The growth of the internet and digital platforms has allowed industries to thrive, and the online gaming industry is no exception.
In 2018, the global gaming industry consisted of 2.3 billion consumers, who spent almost $ 138 billion (roughly R2.005 trillion) on games.
Whereas before it only appealed to younger men, nowadays people of all genders and ages are playing games online for entertainment or even professionally.
As the online gambling industry has grown, so have scammers who know gamers are vulnerable and use social engineering to exploit them and steal money using bogus apps and websites.
Online gaming scams are used to steal personal information and can take many forms. Scammers can send you a link to click to download a game file which then installs malware on your device that logs your keystrokes.
Another tactic is account takeover where scammers exploit an online gaming account to send other innocent players free skins and points when they enter their username and password.
Additionally, players could be offered free trials or other “freebies”, such as weapons or tokens, if they click on a link.
There are even bogus gaming apps that can be downloaded at a cost from Google Play or the App Store on your cell phone.
Fake competitive video games are also prevalent and are designed with the intention of fooling users into paying fraudulent entry fees and stealing personal banking information. Finally, legitimate online gaming marketplaces can sell stolen or fake “keys”.
• Never click on links in unsolicited emails, even if it is an online game that you recognize.
• Don’t blindly believe the content of unsolicited emails. If you are concerned about what is alleged, use your details to contact the sender to confirm.
• Beware of spam messages in your players’ mailboxes.
• Only download online games or expansion packs from the website you know and make sure it is a legitimate version.
• Always check the developer’s name on legitimate websites or platforms to verify if a game is genuine.
• Create strong, complicated passwords that are not easy to crack and change often.
• Protect your login credentials for your online gaming account.
• Be careful who you befriend in online gaming communities, and never share any personal information with anyone you gamble against online.
• Trust your gut feelings – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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