According to the study, the typical user spends 14 hours per week onscreen, and gamers are spending more time and money in-game than ever before.
“Add to that an atmosphere in which dealing with and trusting strangers has become somewhat normalised, and you have a rich setting ripe for a fraudster’s plucking,” Robinson explained.
The intricacy of the frauds varies. According to Lloyds, one of the most prevalent forms of purchase scams reported by its clients is gaming console fraud, in which scammers mislead victims into purchasing devices that they never get.
One prevalent type of crime includes fraudsters duping users into installing malware onto their device, typically by promoting game add-ons at a lower price than the legitimate channels charge.
Phishing exercises, in which players are convinced to give over vital personal data via emails and in-game conversations, are also popular, and some gangs are even utilizing the platforms to recruit money mules — bank clients who consent to have money deposited into their accounts.
One 20-year-old gamer interviewed for the study claimed to receive a message that an unexpected login to their gaming console account had occurred from Saudi Arabia. “When I went to access my account, I discovered that my email address had been altered and that I had been shut out… It was discovered that the fraudster had changed the name, email, password, and other account data, while also being able to spend money on the debit card linked to my account.”
The code, which is a collection of rules to assist gamers to protect themselves, will encourage users to “Shield,” which is an acronym for acts such as screening interactions with strangers and concealing personal information. The UK trade organization for gaming firms, Ukie, stated that the rule will assist gamers to be more cautious. “Games are a highly popular form of entertainment for all ages,” said Jo Twist, the company’s CEO. “Games firms work incredibly hard to ensure players have a secure and pleasant experience within games itself.”
“Malicious fraudsters, on the other hand, are always seeking for opportunities to defraud consumers in an online environment.”
Action Fraud, the organization that gathers fraud reports, issued a warning three years ago that crooks were targeting Fortnite gamers.
In most cases, players saw an advertisement on a social networking site promising free V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game money, provided they clicked a link and supplied certain information.
The information was used to log into the game and rack up costs, or to sell the accounts to other gamers. The frauds cost each gamer an average of £146.