SCAMS offering Fortnite players free ‘V-Bucks’ are “running rampant” online, according to new research published by cybersecurity firm ZeroFOX.
The frauds are carried out using websites, social media posts and YouTube videos, while there are a large number of deceptive ‘V-Buck Generators’ online that hoodwink gamers into handing over their personal data.
It’s already no secret that scammers have been trying to make a quick buck by offering gamers free V-Bucks, the virtual currency that Fortnite players use to buy new items and skins in the popular battle royale game.
V-Bucks can be obtained only by directly earning or buying them in the game itself, but early in October Action Fraud sent out an alert that online fraudsters were promising to give them away for nothing.
Now, ZeroFOX has revealed the true scale of this problem, with its research finding that there were 53,000 separate alerts for V-Buck scams in September alone.
And 86% of these originated from social media sites like Twitter, where anonymous posters urge gamers to click on dodgy links in order to receive ‘free V-Bucks.’
One other common form of the scam involves ‘V-Bucks Generators,’ which are pages on websites where Fortnite players are urged to enter their personal information, including their financial details.
ZeroBOX has found 4,770 live websites related to such scams, while it discovered over 1,390 YouTube videos that also end up requiring players to click links and enter personal data in return for non-existent V-Bucks.
How to avoid ‘free’ V-Bucks scams
ZeroFOX concludes its report by writing, “As with anything you do online, make sure to do your due diligence before sharing a username, credit card numbers or any other personal information.”
This is solid advice, but here are a few other pointers that should help you avoid falling victim to the kinds of tricks outlined above:
- Players can obtain V-Bucks only in Fortnite itself, so any online offer of ‘free’ V-Bucks is guaranteed to be malicious
- Avoid Fortnite-related websites with words like ‘free’ and ‘gift’ in their addresses and names: these are likely to be scam sites
- Don’t click on links you don’t trust, or which don’t show you their actual destination address
- Never enter your Fortnite account details anywhere outside of official Epic Games and Fortnite platforms
- If you’re an Android user who wants to download Fortnite, don’t search the Google Play Store for the game, go straight to this official link instead: fortnite.com/android
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