Online gaming is an industry that has been growing rampantly over the past few years, and the overall income has also been increasing due to the increased number of gamers. A lot of money and time is spent on in-game purchases by players, thus making the online gaming world an ideal ground for fraudsters and scammers to thrive and operate successfully. The criteria used by these scammers to prey on these online gaming sites are playing as unsuspected gamers.
Examples of Fraud in Online Gaming
This is an online scam where a gamer is tricked into giving out their account details. The scammer sends an email to the gamer informing them that they must confirm their password and login information to the gaming site. Once the gamer clicks on the link provided, they are directed to a fake sign-in page; hence when they try to input their current login information, the scammer ends up stealing the information from them due to them being able to see what the gamer has typed in the fake page.
Designing fake mobile versions of well-known online games
The fake versions of the online game applications are usually located in the app store, where a person downloads apps depending on their phone. Once the gamer has downloaded the fake app, malware is installed on the gamer’s device. The malware is, therefore, able to capture information regarding the gamers’ online gaming accounts, including those that they use to gain access to high-end platforms and consoles of well-known video games. The fraudsters end up using the information captured to access your phone number, bank details, and physical home address.
Directing gamers to third-party sites
This type of online scam entails the scammer featuring ads on the online gaming site that look genuine, but in the real sense, they aren’t. The ads may include online stores that sell weapons or extra coins to generate an online currency they can use to get more points in the game. The gamer eventually ends up purchasing rewards and incentives they’ll only receive after paying for them.
Targeting gamers’ IP addresses
This type of online scam entails fraudsters targeting a gamer’s internet connection since some games require an internet connection. Tracking the gamer’s IP address would expose the gamer’s physical home address and other sensitive information like bank details and names. Access to such sensitive data would lead to bankruptcy of the gamer when accounts are hacked.
Scammers may target children by engaging them in an in-game voice chat and luring them into paying for gaming subscriptions using their parent’s credit cards. They may also send the child a link through the conversation, and when the child clicks on the link, the fraudster can gain full control and access to the child’s online gaming account. Once they gain access to the child’s gaming history, it becomes easier to track down information like payment details in the child’s gaming wallet. Once the scammers gain access to the child’s wallet, they may auction it on the dark web at a high price, and thus Scammers will withdraw funds from the child’s wallet frequently.
Measures to Curb Online Gaming Fraud
Online gaming companies
Mapping internet regulations
This involves a series of legislative maps that create a manual for laws that impact technologically related platforms worldwide. Mapping creates a logical understanding between systems or computers that are physically connected in a network. Mapping internet regulations will mitigate risks brought about by fraud since technological platforms will have their data secured. The owners of technological platforms will also be held accountable for removing harmful content that will risk the gamers’ data. This may include eliminating unsuspected gamers.
Incorporate trust and safety metrics
Trust and safety metrics include creating a positive and safe space for all gamers to ensure they are protected from cyberbullying, which may ruin their gaming experience. This may be through artificial intelligence to curb unwanted activity.
Choosing a unique username that doesn’t reveal personal information
If the game prompts you to create a personal profile, be keen to give details like financial information, account passwords, or physical location to avoid tracking.
Update anti-virus software on your gadgets
Anti-virus software protects your devices from viruses and malware that might expose your information to hackers.
Reading the game’s terms and conditions.
Investigate how the game publisher deals with unsuspected gamers who exhibit bad behavior or promote unacceptable content in the games, as that would ensure the safety of all users.
Consider setting parental control.
As a parent or guardian, this may help you limit whoever your child interacts with while playing online games, thus limiting access to information such as the child’s online gaming wallet.
Online gaming fraud is rampant worldwide; hence it’s good to take into consideration the measures to put in place both as a parent to a child who is a gamer, a game publisher as well as an adult gamer to make online gaming a safe space for individuals to make use of their talents and skills without fear of being exposed to cyberbullying or fraud.