By Juliet Umeh
A recent report by a multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider company, Kaspersky, has advised game lovers to always check the reputation of the distribution service before downloading any game.
The company said that game lovers should find out if the distribution service had already been found to have acted unethically in the past.
It discovered that scammers are already benefiting by taking advantage of impatient players of one of the world’s most renowned action role-playing video games, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’.
According to Kaspersky, before Cyberpunk 2077 was released on December 10 after eight years of waiting, scammers were consistently interested in gamers who were looking forward to it.
It said: “Between January and November 2020, the company’s experts detected more than 3,300 attempts to infects users from around the world with various threats that mimic a game that has not even been released yet. Moreover, scammers came up with more advanced and more sophisticated threats.
“We urge everyone who, like many of us, is impatient to play this game, to wait for the official launch and to download it from trusted sources,” it said.
Analyzing the detected threats, Kaspersky experts found several websites offering gamers the chance to download Cyberpunk 2077 before its official release date.
Installers from these sites look very much like the real one, but in fact, do not download any game files: they just wait for a while and then ask the user for a license key.
It explained: “This key can be acquired by completing a scammer’s survey followed by entering personal data, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
“As a result, the user receives the long-awaited key which does not lead to anything. Instead the victim is shown a splash screen, and when the app begins the user is told it lacks a DLL, a code file that contains functions important to start the game.
“To get this DLL, the user is again prompted to fill out the survey, but this time there is no further action.”
Kaspersky security expert, Anton Ivanov. said: “Cybercriminals’ increased interest in Cyberpunk 2077 is understandable. The gaming community has been waiting for this game for years and now, on the eve of its release, scammers hope to extract valuable information from their victims who cannot wait to play the game.
Tips to avoid falling victim to a scam
*Be skeptical about any news or extremely generous offers and promotions. Always remember that if something looks too good to be true, it is most likely fake
*Purchase games responsibly. Check the reputation of the distribution service before downloading a game: If they have already been found to have acted unethically in the past, then you should avoid this release.
*Verify that messages are coming from reliable sources before entering their data, paying money or downloading any programs
*Use a reliable security solution with a rapidly growing database of fraudulent resources such as Kaspersky Security Cloud. This will show which sites shouldn’t be opened and will protect users from malware.