PS5 giveaways are the hottest bait for phishing scams — how to avoid them

(Image credit: Future)

The PS5 is the hottest consumer product on the market with restocks still regularly selling out within seconds and there's plenty of evidence that the PS5 supply and demand issue won't clear up anytime soon. 

It's little surprise then that many scammers are looking to capitalize on that desperation by using fake PS5 giveaways for their phishing schemes. The cybersecurity company Kaspersky has walked through one example with some helpful advice on how to spot the fakes and avoid taking the bait.

Kaspersky walks through the entire scam from start to finish, but the specifics of this scam aren't as important as the overall takeaways to help you avoid exposure to scams in general.

Paying attention to the details of a fraudulent giveaway email will often reveal the scam, in this case, it was supposedly originating from an Indian Pharmaceutical company partnered with a German gambling organization. Even ignoring those facts, if the contest is referring you to a known legitimate site, then enter the URL yourself rather than clicking on a link in the email that could be redirecting you anywhere.

Screenshot of PS5 giveaway scam captured by Kaspersky

(Image credit: Kaspersky)

The scammers in this case were using a classic ploy of asking for just a nominal fee in order to receive the prize, at which point they would charge considerably more. While buying tickets to enter contests is relatively common, a fee charged after you win isn't. Never provide credit card or banking information to unfamiliar sites. This also holds true for your personal information, which is data that can be used for social engineering hacks.

Finally, Kaspersky being a web security company, recommends some kind of security software to protect yourself. Most antivirus apps, even free options, will also include at least basic web protections that flag malicious sites when you tried to visit them.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.