WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — Cody Pereira started playing Fortnite a few months ago.
“It’s almost every day I play because it’s just that much fun!” he said.
The wildly popular online game is free but players can purchase upgrades with “V-Bucks.” In a Twitter post, Fortnite warned its users to beware of scam sites offering free or discounted V-Bucks.
Matt Cullina, the CEO of CyberScout, which specializes in identity theft protection, said Fortnite scammers have two objectives: to take over accounts or steal personal data.
“Scammers look for what’s most popular,” Cullina said. “Kids are watching videos of other kids playing and they’re getting pop-up ads and getting lured into these scams, into these phishing sites.”
By clicking on phishing links, Fortnite players may be handing over a treasure trove of personal information, including credit card numbers and email addresses.
“If they do have those bits of personal information about you, they could just open up new accounts in your name anywhere once they have that critical information,” Cullina explained.
Players can protect themselves by avoiding links promising free V-Bucks, and by checking privacy settings in the game.
“They do have two-factor authentication on the game, so you can really set it so it takes two or more pieces of information about you to get into the game, so if others are trying to access your account, it’s less likely that they’re going to break in,” Cullina said.
Pereira said he uses the two-step verification, adding that he’s never seen a pop-up add for free V-bucks.
“I’m OK so far!” he said.