How to stay safe and avoid basic scams in esports
Education - 10 Jul 2017
We list some of the most common scams and phishing tricks and offer our recommendations on how to avoid them.
Essential security measures
- Never give your password to anybody OR write it anywhere
- Never trade with someone you are feeling suspicious about
- Never click unknown links from untrusted sources even if they are from someone on your friends list
- Never download or install software, unless it is from a trusted source
Some of the most common scams
Steam Wallet Scam
Sometimes you will receive messages from people in your server or who have recently added you saying something along the lines of:
“Hi, (NAME) has offered you a trade including X Euros. If you should accept this trade then the funds will be deposited in your account - SteamGuard”
This is a lie, There is no way you can send money through Steam to anyone.
Phishing scams are some of the oldest scams on the internet. Phishing is pretending to be someone or something you’re not in order to gain personal information. This scam normally works by sending you a trade request for what seems to be your items for their items, but after you hit accept or decline it will ask for your login details. Here are some common ways phishing sites will trick you:
- Having a misspelt domain name (for example: 'Steamcommunnity').
- After you have logged in they link you back to the real site
- Having the correct name but having a strange domain extension (.Club or .account or .cloud)
- Emailing you saying your account has security issues, or that you need to login to 'confirm your details' then sending you to their site to reset your password. This gives them your password and access to your account.
Never log into any site that has been privately messaged to you unless you can 100% confirm its authenticity.
Some websites that offer game related tips, benefits and cheats, will have software available to download that can lead to you losing your accounts to the scammers. They will install some variation of spyware or a keylogger onto your computer and once these are on your computers it is very difficult to remove them.
Fortunately these scams are some of the easiest to avoid. When you are downloading a new program or game or application, make sure you are getting it from the official source (eg. Steam / App Store/ Origin)
In addition to staying safe with regards to active scams, you should always remember to keep your account as secure as possible to avoid anyone gaining access without your control:
- Verify your contact email address with any service you use regularly
- Activate 2 factor authentication anywhere that it is available
- Use a strong password
- Regularly change your passwords
- Keep an antivirus / firewall program on your computer
- Always keep antivirus, browsers etc. updated
- Always make sure you are fully logged out on any machine you don't regularly use
- Ask a close friend or relative about an unusual email or anything you're unsure of, before responding to it
These are just some basic tips to avoid being scammed. New scams emerge all the time, but following the above is a good way to help stay safe online