Since the summer of 2017, Fortnite Battle Royale has been one of the most popular games in the world. Fortnite is the name of an online video game developed by Epic Games and gives people the chance to fight and play against people from all over the world.
While the game is free to play, players can make purchases within the game to upgrade their player profile and gain new weapons. To do this, however, they must use financial accounts, usually a credit card, to purchase game currency. They can then use the currency to make any desired purchases.
Unfortunately, offering financial information exposes players to scams, potentially resulting in identity theft. If you or your child loves playing Fortnite and want to know what scams to watch out for, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we look at some of the most common Fortnite scams, how to help avoid them, and who to turn to for family identity theft protection.
What is a Fortnite Scam?
Few video games have been as popular worldwide as Fortnite. Since it first came out more than six years ago, Fortnite has remained one of the most heavily played games in the world. However, since roughly 15% of Fortnite game players are kids and teens under 18, online predators quickly saw their opportunity to take advantage of them through scams.
As a result, parents need to be aware if their child plays Fortnite and how to help keep them safe. It’s equally important to help children understand how vulnerable they are and how prevalent Fortnite scams are.
What is a Poison PDF?
Poison PDFs are one of the most common internet scams for online games such as Fortnite. The tricky thing about poison PDFs is that you don’t have to play Fortnite or even log into the game for them to appear. Instead, poison PDFs pop up in search engines, like Google and Bing, and advertise free V bucks or coins when you click the link.
Unfortunately, when you click the provided link, it takes you to another website where you’re asked to enter personal details, such as credit card information, gamer profile info, and more. The more information you offer, the more likely you are to become a victim of identity theft.
Common Fortnite Scams
Aside from poison PDFs, here are some of the most common Fortnite scams to be aware of.
V-buck scams are some of the most popular Fortnite scams out there. V-bucks are a coveted and important form of Fortnite currency that players can use to purchase new “skins,” weapons, and more within the Fortnite game. While you can earn free V-bucks by completing certain quests and challenges, you typically have to purchase V-bucks using real money.
Because of how expensive and coveted V-bucks are, some players get tricked into scams featuring free or heavily discounted V-bucks, usually from other websites. Unfortunately, these scams can result in identity theft, monetary theft, and more.
Another common Fortnite scam is known as phishing. Phishing scams are where you receive a message or email from a sender who is claiming to be Fortnite. The message will ask for personal or financial information, resulting in identity theft if you offer forth said information. Phishing scams are common in many online industries, especially with Fortnite.
Anytime you have an online account or profile, there’s a risk that it will get hacked. This is especially true with Fortnite players, thanks to how many scams are out there.
As the name implies, account hacking is where someone steals your Fortnite login credentials and logs into your account. Hackers can steal your information when you fall for free V-bucks or phishing scams where you enter your login information on a third-party website. When this happens, the owners of the website steal your information, resulting in identity theft.
Fake Fortnite Apps
Another common issue, fake Fortnite apps, stems from not downloading Fortnite directly from the Google Play Store or App Store. Instead, you might be playing a different game and see a pop-up advertising a free Fortnite download. Unfortunately, when you click on the ad rather than downloading Fortnite, these in-app purchases can lead to malware or virus downloads.
Trading and Item Scams
Fortnite has several skins and features that are not for sale in the online store to make the game more interesting and competitive. Instead, they’re only available to a minimal amount of players based on a reward system and accomplishments. Because these items are highly coveted and can’t be purchased in the Fortnite store, some players buy or trade for user accounts that have these items.
The scam comes into play when someone buys or trades an account with another user only to receive nothing in return. These trading and item scams are prevalent. You and your child must be wary about who you buy from and trade with.
How to Help Protect Your Children From Fortnite Scams
Because of the many ways children can get duped with Fortnite scams, resulting in monetary and identity theft, it’s up to parents to watch out for them. Here are some of the ways you can help protect your children while they’re playing Fortnite.
- Sit down with your kids and explain to them how scams work and that they need to be aware of them.
- Don’t allow your child to make online purchases within the game unless you are with them.
- Tell them never to give out their information about financial accounts or credit cards to strangers.
- Help them understand that it’s never wise to enter a their personal information on a third-party website or app.
- Enable two-factor authentication for added online security and safety.
- Review and adjust privacy settings to maximize protection.
- Set up parental controls on their computers and mobile devices to restrict what they can do and purchase.
- Only allow them to play in certain game modes based on their age and understanding of the game.
- Invest in IdentityIQ identity theft insurance and identity protection in the event your child makes a mistake leading to identity fraud, leaked bank accounts, or data breaches.
At the end of the day, no matter how careful or cautious you are, it’s possible for your kid to fall victim to a Fortnite scam. There are simply too many ways for kids to fall victim to hackers and scams on online gaming platforms. While educating your child and making them aware of how to help spot and avoid scams is a great idea, it may not be enough.
If you’re worried about identity theft, use IdentityIQ identity theft protection services. These services can protect you and your entire family with identity monitoring, parental controls, identity theft insurance, secure internet browsing, and more.