Most avid online gamers know how to defend themselves on the virtual battlefield by fighting off monsters with powerful weapons, thick armor and unstoppable attacks. But, how many online game players know how to prevent themselves from becoming a target of cyber-crooks? These villains look to steal player accounts, weapons and hard-earned currency. Recently, online gamers have been added to the long list of swindled Internet victims.
One of the biggest threats to people who play MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) are keylogging Trojans. Trojans aren't new to Internet scams, they have been used for years in spam emails, P2P downloads and credit card fraud rings.
Keylogging Trogans are simple programs that come disguised in another program and log all of your keystrokes. The data is sent back to the thief where it is decoded and checked for passwords, pin numbers and other personal information. The thief takes this information, logs into your account and steals currency, weapons and other goods. The bandit then sells your goods on eBay or other auction-based websites.
Trojans don't come in the games themselves, but are easily hid in botting programs-used by gamers to play their character while they are away or sleeping to gain currency and levels. Besides the chance of being banned from the game, botters put themselves at a greater risk. The risk that the bot also contains a keylogger that runs quietly in the background recording every keystroke and sending the information to its creator.
A sure way to avoid Trojans is not to use a bot. There are safer ways to powerlevel you're character like through a MMORPG service like IGE or Gamepal . Though these services aren't free, they provide some security while powerleveling your character and saving you valuable time.
Other common game frauds have to do with buying virtual products like currency, weapons and accounts. There are a few ways that a crooked seller can scam the buyer. After the seller receives payment for the account they will change the password and contact customer service so the new owner is locked out of the account for which they paid. Sometimes the seller will advertise a great product on an auction website and then after the transaction is made, deliver a poor or alternative product. Or, the seller promises gold and glory and leaves you with nothing more than an empty mailbox.
The best way to avoid these and similar frauds is to always use credible companies when powerleveling, purchasing accounts, currency and other goods. For a complete list of credible companies, see the TopTenREVIEWS MMORPG Services Site .
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™
Landesman, M. (2005). That game cheat may be cheating you. Retrieved Jan. 30, 2006, from MMORPG Trojans Abound Web site: http://antivirus.about.com/od/emailscams/a/mmorpg_hacks.htm.
Station Exchange, (2005). Retrieved Jan. 30, 2006, from station.com Web site: http://stationexchange.station.sony.com/.