Imagine this: You’ve worked tirelessly, saving every penny for that shiny new PlayStation 5, and then one day – it’s gone. Stolen. Your heart sinks, and your mind races – will you be able to find it? Can a PlayStation be tracked if stolen? 

In this article, we’ll investigate the realities of tracking stolen gaming consoles, delve into the realm of what’s technically possible, and explore how companies like Sony are working to protect their users. We’ll also offer some practical advice to help you safeguard your PlayStation from potential thieves.

What to do if Your PlayStation is Stolen?

If you’ve found yourself in the nightmarish situation of having your PlayStation stolen, it’s important not to panic or lose hope. Though it’s a horrible experience, there are several steps you can take to protect your account and hopefully recover your console, and minimize the damage caused by this unfortunate event.

Report Your PlayStation as Stolen

As soon as you’re sure your PlayStation has been stolen and not borrowed by a sibling who couldn’t be bothered asking you first, the first thing you should do is file a police report.

Providing all the details you can about the theft, including the condition of your console (any unique or identifying marks or scratches), and when and where the theft likely occurred, will help law enforcement in their investigation. You can also find the unique serial number for your console on its original packaging.

You should also keep a record of the police report; you may need it for insurance purposes or to provide to Sony as evidence of the theft.

Retrieve your PlayStation’s MAC Address

Your console’s MAC address can be found on your router and will be important for Sony to locate your PlayStation.

Inform Sony

Contact Sony’s customer service to report the theft. Provide them with the MAC address from your router and the serial number of the stolen console, which you hopefully have recorded somewhere. If you haven’t recorded the serial number, check the box your console came in or any warranty or insurance documents you might have.

Sony will mark your device as stolen once they’ve received a copy of the police report.

Get Back in Touch with the Police Officer Assigned to Your Case

Make sure the police officer has all the information you provided to Sony. Request the officer to liaise with Sony using the case number and instruct Sony to inform them as soon as someone uses your console online.

Sony May Trace the Location

As soon as your PlayStation is used online, Sony can trace the location via its IP address. This information will be logged and forwarded to the police officer, who should then apply for a warrant.

The Police May Execute the Warrant

Once the warrant is issued, the police will have the authority to enter and search the location to recover your PlayStation.

Getting Your PlayStation Back

Once your console has finally been recovered by the law, you’ll have to face a waiting period of a week or two before your console will be released from evidence. After this brief period, you’ll be reunited with your PlayStation.

Do remember that how successful you’ll be in retrieving your device will largely depend on the response you get from Sony and your local police department. These two things can vary a lot depending on where you live in the world.

Hopefully, you will get your console back. Until you do, there are a few other steps you can take to minimize any damage.

Secure Your Account

Your PlayStation account holds valuable information, including your personal data and possibly even your credit card details. To prevent anyone from getting into your account that shouldn’t be there, log in to your account on the PlayStation website and change your password right away. 

You could also remove your payment information from the PlayStation Store, at least until you’re sure your account is secure again. It would be a good idea to also set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t done so already.

Deactivate Your PlayStation

This is an important step. By deactivating your PlayStation console, you’re ensuring that the thief cannot access your PlayStation Network account.

You can deactivate your console by logging in to your PlayStation Account Management on a web browser. Navigate to the Device Management section, select PlayStation Consoles and Deactivate All Devices. And don’t forget, you can only use this option once every six months, so be absolutely sure your device has been stolen.

Check Game Activity

Watch the online activity of your games. If they decide to have a go of your PlayStation, they might even have the neck to play your games online, but this could give you a clue about the location of your console.

Monitor Your Credit Card Activity

If your credit card information was saved on your PlayStation, keep a close eye on your card activity for any unauthorized charges. If you see anything suspicious, contact your bank or credit card provider immediately.

Check Pawn Shops and Online Marketplaces

It’s not uncommon for stolen items to end up in pawn shops or on online marketplaces. Keep an eye on websites like eBay, Amazon or local listings on Craigslist, as well as any local pawn shops.

Try searching for your console in online marketplaces and sorting by lowest price first. Whoever swiped it might be looking for a quick sale and some fast cash. If you see a PlayStation that matches yours, inform the police and the company listing it for sale.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, your stolen PlayStation may be covered under your policy. Get onto your insurance provider to find out if you can file a claim. It’ll be helpful to have the police report on hand for when dealing with insurance matters.

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Contact Your Credit Card Company

If you recently bought your PlayStation on a credit card, you might be in luck. Some credit cards offer purchase protection or theft protection benefits for items bought with the card. Different cards will have different policies, so it’s probably best to contact your card company directly to see if they can help.

You’ll likely need to provide a police report and proof of purchase. This is typically available for a limited time period after the purchase, often within 90-120 days.

Keep an Eye on Your Email

Watch your email for any notifications from PlayStation about account activity. Thieves might try to change your account details or make purchases, which should trigger an email alert.

Inform Your Friends

If you have friends on your PlayStation Network, let them know what’s happened. If they see any unusual activity or receive strange messages from your account, they can alert you.

Utilize Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool in recovering stolen items. Post about the theft, including any identifying marks or details about your PlayStation. Be sure to ask your friends to share the post. The more people who know about it, the better the chances are of someone spotting it.

Learn from the Experience

If you’re able to replace your PlayStation, take preventative measures to avoid a repeat of the situation. Record the serial number of your new console, use strong, unique passwords, 2FA and consider upping home security.

Remember, while the loss of a PlayStation is frustrating and disappointing, it’s your personal information that can be more valuable to a thief. Protecting this should always be your top priority. Don’t lose hope, and keep working with law enforcement and Sony — recovering stolen electronics is not unheard of.

Can a PlayStation be Tracked if Stolen?

Yes, your PlayStation can potentially be tracked if stolen. Sony has a feature that logs the IP address when your PlayStation connects to the internet. So, if the thief uses your console online, Sony can identify its location.

However, it’s crucial to report the theft to both law enforcement and Sony’s customer support immediately, as they won’t act without a formal police report. You should also instruct Sony to inform the police as soon as they log any activity from your stolen PlayStation. This will allow the police to respond quickly which will hopefully result in you getting your console back.