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Nintendo Switch scams are on the rise in Singapore

By Kenneth Ang - on 3 Apr 2020, 3:27pm

Nintendo Switch scams are on the rise in Singapore

Image Credit: Singapore Police Force Facebook Page

With many people working from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it's unsurprising to see that the sales of gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch are on the rise. After all, we might as well spend the extra time checking out the new Animal Crossing game than staring blankly at the ceiling. 

Unfortunately, that also means that scams making use of Nintendo Switch sales as a vehicle have seen an uptick too. According to the Singapore Police Force, such scammers often lie in wait on online marketplaces like Carousell, and as such have offered the public three tips on how to differentiate the scammers from legitimate sellers. (Credit: Singapore Police Force Facebook page)

  1. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. For high-value items, it is advisable to purchase from reputable sources.
  2. Verify the seller’s listing such as the age of the account and the number of positive reviews to determine whether the seller is legitimate.
  3. Whenever possible, pay only upon delivery. Opt for in-built payment options which can offer buyer protection instead of making direct bank transfers.

Points 1 and 2 are pretty solid, but according to some comments online, Point 3 is a little iffy, due to certain unsavoury tactics that scammers have employed before. For example, they may agree to an on-site payment, then intentionally deliver the item at a time they think you won't be available to collect it in person. Following that, the "deliveryman" will demand payment via Paylah! or a regular bank transfer, and thus leave the victim without both the item and their money. 

Image: Pixabay

Arguably, the demographics that are most at risk of getting scammed are those who aren't familiar with how these scams work (such as younger children or the elderly, in most cases) or are unsure of what a regular Nintendo Switch is supposed to cost. For reference, a normal Gen 2 Switch from Qoo10 is priced around S$500.00 excluding warranties, so if a listing comes up with one for around $200-300, that's a big red flag right there. It's also worth taking note of sellers whose positive reviews sound just a little too robotic or expressive - scammers have made use of bots before to give themselves reviews in hopes of attracting more unsuspecting victims. 

At the end of the day, it still falls to the individual to stay on the lookout for such scams, and always make sure to cross-reference their prices with other reputable sellers if you think something smells fishy. If you're not sure, check in with a tech-savvy pal or relative, preferably one who already owns the item. Having to deal with a virus outbreak is difficult and inconvenient enough if you ask me - we don't need these pesky scammers making our lives any more difficult. Stay safe!