Many of the subscription pay scams they target children. They know that minors are not going to read the fine print of any contract and cheating them is a piece of cake for them. How? Well creating fake app stores. Some of them are an exact copy of the Google Play Store, although there are also clone stores of the iOS App Store looking for the same type of victims.
In this way, when a minor falls on one of these websites and makes click on «Install»Instead of getting the download, it is forwarded to a second website. The scam has just startedWell, this second portal will tell us to share a message by WhatsApp to 3 of our contacts in order to complete the download. The screen will not let us advance until we have completed the process. Our contacts from WhatsApp they will receive a message with the text «DOWNLOAD FORTNITE NOW IN ANY ANDROID» together with a link to a website to continue doing viral the fraud.
They are using Fortnite to FOOL thousands of kids.
The mechanics that follow is the following:
1) You will receive a message from a friend via WhatsApp:
DOWNLOAD FORTNITE NOW ON ANY ANDROID + a link to: https://t.co/caHcL6OpfS
Take to this page pic.twitter.com/hs3sr3S7NQ
– Mara Turing (@MaraTuring) May 27, 2020
Then after submitting the third link, we will be redirected to Game Zentral, which is allegedly a subscription service that offers quality guides and tips. A somewhat dubious website, by the way. An image of Fortnite will appear along with a dialog box to introduce our phone number. Many may think that this is finally the final step to download the game, however, it is the materialization of the scam. Once the number has been entered, Game Zentral will send us a confirmation SMS with a code. When you enter it on the web and press the “continue” button, Game Zentral will begin to charge us 3.99 euros per week through our phone bill, that is, 15.96 euros per month. Almost the price we would pay for a monthly Netflix membership in 4K resolution.
Yes we access the web, either with the mobile or with our computer from a Wi-Fi connection, a pop-up will block our access telling us that we should access the web with a connection 4G. From the PC it is possible to circumvent this system and access the source code of the page to be able to read the guides. There is content from most successful video games, such as Warzone, Call of Duty: Vanguard, Valorant or even a guide to get the perfect island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nevertheless, are empty contents, with almost no relevant information for the user. Its only function is that we enter our telephone number to proceed to pass us a weekly receipt.
How to unsubscribe from Game Zentral?
If you are affected by this problem, there are several ways to unsubscribe from Game Zentral:
• By clicking on the button ‘Cancel’ when you access the portal from your mobile.
• Calling customer service phone 900264441 and following the cancellation processing instructions.
• Sending an e-mail addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the withdrawal.
How can I avoid a scam like Game Zentral?
Obviously, we are talking about Game Zentral, but there is hundreds of such scams on the Internet, so it will be easy for our children to fall without realizing it in one of these networks. In addition, not all of them are going to make it easy for us to process the cancellation. To avoid this type of situation, we recommend that you do the following procedures:
- Don’t download anything outside of the Google Play Store: the Google store, integrated into our Android system, is a secure ecosystem in terms of content downloads. It’s the only Android app repository we can trust.
- Block Unknown Sources option in Android Settings. This function prevents you from being able to install any APK (Android executable) from outside the Play Store. By default it is disabled, but if it is enabled in your terminal, you must go to Settings> Security> Device Management> Unknown Sources and uncheck this option. Finally, you should establish some kind of security or parental control to prevent your children from manipulating this parameter.
- Deactivate payments to third parties in your operator– It’s the only way to be protected from a subscription pay scam.
How to disable payments to third parties
If you have managed to sneak a scam of this type, you should know that you can nip the problem in the bud preventing payments to third parties from your mobile operator. This service is activated by default in most operators, and can be deactivate to avoid future scares on our phone bill.
The easiest way to disable third-party payments is call our operator by phone and request it from the agent that assists us. We can also go to the physical store from our operator and request it there. They will solve the problem in a matter of minutes, since it is a procedure that they usually do on a daily basis. Still, we can do the procedure by Internet In a simple way.
Deactivate payments to third parties in Movistar
To unsubscribe from an active subscription, go to Movistar website and identify yourself. Then go to the section of Subscriptions and click on “unsubscribe” to remove a service. They will send you an SMS to confirm the process. Next, you should complete the operation by filling in the Online Payment Form. However, you can do the last step calling 1004 and commenting on the problem to one of the Telefónica agents.
Disable payments to third parties in Orange
For disable Orange Pay, you must access the Orange customer area or to the mobile app. In your line settings, you can access Orange Pay and disable “third party services”.
Disable payments to third parties in Vodafone
Accede to My Vodafone and go to the Options> Third party payments. From there you will have to deactivate the option «Allow payments to content portals », which is in charge of managing this type of premium SMS subscriptions and services.