Online gaming is gaining popularity as technology continues to develop. Unfortunately, advanced gaming also means an increase in scams. As more users access the web, scammers and malware find more victims to prey on. Online fraud is also on the rise because the internet is accessible on more and more devices featuring tempting offers for random deals or Spectrum internet prices. Today, gaming scams have evolved and progressed.
They’re not as easy to detect now. Most users aren’t even aware when they’re being scammed. Scammers are finding new, innovative ways to get personal information, billing details, and financial data. This is why the internet is a terrifying place to be associated with within the modern world. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways you can enjoy online gaming without having to worry about common scams. Here’s how you can do this.
1. Activate Two Factor Authentication
Enabling Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA visibly reduces your chances of being attacked by scams and malware when gaming online. This feature acts as double protection. It offers you an added layer of safety and verification. When you log into an application or website, it sends you a code via email or your phone number to ensure that it’s you.
Once you confirm your identity, only then will it let you gain access. So, it’s important to activate this feature wherever you can. Whatever device or app you’re using should be protected with two-factor authentication.
Many popular apps today, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, use this as an added measure of safety for their users.
2. Download Anti-Virus Software
This step is crucial to ensure that you’re protected against scams. Anti-virus programs are often the first step towards cybersecurity and data protection. When you download such software, your device is regularly scanned for any sign of malware. If it detects any suspicious activity, the software instantly alerts you. It then proceeds to fight off any viruses, hackers, and malware.
Anti-virus programs also warn you against downloading suspicious items off the internet. This is especially important for gaming because a lot of additional downloads are required for online games. Popular anti-virus programs include Bitdefender, Norton, BullGuard, Panda, and McAfee, among others.
3. Only Use Official Websites to Download or Play Games
The internet can be a very dark and dangerous place. Yes, it has a lot to offer, but it can also take the same amount from you. There are hundreds of fake websites operating as official online gaming sites on the internet. They look so authentic that it’s hard for users to identify that they’re pirated. This is why users can become easy victims of scams today.
It’s essential always to ensure that the website you’re downloading content from is authentic and verified. This can be determined simply by Googling the details of the site. Also, fake websites tend to have sloppy features and visuals. If this is the case, dismiss use immediately.
Moreover, even when using official websites, there are chances you’ll get directions to open third-party websites. Never click on such links. These are the easiest way scammers can get to you.
4. Avoid Sharing Personal Information Online
This one sounds like a no-brainer. But it’s surprising how many gamers get scammed because of this factor. And it’s not entirely their fault either. Scams exist in creative, hard-to-detect ways today. So, it’s easy to get carried away with questions related to personal details. However, always avoid such questions, especially if they require your financial or address details.
Apart from this, make sure your password is not made up of similar private information. This means your name, phone number, security number, etc. These are simple to guess and provide easy access to user accounts and data. Additionally, avoid websites or platforms that ask for sensitive details via email or text.
Official companies and websites will never have such interactions through platforms like text or email.
5. Look Out for Fake Cheat Codes and Upgrades
Online gaming is becoming increasingly competitive today. This results in many gamers resorting to cheating codes to gain a head start. Several games require users to earn power-ups for a better chance at winning challenges and matches. So, many gamers are always searching for such cheat codes and upgrades that give them an edge.
Scammers prey on such gamers. They take advantage of this competitive side of online gaming and build fake codes and upgrades to grab gamers’ attention. This way, gamers easily fall prey to counterfeit codes and power-ups. They download suspicious, inauthentic links from sites that have no credibility. This makes them easy targets for malware, viruses, and scams.
6. Remain Wary of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are prevalent on the internet today. But they are widespread in the world of online gaming. Scammers carry this out by typically emailing their victims. They warn them that their bank or card account will be sealed if they don’t activate them. For activation to work, these emails or texts also provide a link to gamers.
This is where the scamming usually begins to take off. The link opens up a website closely resembling the official bank website. Here, gamers are asked to fill out private information related to financial details, house addresses, and personal information. Once all this is filled in, scammers can use these details for their dark purposes. They can block or access bank accounts, forge a new identity or even sell accounts on the dark web.
To avoid this, never take such emails and texts seriously. Remember, the official website would never ask for such information. And even if they did, it wouldn’t be over text. So, keep yourself safe and avoid such traps.
How To Report a Scammer
Let your family and friends know about this gaming fraud-related article by sharing it on social media. You can also officially report any scammer or suspicious activity to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) using this link:
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Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other important articles below, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the comments section below to expose other fraudsters.
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