If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
With the Xbox Series X still in very high demand and extremely short supply, scammers are creating phony (but very realistic looking) shopping websites this holiday season. These scam shopping sites will take credit card or PayPal information, then deliver either nothing or something that is valueless. They often advertise absurdly low prices – such as an Xbox Series X for $149.99.
No store will sell the Xbox Series X for $149.99. Don’t be gullible. This is a scam.
Scam web stores are almost always newly created – less than 2 months old and sometimes just a few days old. My recommendation is avoid any commerce website that is less than 1 year old. A WHOIS lookup of the domain name will show you the date that the domain name was registered. https://www.whois.com/whois/ works very well as a WHOIS lookup service.
Here’s a WHOIS lookup of a phony scam web store that was registered yesterday!
Whois loopup check VideogameDB.com
The Better Business Bureau offers some tips on How to Avoid Online Purchase Scams: Updated data
Research the company you plan to purchase from thoroughly. Purchase items from sellers you already know and trust. If you decide to purchase from an unfamiliar online store, research other customers’ experiences to see if you find anything concerning. The BBB recommends searching the company’s name followed by “scam” to view any possible complaints. Don’t buy from any stores that do not have legitimate contact information like a phone number or support chat. Sites with nothing but a simple email form for support should be avoided. Mod note: Look up their contact address in Google Maps. If it’s a residential or college address, AVOID! Avoid impulse buying. Scammers will use urgent-sounding language to hook you into buying without thinking. Avoid sites with “special promotions” or “flash sales,” which can be red flags for brand new items. Don’t believe prices that are too good to be true. Before you start shopping, find out the console’s retail price and compare the deal to the average reseller price. Heavy discounts on a rare item are obvious signs of a scam.