Top Tips to Battle Payments Fraud in Gaming—From a Millennial Gamer
The gaming industry, from a consumer point of view, has evolved dramatically over the last 5-10 years. The buying process has rapidly changed from a one-time, final payment – often at a physical store for a physical product – to a series of never ending bundles, boosters, skins, downloadable content and in-game currency sales!
Going back a decade, the only payments fraud that we really had to worry about was what could happen at the point-of-sale with the merchant or on an eCommerce site. These days, game publishers increasingly want to store payment information to ensure a next purchase is just one click/tap away, and that gamers keep on playing without the gaming experience being interrupted. But this opens up new considerations for gamers – and new risks.
Here are some tips I, as an avid gamer in the payments world, would recommend to paying gamers:
1. Minimize the number of companies that have your payment information on file
Whenever possible, purchase your games through an online marketplace (such as the Nintendo Games Store, Xbox Live Store, PlayStation Store, Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store and others). Reducing the number of game publishers with payment and personal details reduces the likelihood of details being compromised through a data breach.
2. Make payments through a mobile wallet
Utilizing a mobile wallet, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc., reduces gaming publishers or digital download platforms from storing your card details, offering an additional line of protection.
3. Change your password monthly
Is it annoying to change your password? Yes. Is it frustrating to reset your password because you’ve changed it (and potentially forgotten it) so many times? 100%. But it’s not nearly as frustrating as logging into your account and seeing someone has deleted your [Epic] gear, spent your gems, or destroyed your rankings on the leader board. Take five minutes each month and ensure that you are protecting your account.
4. Secure your account through biometric and two-factor authentication
Many games now offer the ability to activate biometric or two-factor authentication. These are great features that give you peace of mind that you will be the only one able to log in and authorize a purchase. Interestingly, ACI’s recent research, conducted with Newzoo, reveals that older gamers (age 30-40) are more likely to skip additional security measures than younger (age 18-39) gamers (10% vs 6%).
5. FREEBIES! If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is
If you are a gamer, you’ve more than likely come across ‘giveaways’ – whether it’s gems, coins, bucks or a free copy of the latest DLC (downloadable content) – all you need to do is ‘download the app’ or ‘sign-up’ through entering personal details. Unless you are certain that the giveaway is sponsored by a reputable company, it’s a fraud.>
6. Keep your friends list clean
Gaming has become even more of a social interaction as internet-based gaming has bloomed, and in 2018, we have a fairly loose definition for what qualifies someone as a ‘friend.’ It’s important to remember that on some platforms, adding another user as a ‘friend’ often allows them to see details on your profile (such as full name, email address, location, etc.). I recommend revisiting privacy settings as a first step, but also be wary if you see a friend request pop up with a name that isn’t part of your play history.
7. RE: Your account has been hacked, please reset your password
No matter how smart our email filters get, spam is omnipresent. Be cautious regarding any email that claims your account has been hacked and contains a password reset link. Make sure the email is legitimate. Many gamers fall into this trap, click to reset their password, then provide the standard fields [Email] [Current Password] [New Password] – what they don’t realize is they’ve just provided their account details to fraudsters! If an email seems phishy, it probably is, so log into your account directly from the publisher’s website and change your password there just to be safe.
8. Report everything!
Submitting a support ticket is free and often takes no more than a minute. If something doesn’t seem right or if someone doesn’t seem right, report it. This will create an incident report associated with your account, so if future fraud were to occur, you can provide supporting evidence of suspicious activity.
Now, with account safety and security in mind, let the games continue!
Download our latest report "What Turns Players Into Payers: Understanding the Gaming Payments Experience," which reveals the payment preferences, motivations and experiences of gamers in the largest games markets in the world – or get in touch with our team to meet at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, August 21-23.
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