asking for a negligible entry fee to win a PS5. While $1 – $2 is dust compared to the cost of the prize, what it affords those behind the scam is credit card numbers, cvv/cvc numbers, individual addresses, and other billing information that can be used to pull money and identities from those who have fallen prey to the scheme. Kaspersky Daily has put out details on the specifics of the scam, which has been seen to use amazon logos and graphics to legitimize it to targets.
This occurs less than month since last month’s Walmart gift bag scam which promised those who shared the post a gift bag as well as a $75 gift card to the superstore chain. The difference in audience is key once we examine who would be interested in winning the PS5, from pre-adolescent to adolescent children to less tech-savvy parents and grandparents who would be buying them as gifts.
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What Can We Do?
These scams are not new, nor do we expect them to end as attackers become more creative and data science evolves. What we can do is urge caution when browsing, and especially before clicking on anything that seems too good to be true. It is easy to be caught up in the trends and it does not feel good to be trailing behind, but it is important to pause before any online interaction with an unverified entity.