10 Gaming Scams To Avoid Today

gaming scams

Gaming Scams: How They Work and How to Protect Yourself

The amount of gaming scams is growing significantly by the day, as many experiences are gamified lately. Therefore, staying aware of fraud is crucial for a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. A gaming Virtual Private Network can be an effective strategy for enhancing online security while gaming. A VPN, like ExpressVPN, helps mask your IP address and encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for scammers to target your personal information or location.

This added layer of security is instrumental in preventing attacks like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), which are common in the gaming world. Moreover, a VPN can help bypass geo-restrictions, allowing access to games and servers that might be unavailable in your region.

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  1. Guard.io (100): Surf the web safely. Clean up your browser, remove malicious extensions and check for privacy violations.
  2. Incogni.com (100): Delete your personal data from the internet and protect against scams and identity theft.
  3. ExpressVPN (100) Stay secure and anonymous online - Best VPN Out There

Here are 10 gaming scams you should know. I will also share detailed tips on avoiding them.

1. Credential Stuffing

This scam involves hackers using stolen username and password combinations from previous data breaches to access your gaming accounts.

Always use unique, strong passwords for each gaming account to protect yourself. Consider using a password manager to keep track of these passwords.

Watch the video below to see the most prevalent scams besides the Credential Stuffing one – or keep reading:

2. Gaming Malware Downloads

Malware, often disguised as legitimate games or software updates, can infect your device, compromising your personal information.

To avoid this, download games directly from trusted platforms such as Steam, Origin, or the developer’s website. Regularly updating your antivirus software can also provide an additional layer of security.

online games fraud

3. Fake Cheat Codes and Power-Ups

Scammers often entice gamers with offers of cheat codes, power-ups, or exclusive game features in exchange for payment. However, these offers are often fraudulent.

To avoid falling prey, only purchase game add-ons from official game stores or directly within the game itself.

4. Phishing Scams

Phishing attempts might come in emails or texts pretending to be from well-known gaming platforms requesting your personal information.

Honest companies will never ask for passwords or sensitive information via email or text. Always verify the authenticity of such communications before responding.

5. International Call Scam

Some mobile games, once downloaded, can make unauthorized international calls from your device, leading to hefty phone bills—download apps only from reputable app stores like Google Play or the Apple App Store to prevent this.

Regularly review your phone bill for any unusual charges.

6. Unlimited Downloads Scam

Here, scammers offer access to unlimited game downloads for a fee. These offers often lead to pirated or malware-infected games.

Legitimate game downloads rarely come with such requests and stick to known, reputable gaming platforms.

7. Online Casino Scams

In these scams, players are enticed to spend real money on online games, such as poker or blackjack, on unregulated sites. These platforms can be dangerous, often leading to monetary loss or data theft.

Do thorough research on any online gaming site, checking for reviews and legitimacy before engaging in play.

8. Phishing via Online Games

This variant of phishing targets gamers with emails asking them to confirm account details or password changes, redirecting them to fake login pages. To avoid this, never click on links in unsolicited emails.

Instead, go directly to the game’s official website for any account changes.

9. Sale of Virtual Assets

This involves the trade of virtual game assets or currencies, which could be stolen or non-existent. Avoid trading in-game assets outside official game platforms.

If you choose to trade, do it through trusted, secure channels and be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true.

10. Paid to Test Games Scam

Scammers lure victims with offers of paid opportunities to test games. They then ask for upfront payments for training or access to job lists.

Game developers or publishers usually offer legitimate game testing jobs and don’t require an upfront payment.

Additional Safety Tips

Here are some safety measures that I could share with you:

  • Regularly update your gaming devices and software to protect against the latest security threats.
  • Be cautious about sharing personal information in gaming forums or social media groups.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible for an added layer of security on your gaming accounts.
  • Educate yourself about the latest scams by connecting with gaming communities and forums.

By being vigilant and following these guidelines, you can enjoy gaming while safeguarding your personal information and finances. If an offer or situation in the gaming world seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay safe and game wisely.

What Are The Most Popular Online Games?

The most popular games played worldwide in the gaming industry include a variety of genres and platforms. The top 15 games based on different metrics such as revenue, player base, and viewership are:

  1. Fortnite: It is a battle royale game with a large and dedicated player base and one of the most-followed games on Twitch. According to various sources, the number of registered users is estimated to be around 400 to 450 million. The game has seen an average of 223 million monthly players, with a peak player number in a single day reaching almost 25 million. Many use a Fortnite VPN to play.
  2. Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTAV): Known for its open-world gameplay and online multiplayer mode, it is trendy and has a significant following on platforms like Twitch. According to a report from 2023, GTA 5 had 2.1 million monthly active users. Another report from the same year suggests that the game has over 140 million players.
  3. Minecraft: A sandbox game that allows players to build and explore virtual worlds, with a massive player base and a strong presence on various gaming platforms. Minecraft has approximately 600 million registered users and hit a new record with 141 million monthly active users in 2021. The game has seen steady growth, with over 130 million people playing Minecraft once a month in 2020 and over 166 million total active players in 2023.
  4. League of Legends: A famous multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game with a vast global player base and a prominent presence in the esports scene.
  5. Call of Duty: A long-standing and successful first-person shooter franchise with a large and dedicated fan base.
  6. Final Fantasy XVI: A highly anticipated role-playing game developed by Square Enix for the PlayStation.
  7. Street Fighter 6: The latest installment in the iconic fighting game series developed by Capcom, available on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
  8. FIFA 23: The next iteration of the famous football simulation game by Electronic Arts, available on various platforms, including Xbox, PC, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
  9. Dead Space: An upcoming release from Electronic Arts, known for its survival horror genre, is set to be available on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
  10. Madden NFL 23: Another anticipated title from Electronic Arts, part of the long-running American football game series, available on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
  11. Elden Ring: A highly awaited action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, available on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation.
  12. Mario Kart 8: A popular racing game developed by Nintendo, exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch.
  13. The Last of Us: Part I: A critically acclaimed action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog, exclusively available on PC and PlayStation.
  14. Battle Royale (Season 4): A popular mode in various games, known for its intense multiplayer competition and survival gameplay.
  15. Genshin Impact: An open-world action role-playing game with a vast and dedicated player base, available on multiple platforms and known for its gacha game mechanics.

most popular online games

These games represent a mix of genres and have achieved global popularity across different platforms. That is including PC, console, and mobile devices. The gaming industry is diverse, and the popularity of games can vary based on other factors such as region, platform, and time.

How To Report a Gaming Scam

Warn your family and friends know about these gaming scams. Feel free to share the article if it was helpful. You can report gaming fraus and any suspicious activity officially to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI Internet Complaint Center by using the pages below:

Report To The FTC
Submit Claim To The Office of the Inspector General
Report To The FBI Internet Complaints Center

How To Protect Yourself More

Do you want to receive alerts about the most notorious scams on a regular basis? Subscribe to our scam alerts. You will receive periodic emails from Scam Detector with exclusive tips. Those will include info on how to prevent fraud and insights about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.

Feel free to explore additional articles on gaming related fraud. You can find them listed below this paragraph, so that you know more about online security. Last but not least, if you had any bad experiences, use the comments section below to expose other gaming scammers.

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

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