A PSN account theft has reportedly left a fan hanging with a bill for $180 — and things only got worse from there. Redditor /u/Guns4pros woke up very early on Sunday morning and noticed three transactions for $60 on the PlayStation Network. Sony’s tech support was unavailable at this late hour and the purchases were still happening, so he did the only sensible thing that came to mind: removed his card from the account and reported fraud to his bank. And then, he says, Sony banned his account for his trouble.
A submission on Reddit’s /r/gaming subreddit goes into the issue in greater detail. After noticing the PSN account theft via his bank statement, /u/Guns4pros logged into his PlayStation Network account and confirmed that several “child” accounts had been created with the illicit purchases put on them. However, Sony’s support services wouldn’t be available for at least another eight hours and the fraud was still in progress. That led to him calling his bank and getting the charges stopped.
As anyone who has tried to chargeback a digital gaming retailer or read the terms of service will tell you, this will typically result in an instantaneous ban and forfeiture of your account. That’s exactly what happened to him, but he was persistent and wanted to get the issue resolved. For now, they’ve said his account is under investigation and he won’t be able to touch it for at least the next five days.
Several other users report similar horror stories regarding a PSN account theft. Players talk about similar situations and the stubborn refusal of Sony to compromise. As an example, every PS4 has a “MAC address,” a unique hardware identification code. Some had reported that although Sony confirmed the purchases were made from an entirely different console somewhere else in the world, they still had to be resolved. Typically, the users in the thread said that this kind of scenario is only resolved in one of three ways:
- You have to pay the fraudulent charges.
- You are refunded the lost money as PlayStation Store credit.
- Your account (and consequently, its contents) are permanently deleted.
/u/Guns4pros notes that he did not have 2-factor authentication enabled. The lack of this extra layer of security likely made him more vulnerable than most, but it’s not unreasonable to expect better treatment from a company that you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars with.
Obviously, this is not an ideal situation. /u/Guns4pros closes by saying that he is not trying to get his own situation resolved faster by bringing attention to it; rather, he feels that Sony’s policies that are reportedly affecting him in this fashion are overzealous. Hopefully, he’ll get these issues resolved and Sony will be able to work on providing a better experience for customers caught in the same situation.