The COVID-19 pandemic forced people all over the world inside for a long quarantine, and many are still maintaining social distancing. Our tans have long faded, and we’ve run out of Netflix shows to binge, so millions have turned to online gaming. The number of online gamers is at an all-time high and, like any other business conducted online, online gaming is susceptible to thieves and fraudsters. Knowing how best to prevent users from having their information used fraudulently is important for any gamer or developer.
There are different schemes fraudsters run to either steal users’ in-game or real currency or make fraudulent charges back to the game developer. We’ll take a look at a few here.
Account takeovers are when a fraudster hacks into a users’ game profile and either sells their valuable in-game items for in-game currency or sells the account itself for real-world cash. For many games, there are players who want a leg-up without putting in the effort. These are the perfect buyers for these stolen items. The criminals can use gamer information bought on the dark web and can even buy large quantities of usernames and passwords so that they can try to hack as many profiles at once as possible. They can then use computer automation to plug-and-play all of the possible combinations of username and password to save themselves time having to hack profiles individually.
Chargebacks are quite simple and very frustrating for online gaming companies. A bad actor intentionally makes a purchase within the game only to claim that the purchase was as a result of fraud. The customer asks for a refund for the purchase they “did not make” and the gaming company, wanting to provide good customer service, refunds the purchase. This kind of fraud is frustrating because it can be extremely difficult to weed out the fraudulent claims from the legitimate ones. No company wants to deny someone a refund for a legitimate reason so gaming companies are left footing the bill of thousands of fraudulent claims.
The number of fraudulent chargebacks has increased significantly in the last few years as online gaming has increased.
Fake Games and Links
A newer trend that has emerged is creating fake copies of games that look legitimate, but once the game is installed a virus is uploaded to the phone or computer being used. The criminal can then root through all of the personal information stored within the device and steal what they need.
Similarly, criminals can send links to what look like legitimate game sign-in pages, but when the player enters their information, the criminal is able to copy it and steal it for themselves. This can result in the theft of payment details and personal information or the theft of the account itself which the fraudster can subsequently log the player out of and sell.
The last kind of fraud we’ll look at here is what is called “true fraud”. It looks more like what people might expect from fraudulent criminal activity, but with an online gaming twist. The fraudster steals someone’s bank card or information, creates an account, builds up the value of the account with said credit card, and then sells the account collecting the sale money into their own bank account. Criminals like these often act quite quickly making it hard for the victim to realize what’s happening before it’s too late.
Preventing Online Gaming Fraud
For gamers, and anyone looking to prevent theft, the most important step is to closely and regularly monitor all bank accounts for fraudulent activity and report anything suspicious as soon as you see it.
But what about online gaming companies? What can they do about fraud prevention? Providing excellent customer service resources and following up quickly on fraud claims is a great start. The more involved the process is of documenting chargebacks and account activity, the better chance there is of establishing patterns of fraud. From there, potential fraud can be more easily flagged and any bad actors can be banned from using the service.
To take it an extra step toward fraud prevention, IDScan.net has digital identity verification solutions that will make it quite difficult for any would-be criminals to have their way with your online gaming platform. IDScan.net’s ID verification automation digitally assesses the legitimacy of a customer’s identification document and compares it to a picture of the customer. The ID verification automation also uses anti-spoofing software to ensure that the customer’s selfie is not tricking the facial recognition software.
At IDScan.net, online ID verification is a simple process. The customer takes 3 images, front of the ID, back of the ID, and a selfie.
The automation performs ID verification by checking that the ID is formatted correctly on the front and back. It also checks that the information in the barcode matches what is displayed on the front of the ID. It then queries the USPS database to confirm that the address on the ID exists. Lastly, it moves to the pictures, calculating a confidence percentage in facial match between the photo on the ID and the selfie supplied by the customer. The selfie is run through anti-spoofing processes to assure it is legitimate.
The customer’s picture is first compared to a database of known faces to ensure that a human face is indeed pictured. A complex algorithm then maps the customer’s face and compares the unique layout of the pictured face to the face on the ID provided. The ID verification automation can then see more definitively whether or not the faces match and provides a percentage to represent the confidence it has in the faces being the same.
This software can be seamlessly integrated into your existing system for easy set-up and use.
Fraud in online gaming is a problem that is only increasing in severity. Don’t let yourself or your online gaming platform fall victim to cybercriminals’ latest tricks.
It comes in many different forms, but a few examples are account takeovers, chargebacks, creating fake games and/or links, and true fraud, or stealing someone’s bank card information for use in an online game.
For gamers, the most important step is to closely and regularly monitor all bank accounts for fraudulent activity and report anything suspicious as soon as you see it.
For companies, IDScan.net’s ID verification automation is a great solution that leaves no room for fraudsters to take advantage of the system.
For IDScan.net, digital identity verification is the process of digitally assessing the legitimacy of a customer’s identification document and comparing it to a picture of the customer.