Police warning over fraudsters targeting children on Fortnite
FRAUDSTERS are targeting children who play the massively popular online video game Fortnite.
Cheshire Police are backing a warning aimed at parents of young gamers.
Scammers have been offering the lure of free Vbucks – the virtual currency used to pay for addons within the game – as a way of accessing people’s accounts.
A police spokesperson said: “Do you or your kids play Fortnite? Beware of fraudsters offering free Vbucks. They will seek access to your account and create charges or may ask for your phone number and sign you up to premium rate subscriptions. Be careful with your personal data.”
Action Fraud received 35 reports of Fortnite related fraud, with a total loss off £5,119 or an average of £146 per victim, in the last financial year.
In the same period, Action Fraud received 37 reports of fraud relating to Steam Cards – gaming gift cards – with a total loss of £44,455.98, an average of £123.88 per victim.
Action Fraud has seen reports, made mainly by parents on behalf of children, of fraudsters taking advantage of Fortnite gamers.
In most reports, the gamer has seen an advert on social media which claims that by following a link and entering information, they will receive free Vbucks. Fraudsters then ask the victim for information about their account which allows them to log in and create fraudulent charges.
Fraudsters are targeting victims in many other ways. These include ask- ing for people’s phone numbers in return for Vbucks to then sign the victim up to a premium rate subscription service, selling access to other people’s Fortnite accounts, and offering VBucks for free then actually charging for it.
Action Fraud has seen a spike in fraudsters requesting gamers to buy Steam Cards as a way to gain upfront fees from victims.
Victims are being called by fraudsters, claiming to be from well-known organisations. The victims are instructed to purchase Steam Cards in order to pay for the processing of tax refunds or rebates, PPI refunds, administrative costs for processing loans and for providing antivirus software.
As with iTunes gift cards, the fraudster doesn’t require the physical Steam Card to redeem the value. Instead, the victim is asked to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.
Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith said: “It is vital both parents and those playing games are able to spot signs of fraud, as fraudsters will go ● to great lengths to try to steal your money.
“It is also important parents make their children aware of the threat.
“If you are downloading or purchasing game addons, make sure you use the official website.
“You should never reveal your password or banking details to someone you don’t know, or be tempted to click on unknown links.
Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cyber crime can report it online – www.actionfraud.police. uk/report_fraud – or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Fortnite is a popular online video game