PlayStation 'scammer' claims he's living in Dounreay
50% off a six-month digital e-edition subscription with promo code '50OFF'
A suspected scammer tried to sell a home video game console to a Caithness man who grew suspicious when the seller said he was locked down with his family in Dounreay.
Kevin Angus from Thurso discovered what he thought was a good deal when he came across a PlayStation 5 (PS5) for sale on Facebook.
"[He] claims to have a PS5 for sale and a RTX 2080ti both brand new unwanted Christmas gifts. Both [are] extremely hard to buy brand new right now, " Kevin said.
"You can only buy these items from scalpers [touts] for a premium price so it was highly suspicious from the start that he had both of these items that you can’t buy brand new right now... and was selling them at a reasonable price because there is no stock in any shop anywhere."
The PS5 unit was selling for £510 and the RTX games console for £850 – reasonable prices for these hard-to-get systems, thought Kevin.
Suspicions arose, however, when the seller said Kevin could not come and look at the console as he was "locked down" with his family in Dounreay but he would post it out.
"The area is very strictly lockdown," wrote the suspected scammer in a private message Kevin shared. "Only reason I'm selling it is I'm stuck in debt and being out here doesn't help. Only employees and commercial vehicles such as postmen are allowed in. Not much else I can do, to be honest."
Kevin responded by calling him out as a scammer and said: "Dounreay is a nuclear power station, no-one stays on site. In fact the full site closed just two days ago."
The seller had previously asked Kevin to do a money transfer transaction but not with PayPal – a common scammer technique that makes it almost impossible to recover cash or trace the criminal.
Citizens Advice says it is unlikely you will be able to get your money back if you pay through a wire service such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.
"Even if you can’t get your money back, there are other things you can do – like reporting the scam and getting financial or emotional support," the organisation adds.
When Kevin posted the suspected scam on social media numerous local people said they had seen similar ones, including a woman also selling a PS5 who supposedly lives in Wick but also has a home in Germany.
Kevin said he felt "pretty confident" it was a scam and he asked locals in a social media post to not be fooled into buying the games consoles "as you will send the money and never see the PS5 or 2080 ti".
He found another seller supposedly selling a PS5 that was advertised in Thurso but the profile location of the person said Aberdeen.
"It was a typical fake profile. Made in 2020 with just one profile picture and one cover picture."
He reported the suspected scammers and Facebook said it was "reviewing" the posts.
The original scammer, supposedly living in Dounreay, even posted new adverts selling the same consoles, according to Kevin.
He hopes that by spreading the information on his experience it will prevent others from being scammed.
"Some grandparent or parent that couldn’t get their kid a PS5 at Christmas could possibly fall for this," he said. "Facebook should be vetting adverts more carefully."