Playing online games, whether it’s with your friends or strangers from across the world, can be loads of fun and feel rewarding. But it can also be fraught with danger if you aren’t careful.
You may be surprised to learn just how easy it is to be taken advantage of in the online gaming world. The anonymity and convenience of the Internet make it easier than ever to lose money, property, and even your identity through fraud and scams perpetrated by other players or game companies.
While you can’t always protect yourself from this kind of thing happening, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk and increase your chances of getting what you paid for—and what you deserve—when playing games online.
This article will give 10 tips for avoiding fraud and scams in online games.
1) Protect your account from unauthorized access
Many websites have security measures so only authorized users can access accounts. Be sure your account is protected from unauthorized access by using strong passwords, changing them regularly, using two-factor authentication, and logging out of your account when you aren’t actively using it.
We recommend turning on two-factor authentication for all online games that offer it. It’s a simple process that will help prevent criminals from accessing your account if your password is ever compromised by hackers or data breaches.
2) Check the game developer’s reputation
Making informed decisions is key to staying safe online. So before you download or purchase anything, do your homework! Nothing beats good old-fashioned research when it comes to preventing a data breach.
It pays to check a developer’s reputation before you buy their game. It might seem obvious, but ensuring that the developer is legit and has a good track record can help you save time (and money) in the long run. After all, it takes only one scam experience to make you think twice about buying new games online ever again.
You can find out if the company that created the game is reputable or not by searching their name on Google, Clutch, or other search engines. Take a look at user reviews, search for information about privacy and data collection, ask friends you trust if they’ve heard of or used whatever app you’re thinking of trying, etc.
3) Don’t give out any personal information online
Never give out any personal information while playing online games. If you’re signing up for a game that requires you to pay, do it through a secure payment system such as PayPal.
Never provide your credit card, bank account, or social security number unless you are certain the website is legitimate. You never know who is on the other end of these requests and what they may do with your information.
Protecting personal details like address, phone number, birth date, social security number, and mother’s maiden name can help protect you from identity theft.
Also, don’t click on links without knowing who sends them and why. If a site asks for your personal details, contact the company first. Don’t send any money to someone you don’t know or trust.
4) Beware of offers that are too good to be true
We all love a good deal but beware of any offers that seem too good to be true. There is a chance that the offer could be fraudulent or a scam. Here are some warning signs:
- The offer sounds too generous to be real;
- The website doesn’t have contact information;
- You’re asked for your personal information before you see the product;
- You notice phishing emails where someone pretends they are from a trustworthy company;
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when there are so many scams, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5) Check your credit card bill regularly
Checking your credit card bill regularly is a great way to catch fraud. If you see any suspicious transactions, contact your bank or credit card company right away so they can help you fix the problem. You can also request a new card with a different number if you think it has been stolen.
You should also track how much money you spend on games.
6) Beware of phishing attempts
Phishing involves acquiring sensitive information such as passwords, PINs, credit card details, and other personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. These schemes typically take place through email or instant messaging.
Some common signs of a phishing attempt are messages asking you to update your account’s password, bank account number, or home address; messages that provide links that you should click on; messages claiming that you have won something; messages claiming your account has been disabled; messages asking for your login credentials.
If you receive emails requesting personal information and are unsure if they are legitimate, contact the company directly by phone or go to their website using a known browser link.
7) Play on trusted sites only
Playing on only trusted sites can help you avoid fraud and scams because a company monitors the site, it has a reputation of being trustworthy, and customer support is more reliable.
Also, playing on only trusted sites makes it easier for you to report any suspicious activity. The online gaming industry is fairly small, so all operators know each other and share information about potential cheaters or scammers.
8) Use a VPN while gaming
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a great way to protect your data while gaming online. VPNs, or virtual private networks, encrypt your internet connection by routing it through a secure server. This can help prevent people from stealing your credentials and using them for nefarious purposes.
Plus, VPNs can help you access region-specific content on websites that you may not have access to otherwise.
9) Pick games with an active community
If you invest your time, money, and personal information into a game, pick one with an active community. It’s more likely that the developer will have an account on social media like Facebook or Twitter and will be able to address your concerns quickly.
If you’re playing a game that doesn’t have an active community, be very wary of any other players who might offer you help. These are most likely scammers trying to take advantage of your inexperience. If you are desperate, get the person’s phone number or email address and look them up on Nuwber to ensure they are who they say they are.
10) Use a different email address for your gaming account
Another great way to avoid fraud or scams is by using a different email address for your gaming account. This will help you keep your personal information safe while maintaining your privacy.
If you can’t use a different email address, ensure you’re only giving out the bare minimum of the necessary information on any given form. Lastly, pay attention to what you’re clicking on.
It’s a Wrap!
One of the best things about mobile and online gaming is that it offers new ways to meet people and interact with the world around you. But unfortunately, this also means that some players will take advantage of the openness to scam others out of money or other resources.
It is imperative that you take the time to understand how the different scams work so that you can avoid being scammed. It is also important for you to have a good knowledge of what fraud is so that you know what type of activity might be suspicious.
The ten tips mentioned in this article will help you to avoid fraud and scams in online games so that you can keep your account information safe and enjoy yourself without worrying about ending up on the wrong side of a scammer’s next victim list.