4 Popular Scams Targeting Gamers, Live Streamers, and Viewers

gamer scams

Since the pandemic started, due to lockdowns and other restrictions, we’ve all been playing games and watching live streams more than ever before. The scammers know this, and they’ve come up with several clever scams designed to exploit it.

In this post, we’ll cover four of the most popular types of gaming-related scams and give you some essential tips on how to stay protected against them.

#1: Fake shopping sites for discounted skins and weapon upgrades

Mobile games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and PC Games like DOTA 2, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Warzone have never been more popular. More and more gamers are showing that they are willing to spend lots of money on skins, weapon upgrades, and other in-game items.

The scammers have created tons of fake websites advertising all the most desirable in-game items at rock-bottom prices. As you might be able to guess, eventually the scammers take off with all the cash and the victims never end up receiving their purchases.

This type of scam is very common and usually advertised through phishing emails and malicious banners on websites.

Scam on Gamers_fake Fortnite skin_1123
Fake free Fortnite skin generator.

#2: Identity stealing apps and games

Scammers have been creating fake versions of popular apps, mobile games, and PC games. The download links for these copycats are most often found on gaming forums and scam websites. They are designed with one goal in mind: to steal your personal and financial information such as your credit card number, email address, home address, and phone number.

Gamers Scam_1118_

#3: Fake Twitch tech support targeting live streamers

Users on Twitch have been impersonating Twitch technical support staff and convincing live streamers that there are issues with their computers that need to be urgently fixed.

After a streamer clicks the link a scammer gives them under the guise of providing technical assistance, the scammer is free to take full control of the streamer’s computer, potentially stealing their data, encrypting their computer, and demanding a ransom.

We’ve also noticed streamers are being sent malicious links to the fake apps and games mentioned in tip number two by viewers, too.

Gamers Scam_1118_

#4: Clones of popular channels and raffles

This scam is aimed at live stream viewers. Scammers have been creating copies of popular live streamers’ channels and broadcasting their recently-streamed content to try to get viewers to tune into the fake channels. They also use certain third-party services to push their clone channels to Twitch’s most-watched lists so more viewers are attracted to them.

Although the copycat channels are very convincing fakes, there is always one difference: they feature the addition of banners and links to fake raffles advertising the chance to win expensive prizes. If viewers click on any of the banners or links they’re taken to a scammer-controlled website designed to steal their personal information. No prizes are ever sent out, either.

Gamers Scam_1118_
Gamers Scam_1118_

How to Protect Yourself

Here are some of our top tips for staying protected against these types of scams:

Mobile and PC gamers

  • Don’t click on links that redirect you to third-party websites to purchase game-related items.
  • Don’t enter your login credentials on suspicious websites.
  • Only make purchases on official websites.
  • NEVER download apps or games from non-official websites.

Live streamers

  • Don’t include any personally identifiable information in your username.
  • Use a strong password on all your online accounts.
  • Don’t share any personal information on your stream.
  • Contact Twitch support directly if you believe you may have a technical issue.

Live stream viewers

  • Watch out for fake raffles and giveaways.
  • Send links to Trend Micro Check for instant scam detection.
TMC_gamer scams

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