Sony released the PlayStation 5 over a year ago, but it’s still impossible to find in stores. Sony’s next-generation console isn’t on store shelves, and online retailers sell out of their small allocations of the device in minutes. Extremely high demand from fans has led to a bizarre shipping situation, and shoppers are frustrated with the seemingly endless shortages.
Some people have even turned to criminal activity to try to get their hands on a PS5. Recently, a 19-year-old man in Harris County, Texas, was attacked while selling his PlayStation system to a person he contacted online.
The 19-year-old victim arranged to sell his console to a person he met over the internet. The two met Sunday afternoon, but the supposed buyer instead produced a weapon and attacked the seller.
In the ensuing struggle, the seller was struck in the side and dropped his console into the mud. Somehow, the attacker managed to escape but didn’t take the console. Authorities rushed the victim to the hospital, where doctors confirmed that his injuries aren’t life-threatening.
Police were unable to release a description of the suspect at press time.
New PS5 systems retail for $500, but it’s tricky to find a console for this price. Secondhand sellers often ask for as much as double the retail price for a new system, leading to tension between buyers and sellers. Even without markups, demand for the consoles is so intense that some criminals have chosen to burglarize homes where they’ve seen PS5 systems delivered.
The ongoing semiconductor shortage continues to bottleneck the production of new systems. In the meantime, shoppers who wish to exchange items online can use a straightforward trick to stay safer when arranging to meet people for transactions.
If you arrange to buy or sell something with a stranger online, ask them to meet you at the local police station. That way, your transaction will be visible to numerous law enforcement officers. Any would-be criminals will likely be too scared to meet you at a police station, warding off thieves who pose as buyers.
Many police departments even have zones specifically marked for online transactions, allowing sellers and buyers to feel more comfortable meeting strangers in public. If a potential buyer doesn’t want to meet you at the police station, the exchange probably wasn’t about to go well anyway.