With the shortage having no end in sight, the unfortunate situation is apparently attracting the most despicable of people. Even in the usually low crime rate Japan, fraudsters plague the web to prey on desperate victims hoping to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch.
One such case involved a fraudulent Twitter account sending messages around that they could get the Nintendo Switch for a cheaper price. Victims were then asked to send ¥300,000 (US$ 270) worth of Amazon credit to the fraudster through prepaid codes. Once sent, the fraudster would claim that the codes were not working while in actual fact, they have claimed the codes themselves. After which they would disappear, along with their own Twitter account.
Victims themselves were usually junior-high students who knew none the better about the dangerous world out there. In an attempt to get their Nintendo Switch early, they unknowingly fell into the traps of despicable fraudsters, losing their savings and allowances in the process.
So here’s NintendoSoup’s recipe against fraudsters
- Only buy from Nintendo or their official retailers.
- Always be wary of huge price differences, especially savings.
The Nintendo Switch is in high demand, a huge drop in price is highly unlikely
- Check the credibility of the seller
- If not buying from either Nintendo or their Official Retailers, refrain from making payment unless you have seen the product in working condition in person.
- Do not transact with third parties using unrecoverable/dangerous means.
This means that you should not transact with third parties by giving your credit card details, pre-paid credits, bank transfer, etc. Use safe payment methods like PayPal.
However, despite all the gloom, there are still indeed good people out there. One such Samaritan is @cgc_game_create on Twitter. After knowing of one of the victim’s plight, who after being cheated, broke down and even contemplated suicide, @cgc_game_create sent a Twitter message to the victim. He offered the victim a free Switch saying that it was a small gesture in kind to those who have helped him before.
When I was in trouble in the past, I was always helped. I looked at the boy’s situation and I had a flashback to the past, “I wish I could become like those who once saved me.” It was moving. ~@cgc_game_create
Indeed, the victim received a brand new Switch from @cgc_game_create, who had bought one for him at an inflated price on Yahoo Auctions.
Still, the fraud remains rampant and one cannot always depend on good Samaritans, be alert against suspicious online behaviours and report any fraudulent trades when encountered.