Five Ways to Avoid Video Game Scams

Video games are a great way to spend time with friends or just something to do when you’re bored, and while the games’ and user’s security have gotten better over the years, the number of people being scammed has only gone up. To prevent yourself from being one of those people, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Phishing Sites
Maybe you just need a bit more game time to get that rare item you’ve worked so hard for, but don’t have the money to buy more game time. You look on the internet and, lo and behold, there’s a website that’s practically giving away game time! Or perhaps you get an email to reset your account’s password. Heck, you might even get someone in game claiming to be your brother telling you to click a link.

Don’t. This type of scam is one of the more common types and effects tens of thousands of people each day. When you go to the link, you’re usually taken to a page that looks like the real thing. However, the site eventually takes you to a login page and once you put in your credentials, the owner saves that information and can steal your account.

2. Selling Accounts or In-Game Items
There are some sites that specialize in this. Perhaps your looking for an account in World of Warcraft that has max level characters, or need some exotic swords in Destiny. Needless of your need for the account, many times these sales will be a scam.

They make you pay for the account and not give you the account at all; or maybe they will give you the account and you will change the password and everything will be all good, right? Nope. They can just click that “Forgot Your Password?” link when trying to sign in and usually pretty easy from there to change the account information again.

Best way to avoid this? Simply don’t buy game accounts or in-game items that aren’t offered by the games official vendors.

3. Powerleveling
Sounds like a good deal right? For only $29.99, you can have someone you don’t know level your characters! And all you need to do is simply give them your username and password and in just 24-48 hours, you will have a max level character!While this may seem like a great deal, often times you won’t get your account back. Or maybe you will for a short period of time, but then, similar to what they do when selling accounts, the scammer will just find a way to get the login information back and you’ll be out of an account and $29.99.

4. Buying X New Game for Only Half the Price
There are marketplaces devoted to selling games cheaper than retail, and while some may be able to get you the game, others will simply take your money and scram. Even on sites like eBay or Amazon, scammers frequent those sites claiming to be selling a game for a too-good-to-be-true price and not send you the real game or worse, a picture of the item.

You should try to buy from an official retailer of the game. On sites like eBay or Amazon, look at the seller’s feedback. If they have decent number of good ratings from previous customers, then they’re usually OK to buy from. Otherwise, you should stay away.

5. If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
This one is pretty straightforward and applies to more than just video game scams. If the offer you’re getting is too good to be true, it probably is.

Video games are fun, a great way to socialize and can have create memorable moments when playing. As much fun as they are, you should always be aware of potential scams that can take place and, if possible, take preemptive measures to prevent them. Be careful not to go to phishy websites or buy that game on sale that’s half price and being sold by a seller with no previous selling experience.