The FBI has issued a warning about cybercriminals using “play-to-earn” mobile and online games to steal millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency. Scammers use custom-created gaming apps that promise huge financial rewards proportional to investments.
They establish trust with potential victims via online conversations before introducing them to an online or mobile game that supposedly allows players to earn cryptocurrency rewards in exchange for some activity, such as growing crops on an animated farm.
To participate, victims must buy cryptocurrency and create a crypto wallet, with scammers telling them that the rewards are higher the more funds stored.
Criminals tempt victims with fake rewards to encourage them to deposit more funds, then drain their wallets when the victim stops making deposits.
Victims are then told that they can recover their investment by paying additional taxes or fees, but this is just a ruse, and they are left empty-handed even after paying the extra fees.
Gamers are advised to be cautious of unsolicited messages or invitations to games promising unrealistic financial rewards. The FBI recommends creating a unique wallet if you wish to participate in cryptocurrency-based gaming, as this isolates your primary cryptocurrency holdings.
a third-party blockchain explorer to independently check balances and periodically using a third-party token allowance checker to revoke permissions are other suggestions.
FBI urges victims to report incidents via the Internet Crime Complaint Center to help stop these scams. This latest warning follows previous alerts about cybercriminals using fraudulent cryptocurrency investment applications to target investors, and Pig Butchering cryptocurrency scams that steal ever-increasing amounts of crypto from unsuspecting investors.
In summary, cybercriminals are exploiting “play-to-earn” mobile and online games to steal millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency from unsuspecting victims.
They use custom-created gaming apps and establish trust with potential targets via online conversations before introducing them to games that supposedly allow players to earn cryptocurrency rewards in exchange for completing certain activities.
Victims must create a crypto wallet and buy cryptocurrency to participate, with scammers promising higher rewards for higher amounts stored. Once victims stop making deposits, scammers drain their wallets, then encourage them to pay additional taxes or fees to recover their investment.
Gamers are advised to be cautious of unsolicited messages or invitations to games promising unrealistic financial rewards and to take steps to protect themselves, such as creating a unique wallet, using third-party blockchain explorers and token allowance checkers, and reporting incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.