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Why The Online Gaming Industry Is Fraudsters’ Top Target

The online gaming industry is a playground for the creative fraudster. As the status of gaming platforms continues to grow, fraudsters across the world are devising ever more inventive ways to attack. In the online gaming industry, the fraudster’s end game can fluctuate from stealing payment details in account takeovers, selling in-game assets on the black market, or devising scams that use gaming messaging systems to disseminate malicious content.

Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow by the day. In fact, it’s predicted to grow to $200 billion by 2023. There are many forms of online gaming, for example, mobile, PC and console. The industry only seems to swell daily as more leading-edge technologies, for example, such as Virtual Reality, are beginning to supplant conventional forms of gaming.

The gaming industry is feasibly one of the most profitable industries with a high deal of loyalty that is involved. For gaming businesses all over the world, combatting fraud means a bigger deal – maintaining customer loyalty, preserving the sanctity of the game and delivering a good gaming experience. All this while keeping profitability in mind.

Given the profitability of the industry, this makes it an extremely attractive pot for fraudsters to dip their fingers into.

People Are Preferring To Do Things Online

With digital channels serving as a priceless lifeline for much of the world, four times as many transactions were seen in 2020 as compared to the previous year.

To give you a general idea about the popularity of online shopping as an example of online activity, a total of 69% of Americans have shopped online. Twenty-five per cent of Americans shop online at least once per month. The majority (59%) of these shoppers bought clothing items, and 47% bought their first item on Amazon.

This increased activity has created an ideal breeding ground for attacks as fraudsters work to blend in with trusted users, rendering typical models of good versus bad user behaviour obsolete.

No Online Activity Is Safe

With the increasing popularity of online shopping continuing, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a surge in the following types of fraud have been observed:

  • Credential stuffing,
  • Account takeover (ATO) attacks, as well as
  • Gift card fraud.

Real Money PokiesCredential-stuffing incidents more than doubled in Q4 of 2020. This is as compared to Q3. These types of attacks increased by nearly 90% as compared to Q1.  Unfortunately, fraud is set to continue its upward trajectory. Experts feel that the frequency and severity of fraud will never return to the lower pre-pandemic levels.

One of the most significant contributors to gaming fraud is online gamers’ preference for staying anonymous or using a ‘gaming name’. Many websites work well in order to facilitate this. As a result, unfortunately, this practice opens them up to all types of payment fraud.  One of the best ways for gaming sites to protect themselves from payment fraud is to put security protocols in place which verify the identity of the user.