FBI warns of mobile games attempting to pilfer your cryptocurrency stash


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FBI warns of fake “play-to-earn” game that steals cryptocurrency

The FBI has issued a warning about a new scam involving a fake “play-to-earn” mobile and online game that tricks victims into depositing cryptocurrency, only to later steal it.

How the scam works

In a public service announcement, the FBI explained that scammers first contact potential victims and try to build a relationship with them. After some back-and-forth, the scammers invite the victim to play an online or mobile game, in which players purportedly earn cryptocurrency rewards in exchange for some activity, such as growing “crops” on an animated farm.

However, getting into the “game” isn’t free – victims must first create a cryptocurrency wallet and deposit some money, which is where the real scam begins. The fraudsters later tell the victims that the more funds they deposit, the higher the gains will be. But as soon as the victim stops depositing additional funds, the scammers drain the wallet, never to be seen or heard from again.

In some cases, the FBI said, crooks will tell the victims that they can withdraw the deposited cryptocurrency if they pay an additional fee or taxes. However, all of this is just part of the scam, with the victims ending up losing even those extra deposits.

Play-to-earn gaming model

Play-to-earn is an up-and-coming gaming model that is showing real promise in the democratization of earning through gaming. There are multiple games, all built on blockchain technology, that allow players to earn significant sums of money, often by generating valuable in-game assets, which can later be either sold or leased.

Until now, the only way to earn money through gaming was to either stream it or become a professional player, both of which are major projects that require expensive equipment and countless hours invested in the game.

Protecting yourself from cryptocurrency theft

To protect yourself from cryptocurrency theft, the FBI recommends that you:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails or social media messages that ask for personal information or cryptocurrency deposits.
  • Do your research before investing in any cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency-related product or service.
  • Use two-factor authentication on all cryptocurrency accounts and wallets.
  • Keep your cryptocurrency wallet and account information secure and private.

Source: BleepingComputer

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.

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