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PlayStation 2 e-tail warning in US and Canada

Money taken, but consoles not delivered

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North American watchdogs have issued a warning about two Web sites claiming to have the elusive and eminently desirable PlayStation 2 console in stock.

The Better Business Bureaus in the US and Canada took today's step after receiving complaints from punters who had ordered consoles from dotcom The Playstation Store, a subsidiary of Canadian-based CIS Networks, but had not received them.

The e-tailer's sites, www.ps2storusa.com and www.ps2storecanada.com, are not authorised Sony retailers, according to Sony. Today the US site in question was advertising PlayStation 2 consoles "in time for Chrsitmas [sic]" at between $394 and $599.

One of the more worrying aspects of the Canadian site was its request that customers fax photocopies of both the front and back of their credit cards, the BBB noted - opening card holders up to potential fraud.

The BBB urged surfers, keen to grab one of the scarce consoles to pack into this year's Christmas stockings, to check out companies before they hand their money over.

In related news, a London-based company is under investigation for a similar alleged scam. Police are looking into a Docklands-based company called Games Master which accepted payment for PlayStation 2 consoles from UK punters by cheque. The cheques were cashed but the consoles never arrived, according to ZDNet. The company's telephones were switched off today. ®

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