Fortnite scammers make $1m thanks to greedy players
Gaming can be an expensive hobby – even if you are playing “free” games. In the end, even they need to make money. Fortnite, one of the most played games at the moment, does so by selling V-Bucks, their in-game currency. It allows avid fans of the game to buy cosmetic items for their beloved characters.
Normally you can buy those Bucks in online (gaming) stores around the world, starting at around €10. But what if you could also generate them for free? Sounds awesome, right? And this is why so many people fall for the scam.
The only thing you get for free are ads
Fortnite is a free Battle Royale game – basically a last man standing mode for shooters where you compete alone or as a group against a large number of players – with a very charming comic graphic style that appeals to a lot of players. This includes, of course, people of all trades of life, including rather naïve ones.
While there is nothing wrong with being naïve, it is what the scammers are going for with their campaign: They set up really great looking pages that promise their targets to generate the well sought after in-game currency for nothing.
After a quick form to fill in and some fake images that make it appear like something is actually happening, the page starts displaying a verification prompt. According to Imperva “Attempting to verify will lead you to a survey site with a survey pool. These surveys are basically ads — some of them lead to legitimate businesses and others lead to scam sites — but none of them can be completed in any way, and your Fortnite user won’t get any richer.”
93,000 dollars in one month
The ads have one thing in common though: they make the scammer a rich man, thanks to the desperate clicks on the ads. According to the security researchers they made over 93,000 dollars last month alone.
It does not sound too bad. You waste some time and clicks but nothing really horrible happens, right? While this is definitely true for this scam you never know what other kind of fake pages you might encounter: How about a website that promises you the same thing but wants to connect to your user account? A lot of people would probably just log in and basically hand over their credentials to the criminals.
There are a lot of other ways scammers could take advantage of the naïveté and greed of some players. In the end, it all leads to one thing: If you are promised something for free, that normally is worth money, it’s probably a trap. Don’t fall for it.
This article is also available in: German