‘Abandoned’ Game Pre-Order Scam Warning: How to Recognize, Avoid Fraud E-Mails
Blue Box Game Studios just posted in their Twitter regarding a suspected surge of emails regarding preorders of their game, Abandoned.
In the said tweet, the game studio said that these false emails are using their contact details, including their email address. They warned said players that they should not respond to these emails, and instead, they should place their pre-orders through the PlayStation Store.
This kind of scams are prevalent in the video game community as pre-orders are the way that players go to if they want to grab their copy of a video game that they want or a gaming hardware like controllers or a console.
Be aware! There are false email messages using our contact email address trying to “sell” a false pre-order of Abandoned. Do not respond to these emails. Pre-orders are always placed through the PS Store. They also exchange false messages using our contact email address.— BLUE BOX Game Studios (@BBGameStudios) June 20, 2021
In a report by Press-Start Australia, last November 2020, several fraudulent emails were sent to people from someone who claims that he is from Amazon telling that their pre-orders of PlayStation 5 were delayed until early 2021.
According to the report, these emails were false, and was advised to not answer to them nor share any personal information.
How to Recognize a Scam Email
A scam email or a phishing email, according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is one way for scammers to "fish" any sensitive information from any victims. These emails may steal information such as passwords or account numbers.
There are ways to recognize if the email that you are receiving a phishing email or not. According to Security Metrics, one of the ways is to look at it in the first glance if the email itself is asking you any of your personal information. Most companies will not send you emails such as the aforementioned.
Second, a legit email will not use any generic salutations such as "Dear valued member" or "Dear customer." If there is a transaction from a company that requires an information about your account, they will call you by name or they just directly contact you directly via phone.
Third, you should also check the sender's email address. Check if there are no alterations in the domain address, such as additional numbers or letters. According to Security Metrics, there are companies that make use of unique or varied domains, while smaller companies use third party email providers.
Fourth, check if the email doesn't have any bad grammar and spelling. This is the easiest way to recognize if the email is a scammy one or not. Fifth, an email should not have to be a gigantic hyperlink.
Sixth, an email should not have any unsolicited attachments, such as files that are .exe, .scr, and .zip. And lastly, check the links that are attached in the email if they are legit or not. Ensure that those URLs begins with https://.
How to Protect Yourself from Phishing
There are many ways to protect yourself from those phishing emails. FTC advised that you should protect your computer by using any security software.
These security software will also update themselves so it can with any new security threats. Also, you should protect your smartphones by also setting a security software in it.
Also, consider protecting your accounts by using multi-factor authentication as it would give additional layers of protection. This will give any digital attackers like scammers a hard time access any of your sensitive information.
Finally, always back your data up while making sure that those backups are not connected to any of your home networks. You can copy any of your computer files to either an external hard drive or a cloud storage.