Many of us just can’t get enough of online games both on mobiles and on PCs and consoles. Whether it is to connect with our friends, meet new people, or simply get our daily dose of dopamine, online gaming is something many people can’t imagine their lives without.
But apart from just losing track of time (that has happened to all of us), there are other perils this activity has. With how huge the gaming industry is, there are bound to be certain individuals seeking to enrich themselves by scamming gamers.
Let’s find out what some common online gaming scams are and how to avoid them.
For many people, one of the most interesting aspects of online gaming is how it gives you an opportunity to build up the value of your account. Depending on how much time (and in some cases, real-life money) you spend on leveling up and finding new items, your WoW account can cost upwards of $5000.
So, it’s easy to understand why stealing other people’s accounts is a goal for many hackers. But how do they do it?
The prevalent way is phishing. According to cooltechzone.com, phishing scams involve sending messages with dangerous links or attachments that are used to steal a person’s credentials.
In online gaming, it most often takes the form of an email sent as if by admins of the game requesting to confirm the user’s password. A link to a fake site that looks just like the real one is attached. When a gamer enters their login and password as they normally would, this information gets sent to the hackers who can access the account of that person, quickly change its password and sell it.
To avoid this scam, it’s necessary to not trust such emails. It’s always a good idea to contact the game support not by following any links sent to you but by typing the website name in your browser. You can then report to them any suspicious activity or request them blocking access to your account if it does get stolen.
While some online gamers get their kicks leveling up their warlocks or unlocking new tanks, others need something with higher stakes. Online casinos are quite a popular pastime for many gamblers. However, as there is money in such games, they naturally attract scammers.
Here, a common tactic bad actors use is setting up a fake online casino that will happily take your bets but won’t ever pay you any winnings. To draw you in, such scams often promise a lot of goodies such as ridiculous amounts of free plays.
However, fake casinos aren’t the only way scammers fool gamblers. Sometimes, instead of setting up a new website (which requires some investment of time), they simply offer their “winning strategy” for sale. You just need to pay them to obtain this secret that will allow you to win every time… except, of course, it won’t.
Sadly, some people still fall for such scams. If it’s greed, optimism, or anything else is anyone’s guess.
In-game trade scams
In many games, players can trade items with one another, paying in in-game or real-world currency (though the latter is frowned upon or outright banned in many online games). Unfortunately, it opens up a lot of possibilities for fraudsters.
When you enter a trade with somebody you don’t know very well, there’s a very real chance they can trick you by not providing the items you’re paying for or extorting a much higher price from you than the item actually costs. If you are a veteran of this game, it’s not likely to work on you but for people just starting with it, it can lead to a loss of funds.
To prevent it, you should only trade with players you know well or who, at least, have good reputations in the community.