The Coronavirus pandemic has forced people to sit at their homes due to the lockdown imposed by the government. During this time some of them are busy with their work from home schedule, however, there are people who are relying on video games to kill their time.
Games are one of the things that have witnessed a steep increase during the Coronavirus lockdown period. The online or multiplayer games are reaching new high and this is why it is also becoming a target for scammers and cybercriminals. This is because most of the games provide in-game currency, in-game purchases that can be bought using real money stored in wallets and more is attracting a lot of cybercriminals to attack the gamers.
But how do cybercriminals target gamers?
Folks at Norton 360 has revealed the cyberthieves are using different techniques to steal gamers’ identities, their bank accounts and credit card information. “Some scammers create fake mobile versions of popular online games. These phonies, once downloaded, install malware on victims’ phones or computers,” the report highlights.
Another method is through phishing scams that trick people to surrender their account details. Scammers pose as a company executive and they send an email telling gamers that they need to confirm their password and log-in information. Once a gamer clicks on the link, it takes them to the fake sign-in page that asks them to enter the current password and username. Interestingly, attackers are seen sending Discord QR codes that promise rewards for using them.
Once the gamer gives this information, the cybercriminal gives steal their virtual credits, online currency or real-world currency in their online wallets. “Virtual currency and the stolen accounts can then be sold on the dark web, making a significant amount of real-life money in the process, and the real-world funds in the wallets are just extracted,” the report adds.
There is another method through which the criminals tricks gamers into visiting third-party websites where they can buy add-ons to their games including weapons, new outfits and more. However, the fraudsters ask for their bank account details and once they get it, they empty the gamers’ accounts.
Furthermore, criminals can also target gamers by using their IP address. The IP address can be used to find a physical address, name, and other information. Those details can enable hackers to perform attacks that could lead to theft of financial and gaming account information or physical attacks against their residence in the form of doxxing and swatting.
How to protect yourself from cybercriminals?
Norton lists out various ways through which you can prevent the attack from cybercriminals. This includes:
Don’t respond to messages that ask for private information: It is also safe to not disclose your credit card information or bank account numbers to anyone claiming to be from the video game service. Most of the gaming companies do not ask these details over emails.
Don’t fall for password scams: This is one of the most important tips. If you receive an email that claims that your password needs to be updated, never click on it as these can be a form of phishing scams. The links usually take you to a fake page where hackers can easily gain all the accounts details. If you need to change the password, always go through the instruction given by the video game company.
Use two-factor authentication: This is one of the best ways to protect yourself from attacks. The two-factor authentication allows account password and the OTP sent to the registered number. This makes it harder for attackers to hack into your account.
Use strong passwords: It is important to use strong passwords. Always remember to use a combination of uppercase, lowercase letters along with numbers and symbols. This makes it difficult to the hackers to crack it.
Use VPN while playing online games: It is a safe thing to do. Always install and use the VPN while playing online games. This helps to mask and protect your IP address, which makes it difficult for hackers to find your location.