The online gaming industry has always been able to successfully catch the attention of people. At present this industry is serving as one of the major sources of entertainment for people. With the increase in the popularity of the online gaming industry, fraudsters and scammers have become more opportunistic in executing their evil goals. No doubt the arena of online gaming is humongous and so is the opportunity for online fraudsters to attack unsuspecting people through online gaming.
The increase in the rise of new paying users in the online gaming industry in India has shown tremendous growth. The proportion of New Paying Users (NPUs) has increased from 40% in 2020 to 50% in 2021. According to a report by EY FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), the number of paying players grew by 17% from 80 million in 2020 to 95 million in 2021.
This blog discusses in detail, how online gaming is becoming a soft target for fraudsters and the adequate measures that are to be adopted by gamers to protect themselves.
The rise in online gaming
This era has witnessed the craze of online gaming amongst all age groups as their favorite pastime. With the increase in the popularity of online gaming, the risk of fraud is also increasing.
Fraudsters and scammers target online gamers with the motto of stealing their personal and financial information. They do it by creating fake websites and gaming servers that trick the gamer into entering their login details or credit card information.
There have been scenarios where the obsession for virtual gaming is at such a peak that the fraudsters create fake game accounts just to cheat the other players, out of possession. Also, there are instances of legitimate game accounts being hacked to steal virtual currency or items.
In another episode, it was accounted for on 31st January 2023 that there have been eight arrests in Noida for supposedly duping individuals with web-based betting and wagering applications. A sum of Rs. 24 crores was frozen in different banks, alongside 193 cell phones, 21 laptops, 416 chequebooks, 233 charge cards, and 21 retail location gadgets.
Online gamers falling prey to fraudsters
A report by Kaspersky Lab says that online gamers are increasingly becoming victims of fraud. The report found that in 2017, there was a half expansion in the number of individuals who had their gaming accounts hacked contrasted with a similar period in 2016.
There are an n number of factors that increase the vulnerability to fraud of online gamers.
- Online gamers use their personal information and real names while signing up for gaming platforms and services. It is easy for fraudsters to obtain this information and later use them to commit identity theft and other types of fraud.
- The gamers also make in-game purchases using their credit cards, net banking, and other payment methods. If the fraudsters gain access to the gamer’s account then they can retrieve this information and make unauthorized purchases.
- Online Gamers are also prone to phishing attacks. A phishing attack usually concerns an email or a message received by the user. These emails or messages seem to be generated from authentic gaming companies or services. The text usually contains a link that connects to a fake website which is a look-alike of the authentic website.
The only way to be secure in the online gaming industry is by being vigilant. Gamers should make sure that they use secure passwords and payment methods while signing up on gaming platforms. Every link that is received by emails or messages shouldn’t be entertained.
Different types of fraud in online gaming
A vast amount of money and personal information is exchanged daily on online gaming platforms. Hence, making it easy for fraudsters to trap online gamers.
Below listed are a few of the most common frauds that are committed against online gamers.
- Credit card fraud: it defines the act of making an unauthorized purchase by using someone else’s credit card information. The purchase is made in the name of the cardholder.
- Identity theft: it can be described as the act of stealing someone’s personal information (such as their name, address, and date of birth) and opening a new account to make fraudulent charges
- Phishing is another strong way of trapping people. A fraudster might connect with an individual via email, text message, or social media and assure them of their legitimacy. This helps scammers obtain all the personal information or financial account details of the user.
- Next on the list, we have hacking. When someone gains unauthorized access to another person’s gadget or device, for example, computers, phones, etc, or gaming accounts to steal personal information or virtual goods/currency, it is termed as hacking.
The online gaming industry is continuously growing and so is the risk of getting exploited by fraudsters and scammers. It is mandatory for all online gamers to take preventive steps like regularly changing passwords, avoiding public Wi-Fi networks, checking the legitimacy of the game provider, and installing updated anti-virus software for all devices, to avoid the risk of getting trapped. These simple steps can make the experience smooth & enjoyable while slight negligence can lead to pathetic situations.
Providing a secure platform to the players is essential for the digital gaming industry. Criminal activities damage the business’s reputation and also hits the annual revenue negatively. At this point, artificial intelligence comes to the rescue by providing various identity verification and AML screening systems. These solutions help in examining the gamer’s behavior and detecting the possible scam, and fake accounts used for illegal purposes. The best and ideal way of avoiding identity theft and online fraud is identity verification.
Zoop.One is packed with numerous AI-driven API products that can deliver a decent level of precision and constant check results in less than a second.