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How to Avoid Online Gaming Scams

How to Avoid Online Gaming Scams

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You walk into your house after a long, stressful day at work. You’ve got some pizza, beers, and snacks. All you want to do right now is throw on your headphones, get online, and start a campaign with your best pals. It’s a great way to spend an evening, and you should relax and enjoy your time online. At the same time, this is still the internet, and the potential for being scammed exists. Here are some ways to avoid becoming a victim.

Know What’s at Risk

What can you lose if you get scammed playing games online? There are a few categories of items that could be at risk.

In-Game Assets

You’ve spent a lot of money to stack up skins, currency, and other virtual merchandise. Now, imagine logging in to play and seeing all of that gone. That may happen if your account is hacked or you participate in a fraudulent transaction.

Your Identity

Not all scammers are interested in the game itself. They are here to access your personally identifying information through social engineering or by accessing your account.

Your Account or Progress

For some scammers, it’s more about being cruel and destructive than it is about making any sort of financial gain. These people will hack into your account simply to destroy worlds you’ve built or other progress you’ve made. They may even sabotage your standings on gaming platforms and with your teammates.

Your Money

If you’ve attached a payment method to any gaming platform or account, that is also at risk. Someone could potentially gain access to your card or bank account and drain your funds.

Your Mental Health And Sense of Safety

Scammers often use social engineering and pretexts as a way to commit fraud. They may befriend you in chat rooms, game lobbies, or on Discord servers. The idea is to make you feel comfortable, gain your trust, and access your personal information.

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Then, they use this directly or indirectly to access your gaming account or financial information. Some may even use the information and your trust to bully, stalk, or harass you.

Steps to Avoid Being Scammed

Now you know what’s at stake. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

Don’t Game For Romance

Too many people are targeted for scams by people who pretend to have a romantic interest in them. Sure, some people find their happily-ever-after relationships in online games, but that’s pretty rare. When it does happen, it takes time and develops naturally. If you want to find a romantic partner who loves gaming like you, try the Hily app. Then, have them join you on your favorite gaming platform.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Passwords are easier to hack than people realize. You should still choose a strong password for all of your gaming accounts, but back that up by choosing multi-factor authentication where it’s available.

Don’t Add a Payment Method

It’s convenient to have your card tied to your gaming account. You’re in the middle of a game, and want to make a purchase? The transaction is finished in just a couple of seconds. Unfortunately, that makes it just as easy for hackers to access your card info and use it to make unauthorized purchases. Give up a bit of convenience to keep your bank data safe. When you’re prompted to save your card info, say no. You can use a reputable digital wallet instead.

See Also

Play by The Rules

Love is one thing that can lead to scams. Greed is another. If you are approached with an offer to access a cheat of some sort, be very careful. It isn’t just bad sportsmanship to access items or features you haven’t earned; it’s risky. Doing so often means giving another person access to your account, and there’s a good chance the person making the offer doesn’t have good intentions.

Report Suspicious Behaviors

What if you’ve already been scammed or someone has engaged in suspicious behavior? Protect yourself and others by making a complaint through proper channels.

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Yes, it can be embarrassing if you feel as if you are gullible. But this may be the only way to recover what you’ve lost and prevent the same thing from happening to other gamers.

Don’t Share Your Account

It seems harmless at first. You share your account with a friend to show them a new game. Or, you give them the information so they can jump on and help you beat a level. Maybe your friend isn’t as trustworthy as you think they are. Even if they intend no harm, your login is now only as safe as their home PC is. Who knows if someone else has access to that or if they may decide to use your account and fall for a scam?

Just a Bit of Caution

None of this is meant to scare anyone away from enjoying online gaming. This is a fun hobby and a great way to blow off steam. Simply exercise a bit of caution and common sense to ensure that you won’t be the victim of a scammer.