The shocking revelations have been made after a study that shows that one out of five gamers fell for online scamming.
The juggernaut industry of online gaming generates billions in mass profits. Just to give you an idea for understanding purposes, you can say that it sums up to three times more than the sales generated at the global box office in a year. Gaming is a mammoth.
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According to an estimate, there are about 2.7 billion gamers around the world, and more or less half of those spend money on games, whether it is online casinos and betting games or regular video games. Whenever this massive money is in circulation, many nefarious thieves or scammers are out there who are bound to try to scam people.
Games are no different from the rest and these scammers try to fool the gamers to give them some cash. As now gaming has grown its popularity and scope in the recent times more than ever and the players do gaming on their consoles, computers, and mobile devices there are more chances to get scammed as well.
Playing games and gaming costs money to be clear. Many of the games even have an in-game currency that is valuable in the game to buy different power gadgets, and that is how they make thousands of sales daily. Then there is this hustle of making all the accounts in those games you have for different stores, websites, and platforms to purchase and play games. These are the reasons that if not stay cautious gamers are in for a treat.
Here are some of the common scams and liabilities players have to face and how to knock them out. For a deeper insight into how to enhance your privacy online, keep reading.
What to watch out for:
1. Phishing Fraud
This probably is one of the biggest threats that worldwide gamers are facing. Which is a product of the smooth communication with whoever is online on a gaming platform during a game and that includes pretty much everyone.
Scammers thrive on widespread and popular platforms like Xbox chat, Steam, and PSN’s live chat. It goes from offering fake skins to use in a popular game on Steam to spreading some fake girl news through a live webcam on PSN. A prevalent chat application like Discord isn’t an exception either. Bots started to send phishing messages on Discord channels in a huge mass.
Basically, the main purpose of this kind of attack is to score a clickbait and trick the users into clicking on a specific link that will infect their devices with a virus. Since most online games ask their players to buy different add-ons in order to upgrade, it can be quite easy to make a fake website that impersonates this.
Always be aware by doing your side of diligence and ensure that you are only using a credit card that offers fraud protection. Another example can be in the Steam case, where the scammer acts as if the official platform is asking for the login credentials of an account or personal information.
A rising trend among cybercriminals nowadays is to make fake game apps that mostly resemble a real game but purely are a virus to bug your device. People who play games on their mobile phones are especially at risk to fall victim to such tricks, there are also many downloadable fake games to target PCs as well.
3. Credential Stuffing
To make it simple, credential stuffing is a scam that happens when a user reuses their previous passwords. Data trespassing is a regular occurrence nowadays, and cybercriminals apply these numbers or digits on a number of platforms and accounts to see if they are able to crack it and chip in.
This also includes gaming accounts like those on Steam, Battle.net, Origin, Epic Games, Microsoft and PSN accounts, and the Xbox. If someone reuses the same password on their various accounts and somebody steals their password, their accounts are in jeopardy.
Moreover, to get access to these accounts, scammers can also take any kind of sensitive information like one’s home address and the information of credit card.
4. Cyberbullying And Online Harassment
Online Bullying is one of the new trends that is seen now among irate “gamers” who choose to make a fake call at 911 that directs the authorities to their target’s home. These kinds of bullies usually use technology like IP geolocation tools or social engineering and find where their victim lives.
5. Distributed Denial Of Service Attacks
Many of the gamers and gaming servers themselves have been the targets of massive DDOS attacks in recent years. This attack basically slows down a computer or server just by something as easy as flooding it with multiple requests. But it is quite dangerous as it can also affect the games and make them crash completely.
Tips For Preventing Attacks Targeting Gamers
Most hackers and scammers usually depend on different kinds of ploys to steal a gamer’s accounts and their in-game assets, use their credit cards, or sometimes even steal one’s identities. But to avoid all these frauds there are some basic principles that anyone can follow to enhance their online safety record.
Some tips are given below that you can adapt to prevent these kinds of attacks.
- Always set strong passwords and keep separate passwords for different accounts. If you have several accounts you can use a password manager to manage them.
- Use two-factor authentication for all of your accounts at any cost.
- If possible get a VPN app and always use it for your online activities to hide the IP address of the device. After enabling the VPN, double-check your IP address to confirm whether it has been changed or not.
- Read about phishing scams and how they work. Always be aware of such suspicious activities and don’t click on dubious links even from family and friends. Keep an eye on emails from strangers as well and don’t respond to requests or links sent in the emails.
- Never reply or respond to emails that ask for your login information and passwords confirmation.
Generally speaking, the major worries for gamers orbit things like their GPU, CPU, and gaming accessories or peripherals. While playing multiplayer games online gamers want the best internet connection to avoid the lag in gamely and frequent frame drops that can destroy the whole idea of gaming and having some fun time.
But another aspect that gamers usually tend to ignore is their online safety. As a gamer, you should take the necessary measures to ensure your privacy, security, and safety.