Virtual goods are becoming more and more popular with cybercriminals, who are aiming more and more scams at gamers. Crooks have taken a renewed shine to World of Warcraft, as we see with a scam offering free in-game pets. The scam part? You don’t actually get the pet, and your account details are stolen.
Most ardent fans of Warcraft know that the only place to get virtual pets is from the official store, but a newly discovered phishing campaign seeks to lure players into handing over their battle.net account info. The accounts are, presumably, then sold on in the black market for a tidy sum.
Although the “gift” aspect gives this scam a slightly different twist, the results are the same: loss of personal info and account theft. As ever, the best thing to do with these sorts of emails is to delete and report them.
You can also protect yourself from future scams by making sure you’re especially vigilant with unsolicited e-mails:
- Never click on links or downloads from unexpected e-mails or messages from unknown senders.
- Check the sender’s address. Phishing messages often come from an address that looks somewhat similar to the company — like “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- Read the text carefully: Spam and phishing e-mails often contain spelling or grammatical mistakes.
- Hover your mouse cursor over links and look at the tooltip that pops up either by the cursor or at the bottom of the window. For touch screens, you can do a “long tap” —hold your finger on the link text until you see the real link. If the link says “battle.net” but when you hover over, it says “fakesite.com” then it’s probably best to avoid!
- Always (and we mean, always) run good antivirus protection. A strong security solution will often alert you to suspicious activity and help you steer clear of it.