(Last Updated On: September 6, 2020)

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Guide: Fraudsters Targeting Online Gamers

Don’t Let FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. Ruin Your Fun – SCARS Warns Against Scammers Targeting Online Gamers!

This is a warning for parents and online gamers themselves of the risk of fraud involving Steam Cards and Fortnite.

  • In the United Kingdom, U.K. Police report that between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, they received reports of Fortnite related fraud, with an average of £146 per victim.
  • In the same period, the U.K. Police received reports of Steam Card fraudCard Fraud Card Fraud is one of the most commonly referenced fraud definitions. It occurs when a fraudster uses a card (debit or credit) to make a purchase without the authorization of the cardholder. Card fraud can occur in-person or through digital channels., with an average of £123.88 per victim.

While this is just the tip of the iceberg, the real level of scamming associated with online games is staggering and growing. Why? Because game players of every type are far more unsuspecting the potential victims of other types of scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.. Plus these victims – at least 5 times out of 10 – are children.

HOW IS FORTNITE FRAUD HAPPENING?

According to CNN:

You were just getting used to your kid’s obsession with “Fortnite,” and now, all you hear about is V-Bucks. V-Bucks, like Robux on Roblox, are “Fortnite’s” in-game currency. Players use them to buy the fun “skins” (characters and outfits) and “emotes” (those hilarious dances like “Flossing” and “Take the L”) that kids will say they totally need to make “Fortnite” even cooler. For the record: You don’t need V-Bucks to play “Fortnite,” and if you do spring for them, they cost real money. Also, online scammers are all over V-Bucks.

“Fortnite’s” incredible popularity among kids has made it an easy target for rip-off artists trying to make some actual bucks while the game is hot. A recent study from online security company ZeroFox discovered more than 4,700 fake “Fortnite” websites, and the company sent out more than 50,000 security alerts about “Fortnite” scams in a single month. Kids are particularly vulnerable to requests to turn over personal information, including names and email addresses or even credit card numbers. Here’s how you can spot the scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. and protect your kids.

What To Watch Out For

V-Bucks generators. “V-Bucks generators” are one of the biggest online “Fortnite” scams. These are often websites that offer people points for watching or clicking on ads, and these points can supposedly be traded in for free V-Bucks within “Fortnite.” Not only do these free V-Bucks never appear, these sites often try to collect people’s Fortnite usernames and passwords or have them take surveys where they submit personal data under the pretense of verifying that they’re human.

Fake Domains

Similar to V-Bucks generators, there are also tons of sites that offer free V-Bucks or trick people into buying fake ones. These fake domains mimic developer Epic Games’ and Fortnite’s real styles, colors, and fonts to fool people. Some even put “Fortnite” in the URL. These sites also collect personal information, but they often go a step further indirectly charging a credit card or bank account.

Social Media Scams

One of the most popular ways that scams are spread is through social media. Fake sites and V-Bucks generators often encourage people to share their links to get more points, which helps expose the scam to more people. Plus, these links often direct users to suspicious appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. and malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. that can also target your kid’s personal information.

Youtube Video Scams

Similar to link-sharing scams on social media, there are tons of YouTube videos offering free V-Bucks and more. These fake videos and accounts have millions of views and send gamers to other sketchy sites.

Fake Android Apps

After Epic Games made the controversial decision not to offer their Android app in the Google Play Store, scammers took advantage by putting up fake “Fortnite” apps. Although they’re designed to look like “Fortnite,” they’re really data theft and malware distributors in disguise.

Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed

Talk to your kids about how to spot and avoid “Fortnite” scams and other scams online. Here are some tips to keep your kid’s information private and your money safe:
Be cautious when you give out private information. Tell kids to check with you before filling out forms, quizzes, registration pages, and the like on a website or app. For older kids, teach them to think carefully about why a site or app might want your data.

Only spend real money through official platforms.PlayStation, Xbox, Epic Games’ official website, and the official “Fortnite” app are the only places to buy V-Bucks. Anything else is a scam.

Double-check URLs and domain names. Talk to kids about scams and how some sites or apps look very similar to the official ones but are designed to trick you into giving up money or information. Domain names and URLs might have only one letter or symbol that’s different from the original, so look carefully.

Fraudsters Are Targeting Victims In Many Other Ways

These include asking for people’s phone numbers in return for Vbucks to then sign the victim up to a premium rate subscription service, selling access to other people’s Fortnite accounts, and offering VBucks for free then actually charging for it.

HOW IS STEAM CARD FRAUD HAPPENING?

There has also been a spike in fraudsters requesting Steam Cards as a way to gain upfront fees from unsuspecting victims.

Victims are being called by scammers, claiming to be from well-known organizations. The victims are instructed to purchase Steam Cards in order to pay for the processing of tax refunds or rebates, PPI refunds, administrative costs for processing loans and for providing anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software.

As with iTunes gift cards, the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. doesn’t require the physical Steam Card to redeem the value. Instead, the victim is asked to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.

Remember

It is vital that both parents and those playing games online be able to spot the signs of fraud, as fraudsters and scammers will go to great lengths to try to steal your money.  It is also important that parents make their children aware of the threat of fraud online.  If they are downloading or purchasing game add-ons, make sure you use the official websites only. You should never reveal your password or banking details to someone you don’t know, or be tempted to click on links to unknown sites or apps.

  • No government department will ever ask for payment in the form of Steam Cards, or any other gift card, such as iTunes.
  • Always question requests for personal or financial information. The promise of ‘free’ vouchers or credits is a common tactic used by scammers to persuade people to give out sensitive, personal or financial details.
  • Listen to your instincts – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

Every Report Matters

Every Report Matters – If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks., report it to us (see below) online and to your national police such as the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. (www.IC3.gov) of in the UK to ActionFraun (www.actionfraud.police.uk)

 

SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 
SCARS™ Team

A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

TAGS: Online Gamers, Online Gamers, Gaming Scams, Gaming Fraud, Steam Cards, Fortnite, Game Apps, App Scams, fraudsters, Scammers, Scams, Online Fraud,


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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI (www.IC3.gov »)
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »

 

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Please be sure to report all scammers HERE » or on www.Anyscam.com »

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