Gaming

Fraud in online gaming and how to prevent it!

Over the last few decades, the internet has grown far beyond what anyone ever predicted. There are now over 5 billion people online, and they are busy gaming, shopping, browsing, and socializing. But in some ways, the internet has become a victim of its own success. As user numbers swell and more financial transactions take place, criminals become more interested in exploiting it. But that doesn’t mean we need to stop using it. There are ways we can be more aware of the risks and even mitigate them, thus making our gaming experience more enjoyable.

In this article, we will look at some of the most common forms of fraud in online gaming and how you can take steps to reduce the risks.

Account takeovers

Account takeover fraud is a criminal act whereby a nefarious actor gains access to someone’s account without their permission. For example, if you set up your gaming account and use it regularly but one day find yourself locked out because the password has been changed without your knowledge, you are a victim of takeover fraud.

The fraudster will typically make changes to details such as the password, mobile number, email address, and even name to gain total control of the account. They would then use it for illegal purposes such as money laundering, stealing money, making unauthorized purchases, or generally impersonating the real owner. These attacks can come due to the fraudster buying credentials, trying to guess login details, or exploiting existing security vulnerabilities. There are several key ways to mitigate the risks. Using a complex password, not falling for phishing scams, and preventing account takeovers with SEON are just some examples.

In the latter’s case, this fraud detection software can help you identify suspicious logins while tightening your own security. This is one of the leading ways to prevent such takeovers and to keep your gaming account safe and secure in your hands.

Identity theft

Identity theft is rife, and up to 47 million people in the US experience it, with that number rising to hundreds of millions globally. As the number of internet users grows and they keep spending money via cards and payment processors, interest from criminals will continue to rise. Identity theft is when a criminal uses another individual’s name, address, and other personal data without their knowledge and/or permission. This data is often used to open an account, get credit cards, or even loans that are never repaid.

Fraud in online gaming and how to prevent it!

Sadly, the consequences of such actions can be catastrophic for the victim, including bad credit, court action, and difficulties in relieving themselves of the liabilities. When visiting gaming sites, it is important to only hand over personal information to reputable sites that are secure and encrypted.

Additionally, do not store sensitive information on your PC or mobile without strong password protection. You should also be cautious in giving out information via email or social media to anyone who says they are from a specific company. If in doubt, always reach out to the company via official channels and check.

Cloned websites

Another threat that Chrome is working on that plagues the gaming sector, as well as other sectors,, is that of cloned websites. Imagine a popular gaming site with millions of visitors a day and a well-recognized brand. Now imagine a nefarious actor cloning that website. Hence, it appears exactly the same as the original and assigning it to an almost identical domain, save for one letter or a different ending.

Fraud in online gaming and how to prevent it!

This scenario causes a huge problem for innocent users who are often tricked into handing over their personal details, card numbers, and various other bits of sensitive information such as passwords. Cloned websites can be very hard to spot as the whole point is that they are almost entirely identical to the real thing. The most obvious sign something is up, however, is any discrepancy in the domain name. This and design features being slightly “off”, links not working, or requests for more information than you have previously given are all red flags.

Malware and viruses

One of the biggest challenges facing the online sector, including gaming and gambling, is that of the rise of malicious software. Viruses come in many shapes and forms and can be disastrous for victims. For example, ransomware can install itself on your device and demand payment of a hefty sum to release it or not to delete/use personal information. Malware is software designed to attack a device to disrupt it, delete data, or otherwise gaining unauthorized access.

Other kinds of viruses go completely undetected and lay in wait, siphoning off personal information such as passwords, card details, and identity documents. There are many other kinds of computer viruses that can unleash havoc and chaos on unsuspecting users. One way to prevent this kind of situation is by not downloading anything from an unknown source. When downloading an app, stick to the official app store and do not download from links sent via social media, email, or that are found on unofficial websites. You should also be cautious when visiting sites you are not familiar with- if in doubt, check the URL to make sure it sounds correct and does not contain any spelling mistakes. Last but not least, invest in an antivirus checker, keep it up to date, and run scans on all of your devices regularly.

The increase of criminals in the online space will not decline. As consumers and users of the internet, all we can do is build our knowledge of the threats and arm ourselves with the tools we need to protect ourselves. This comes in the form of identifying risks, knowing our own vulnerabilities, and using software and programs that can add additional layers of security. It is also important to always be alert, and if something seems suspicious or too good to be true, the chances are it is.

The gaming world is particularly vulnerable due to its increasing popularity and the literally high stakes. Bear this in mind when you log on, but don’t forget to still have fun!

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