‘Fortnite’ scams rampant on social media, YouTube: report

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. — Reuters

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. — Reuters

LOS ANGELES: Fortnite free V-Bucks scams are targeting its massive playerbase across social media and malicious web domains, according to a report released by cybersecurity company ZeroFOX. 

More than 53,000 alerts were generated by Fortnite scams, the majority of which were found on social media, according to the Baltimore, Maryland-based company. 

While Fortnite Battle Royale is completely free-to-play, players can purchase cosmetic items in-game with V-Bucks, which can be purchased using real-world currency. The standard rate is US$1 (RM4) to 100 V-bucks. 

The common method by malicious actors is to host domains which claim to be V-Buck generators. Once users attempt to use them, they will be asked to supply private information, such as addresses and credit card numbers, to prove they are human. 

It appears that many of these sites imitate the Fortnite fonts and colour schemes to appear legitimate to consumers. 

Users are then encouraged to share with friends, which could be why the scams are so often found on social media. ZeroFOX has identified over 4,770 live Fortnite scam domains which aim to collect personal information. Some scammers are even sharing the domains via YouTube videos, some of which instruct users how to use the websites and then link to the domain. Some videos also have the user enter surveys or watching ads to “earn” their V-Bucks before directing the user to the malicious site. 

Some scammers are even making fake versions of Fortnite Battle Royale for Android for download via the Google Play Store. This was a concern brought up back when Epic Games first announced it would not release Fortnite via Google Play. Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney, however, commented on the concern back in August. 

“Gamers have proven able to adopt safe software practices, and gaming has thrived on the open PC platform through many sources including Steam, Battle.net, Riot Games, Good old Games, and EpicGames.com,” Sweeney said. “We’re confident Android will be similarly successful.” A big risk could be the young player base of the game, which could easily fall victim to these scams, according to ZeroFOX. 

The best way to protect yourself from these scams is to only purchase or gain V-Bucks directly through the game. There is no way to receive to receive free V-Bucks outside of the game. 

Also, the only way to download Fortnite for Android is through Epic Games, and not via the Google Play Store. Epic Games has not announced any intention to release Fortnite via the Google Play Store, so anyone who wants to play on an Android phone can download via Epic directly. – Variety/Reuters