Video game players are being warned to be on the alert for scams, as Lloyds Bank reveals a fifth have been the victim – or know a victim – of a gaming-related scam.
Sophisticated fraudsters are using online gaming as a new way to target victims. Gaming surged during the pandemic, with the average player spending 14 hours a week on games such as Fortnite.
Fraudsters trick gamers into handing over personal information through emails and in-game chats. They also con gamers into downloading software plug-ins that install malware on to devices.
Warning: Gaming surged during the pandemic, with the average player spending 14 hours a week on games such as Fortnite
The bank is rolling out digital literacy lesson plans to more than 9,000 teachers in partnership with UK gaming association Ukie.
Philip Robinson, fraud prevention director at Lloyds, says: 'Scammers are looking for new opportunities to trick people out of their money, and video gaming is no exception.
'These are often criminal gangs who don't care about who they defraud and will happily groom young players to gain trust and access their personal information.'
Video gamer Max Daniels, 28, lost £100 to a scam. The communications consultant found two of his favourite games on sale at an online marketplace. He says: 'I agreed to pay half the asking price upfront and the rest when we met to hand over the games. But when I turned up, the seller was not there. Their online profile also vanished and their phone number didn't work, so I knew I had been scammed.'
Lloyds encourages gamers to be wary of approaches online from strangers, hide personal information, check before making gaming-related purchases or downloads, password protect their gaming network, and delink their bank details from gaming accounts.