Unveiling the Fraud Risks Lurking in Online Video Games

Female video game player seated and playing a video game

(3 Minute Read) — Online video games have become more than just a form of entertainment; they’re now virtual worlds with real-world consequences. Anyone who’s played a game online knows that their personal information is linked to their user IDs, payment methods, and even standard security questions. This valuable information about you puts you at risk for fraud. 

One of the most common fraud tactics in online gaming is phishing. Fraudsters use fake emails, websites, or in-game messages to trick players into sharing their login credentials or personal information. These phishing attempts often look like communication from game developers or publishers. 

Once they have your login credentials, hackers can access your gaming accounts and linked financial accounts. Phishing attacks can extend beyond individual players, targeting entire gaming communities or forums. 

With in-game purchases becoming more common, online gaming platforms have become prime targets for payment fraud. Fraudsters use stolen credit card information, identity theft details, or account takeover tactics to make unauthorized purchases within games, which can cause extensive financial harm. 

It’s also important to note, many fraudsters are in other countries, using the dark web, which makes it difficult to discover and prevent payment fraud. In some cases, you may not even notice until you get your credit card statement or find billing discrepancies. 

How to Protect Yourself from Online Gaming Fraud 

You need to be vigilant and take proactive measures to safeguard your accounts and personal information. Here are some essential tips to mitigate the risks: 

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Adding an extra layer of security to your gaming accounts with 2FA can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access. 
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts: Use caution when receiving unsolicited emails, messages, or links claiming to be from gaming companies. Always verify the authenticity of communication before sharing sensitive information. 
  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Avoid using the same password across multiple accounts and create complex passwords that are difficult to guess. Consider using a password manager to securely store and manage your credentials. 
  • Monitor Account Activity: Regularly review your gaming account activity and financial transactions for any suspicious or unauthorized behavior. Report any fraud to Unitus immediately. 
  • Stay Informed: Stay on top of the latest security threats and best practices for online gaming security through official announcements, forums, and reputable cybersecurity resources. 

By understanding the risks of online gaming and taking proactive security measures, you can better protect yourself against fraud. If you notice suspicious activity on any Unitus account, credit card or debit card, we are here to help. Contact us immediately using a method below: 

  1. Visit our Virtual Branch to live chat or video chat instantly. 
  1. Call us at 503-227-5571 or 1-800-452-0900 to get help from a Member Service Specialist. 
  1. To report lost or stolen debit or credit card after business hours, call 503-423-8315 or 1-800-422-3132 (option 2). 

We also encourage you to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. government agency tasked with investigating deceptive or unfair business practices. This will help protect other innocent people from fraud. 

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