Thieves Used Stolen Credit Cards To Rack Up Cash In Free-To-Play Games
A few years ago, I was on someone's podcast and he told me that he bought currency for some game from a third party. "Why not?" he said, insisting that he had the cash, but not the time, and it wasn't really hurting anyone except maybe that greedy game developer.
Putting aside in-game concerns, such as violating the EULA and "stealing" from the devs, there are plenty of other reasons why you shouldn't do this. Getting your credit card info stolen from a shady gold seller is the obvious one, but even if you think you're safe, you might still be contributing to a vast web of illicit financial transactions.
Various websites are reporting the past few days on how certain unscrupulous parties have been using free-to-play games on iOS devices to profit and, in some cases, launder money from other illicit activities. It was all pretty simple, when you get down to it:
With the account creation process automated, the malicious actors then took the process further, automatically changing cards until a valid one is found, automatically buying games and resources, automatically posting the games and resources for sale, working with a digital wallet for order processing, and managing multiple Apple devices to distribute the load. The end result, an automated money laundering tool for credit card thieves.
While the activity seemed to be limited to just three mobile games -- Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Marvel Contest of Champions -- and is related to Apple's "lax credit card verification process," it's something to keep in mind any time you are tempted by "FREE VBUCKS" or some other so-obvious-it-has-to-be-a-scam offer online or any sale of in-game goods or accounts from someone other than the developer.
You can read the full breakdown from Kromtech Security here.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
You May Enjoy
PlanetSide 2's New Player Experience Goes Live Thursday
Lots of tweaks and changes for veteran players, too.By Jason Winter - 1 day ago
Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt Enters Early Access Ep 479
Check out the top 5 biggest stories of the week in the F2P realm (and some that aren't F2P!...By Michael Byrne - 1 week ago
World Of Warships Celebrates Sixth Anniversary
Dutch cruisers and Soviet carriers join the party.By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
Access Nidus Prime In Warframe Beginning September 8
The new Prime Warframe is accompanied by the return of Operation: Plague Star.By QuintLyn Bowers - 2 weeks ago
Take A Peek At The New Interactive World Map For New World, That'll Kill Some Time Before Launch, Right?
Something to tide you over a bit until launch!By Michael Byrne - 2 days ago
Neverwinter's First Battle Pass Arrives October 1
Echoes of Prophecy will be available on PC and consoles for free.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago