To defraud consumers of money held in cryptocurrencies, the FBI has released a public service announcement (PSA) warning against the use of play-to-earn games. According to the agency, thieves lure victims into playing this sort of game before using malware to steal money from cryptocurrency wallets connected to the game.
FBI issues public service announcement
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an American government body, has issued a new public service announcement (PSA) alerting consumers to a fresh fraud in which phony “play to earn” mobile and online games are being exploited to steal cryptocurrencies.
The scam involves scammers approaching victims and inviting them to join a new game that needs them to create a cryptocurrency wallet, buy cryptocurrency, and download the certain gaming software. Based on the amount of money they have in their wallet, players will see fictitious prizes build up on the app. The collected currency is nonetheless stolen by thieves using a malicious application that was unintentionally loaded with the game after participants stopped adding money to their wallets.
How to stay away from victimhood
Although the PSA doesn’t specify any particular games that are utilized in the scam, it does provide some advice for customers on how to safeguard themselves.
In the PSA, the FBI also provides several tips on how to keep yourself safe from fraudsters utilizing this sort of scam. The first one has to do with separating money, as the bureau suggests keeping other cash apart from a gaming wallet, which should be made only for gaming. Doing so reduces the impact of experiencing a wallet drain.
Gamers are recommended to utilize a third-party token allowance checker to see whether any websites or applications have accidentally been granted access to their cash. Players may also use a third-party blockchain explorer to check the balances of the addresses in their gaming wallets.
An emerging gaming paradigm called “play-to-earn” has the potential to democratize gaming-based income. A variety of blockchain-based games allow players to make huge amounts of money, frequently by creating valuable in-game goods that can then be either sold or leased.
Up until now, the only ways to make money from gaming were to broadcast it or turn into a professional player, both of which are time-consuming endeavors that call for costly equipment and many hours spent playing the game.
Rise in cryptocurrency investment fraud
According to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, cryptocurrency investment fraud complaints nearly tripled between 2021 and 2022, accounting for the more than $3 billion increase in accusations of online fraud.
According to recent research, hackers released more than 4,00,000 new malicious files daily to target consumers in 2022, a 5% increase from 2021.
Kaspersky, a cybersecurity company, estimates that 3,80,000 of these files were found daily in 2021, and 122 million harmful files were found in 2022, an increase of 6 million from the year before.