Raghib Khan of RNF Technologies tells us how free-to-play games can be highly vulnerable to in-app purchase fraud against in-game currency and digital goods, consequently leading to negative customer experience and experiencing losses.
A survey conducted by Newzoo revealed that the global gaming market reached $91.5 billion in 2015 alone. However, after the pandemic, this rise is exponential. Thanks to the penetration of smartphones in the emerging market, and a dedicated revenue model of free-to-play games, users are now quick to sell or buy virtual items to play or win the game.
Actual Cost Of In-App Purchase Fraud: 2 Points Explained By Raghib Khan
* Negative User Experience
Fraud relating to in-app purchases tends to disrupt the game economics and allow certain players an unfair forward edge. Consequently, not only does it destroy the game economy, but it also has a detrimental effect on the gaming community and the longevity of the game.
* The Financial Cost
The financial costs of in-app purchase scams are significant for gaming app developers. The gaming app loses the value from the customer who paid out to the fraudster instead of the app. For scammers, reselling goods bought with stolen card details is lucrative, and therefore, the financial costs are high.
Understanding The Concept Of In-App Purchase Brokers
Certain mobile games do not allow the transfer of virtual items between players. As a result, the items cannot be purchased in advance to be resold later. In such situations, online scammers take on a different approach.
They advertise irresistible price discounts making the players hand over their game app login credentials to have fraudsters purchase the virtual item on the player’s behalf. This is also one of the main reasons sellers remind you to change your password after successfully completing the transfer to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Safe Online Gaming Tips
* Raghib Khan strongly recommends only using official websites for game-related purchases. Additionally, also avoid clicking on links redirecting you to third-party websites.
* Only use a strong password for the game login. It should include the combination of uppercase lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
* Avoid clicking any link that asks you to reconfirm your password.
* Not responding to irrelevant emails and direct messages that ask you your banking, financial or personal information. Remember that legitimate companies do not ask for details via message.
Young Gamers: The Prime Target Of Scammers
A number of reasons translate the fact why younger individuals are often the prime targets of online in-app purchase frauds.
* Firstly, the young generation is more receptive and impressionable to fraudster tactics and are the easiest target. They are willing to place trust in strangers online.
* Secondly, parents tend to pay little attention to their children’s credit files, making many instances of theft go unnoticed for years.
* Third good reason is that scammers can utilize children’s information for multiple purposes. For example, opening lines of credit, avoiding prosecution, creating fraudulent contracts, etc.
Gaming Scams Increased During The Pandemic: The HOW
The user is tricked into giving away their account details. Scammers send an email to gamers telling them to confirm their passwords and login credentials. The user is directed to a fake sign-in page asking them to input their login details, ultimately stealing the gamer’s account.
– Directing To Third Party Websites
Third-party websites sometimes look like genuine websites where users buy add-ons such as outfits, weapons, or new character abilities. However, these are fake and trick users to complete their transactions for purchases they’ll not eventually receive.
– Targeting IP Address Of The Gamers
We know that an IP address is a unique internet location for each user. Once attackers or scammers have your IP address, they can easily know your name, physical address, and other sensitive information. Hence, with those details, hackers could carry out attacks to steal your account information, proving detrimental to your account safety and finances.
– Fake Mobile Version Of Popular Games
Once these fake mobile version games are downloaded, these apps install malware on victims’ phones or computers. Raghib khan informs us that these scammers can use malware to capture gamers’ online account details. They can then use these details to steal sensitive user information such as:
– Credit Card Information
– Phone Numbers
– Home Address
In A Nutshell
In-App purchase is here to stay, and it will not go away. If precautions are taken carefully, there is less to no reason to worry about being scammed. As online gamers, we have to be informative on how to proceed with it online through careful considerations. Even the gaming industry giants are taking immense care on the steps to lessen the dangers involved with in-app purchases by building stronger, robust, and efficient safety mechanisms to keep track of abnormal activities.