CyberBustHow To Identify And Avoid Online Gaming Scams

How To Identify And Avoid Online Gaming Scams

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Read on to find out how to identify and avoid online gaming scams.

Online gaming scams have been around for almost as long as online games. Whether they were ways for hackers to steal your credit card details or a way for them to access your accounts, the scams were simple and effective in the beginning.

Nowadays, the scams are similar, but they are very well hidden and can easily look legitimate to those who don’t know any different.

READ ALSO: Essential Gaming Guide

Here are a few common online gaming scams and ways to avoid them.

Types Of Gaming Scams

Types Of Gaming Scams

While it may seem like a wide variety of gaming scams, most fall into one of the following five categories. Being able to identify them will let you protect yourself from scams.

Free items that usually cost money

One of the most common scams is sites or social media accounts offering items, which would usually cost money, for free. Whether it be a Fortnite skin or an item in World of Warcraft, if it usually costs money or in-game currency, how can it give away a lot of them for free?

It is important to remember that no one is spending $5–$10 on hundreds of Fortnite skins simply to give them away for free.

Item trade propositions

This is another common scam and is one that affects online games that have assets that are worth real money, such as Counter-Strike. The scam involves a simple “I’ll give you X if you trade me Y.”

Unless you are trading with a friend or family member, you will likely trade away your item and get nothing in return.

READ ALSO: What To Do If You've Been Scammed Online: A Comprehensive Guide


Cheat software is often infested with malware that hackers and data thieves can use to access your system and personal data. To avoid this, simply don’t download cheating software, as the negatives drastically outweigh any benefits.

Gaming Scams

Third-party advertisements

Don’t trust any offers that come from third-party advertisers. There are tens of thousands of social media accounts that “look” like official accounts, but that is part of the scam.

You will often see imitation accounts with slightly different names than the official ones. Unless an offer is made by the official account of a game or service, it is always best not to click or accept it.

Game testing

Another common scam, especially among mobile games, is being a beta game tester. The scammer will get hold of your account or email address and message you saying you have qualified to be a tester and can earn certain rewards for playing the game.

These scams often look very real as the company’s website and game look legitimate, but more often than not, it is simply a way to access personal information, such as your credit card details.

While game testing is not a scam, most developers won’t randomly email you asking you to become one; you usually have to apply and be approved by them.

READ ALSO: 12 Common Online Scam Tactics: Shielding Yourself from Digital Deception

How To Avoid Scams

If you are still worried you may be a victim of an online gaming scam, there are a few ways to avoid them and factors to look out for.

If it’s too good to be true

The first thing to look for is probably one of the most obvious; if it is too good to be true, it probably is. If a random Instagram account offers 5,000 free V-Bucks or free Call of Duty skins if you send your credit card details, there is absolutely no way that is a legitimate offer.

These types of scams can be a little more subtle nowadays, as leaderboards for some games can be viewed online. If you get a message saying you have won something for finishing in the top 500 or top 100 of a game, it most likely isn’t real.

Only download the official software

Nowadays, there are few, if any, games that offer additional content that you have to access using a different website. Most software that interacts with a game is either cheat software or a full-on scam.

Because of this, the best course of action is to completely ignore any software that says “download to access new DLC” or “download to access free skins or in-game currency,” real game developers wouldn’t create software that does the job of an in-game store.


Double-check offers online

Another way to check if an offer or discount is legitimate is to look online at the game’s website and social media pages. Games like Fortnite and Call of Duty will, 99% of the time, at the very least, tweet about something new.

Logging into the game will confirm or deny any offers if you don’t have any luck going that route. It is probably fake if you can’t find the offer in the in-game store.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Cybersecurity Tips For Students

Online Gaming Scams: FAQs

Online gaming can be fun, but unfortunately, it also attracts scammers. Here are some answers to common questions about online gaming scams:

How can I spot a scam in an online game?

Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency or exclusivity. Be wary of free in-game items, exclusive access, or special deals that require sharing personal information, clicking suspicious links, or sending money upfront.

Someone messaged me offering to buy my account/items for way more than they're worth. Is it legit?

This is a classic scam! Scammers often use stolen credit cards or fake payments. If you accept their offer, you could lose your account and get banned from the game. Legitimate buyers will use the official trading systems within the game.

A website claims they can generate unlimited in-game currency. Should I use it?

Absolutely not! These websites often require login information or download malware that could steal your account or personal data. Earning in-game currency is part of the game, and legitimate methods are always available.

I received a message saying I've won a gaming tournament I didn't enter. What should I do?

This is a phishing scam! Don't click on any links or provide any information. Legitimate tournaments will communicate through official channels within the game.

Someone claims to be a game developer offering early access to a new game in exchange for a fee. Is it real?

Game developers typically announce early access programs through official channels. Don't pay anyone for early access unless it's through the game's official store.

A Final Word…

It probably is if something seems too good to be true in the online gaming world.

Always be cautious and only use official channels for transactions and communication.


About the Author:

chandra palan
Writer at SecureBlitz

Chandra Palan is an Indian-born content writer, currently based in Australia with her husband and two kids. She is a passionate writer and has been writing for the past decade, covering topics ranging from technology, cybersecurity, data privacy and more. She currently works as a content writer for, covering the latest cyber threats and trends. With her in-depth knowledge of the industry, she strives to deliver accurate and helpful advice to her readers.

Editor at SecureBlitz | Website

Christian Schmitz is a professional journalist and editor at He has a keen eye for the ever-changing cybersecurity industry and is passionate about spreading awareness of the industry's latest trends. Before joining SecureBlitz, Christian worked as a journalist for a local community newspaper in Nuremberg. Through his years of experience, Christian has developed a sharp eye for detail, an acute understanding of the cybersecurity industry, and an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and up-to-date information.


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