Console transactions have occasionally gone awry since the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X whenever consoles are purchased outside of the mainstay retailers, and at least one instance of that happening recently has led to an arrest. A woman in Shiga, Japan, was arrested recently for allegedly shipping a customer some bottles of water instead of the new PlayStation 5 console after advertising the "console" for the premium price tag one would expect to pay for it.
Kotaku reported on the story which was first covered by FNN and said that the person who allegedly sent the water instead of the console was a 41-year-old woman named Ikuko Tokuoka. The marketed PlayStation 5 was to be sold for about 65,000 yen, a price which comes out to just under $600. When the cash-on-delivery transaction was to be completed, it was discovered that the package had two bottles of water inside of it instead of a PlayStation 5.
Tokuoka apparently denied the charges of alleged fraud she was arrested for and said she didn't remember what was in the package after shipping it.
As mentioned previously, this sort of situation hasn't been uncommon amid all the PlayStation and Xbox sales going on through eBay and other sellers, but this is one of the less creative methods we've seen. Back around the time when the consoles were first nearing their launch and people were fighting for pre-orders, eBay had to crack down on console sales that weren't actually the consoles themselves. People would advertise printed photos of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles and would sell them at the price of a new console. They'd say most of the time in the products' listings that the product being shipped was only a photo and not the console itself, but they were counting on people rushing to put money down on a pre-order and not reading through the provided information thoroughly enough.
Other instances similar the sort of transaction that occurred recently in Japan were also reported amid the console rushes. People ordered new DualSense controllers only to find that they'd been given an Xbox controller while others received concrete blocks instead of their purchased consoles.
Console shortages have persisted since launch with people able to order them intermittently through different marketplaces, but even though consoles are scarce, it's probably best to stick to the verified retailers to avoid any instances like the ones described above.