Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

Cheating players: what’s wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

Using simple examples, we will explain how digital scammers sell stolen accounts, “official” subscriptions and deceive naive buyers. Below you will learn how not to become a victim, protect your personal data and nerve cells.

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Keys for activation

Keys are perhaps the only adequate and legal type of goods on fraudulent marketplaces. How it works: Game companies sell keys at low prices to third parties for distribution. Often you will have to turn on VPN if the toy has a regional binding and the key will not be activated from Ukraine.

Official keys activated in the player’s profile will not be of interest to us in this material. We will focus on stolen accounts and fake subscriptions.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

Sometimes in the official Origin store on sale it was possible to buy BFV at a more attractive price

Stolen accounts

The most common type of goods on such fraudulent sites are stolen accounts for popular services. But how do they get so many stolen profiles?

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

For most profiles, cyber-bandits obtain passwords using the so-called “brute” technology. This is a brute-force way to crack popular passwords using special software. Such actions can be equated with the theft of personal data and this is a gross violation of the law. The utility will iterate through various services and try to guess the passwords. Services where schoolchildren earn money (penny) for manually entering “captcha” help them with this.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

Double authentication and a complex password is the best way to protect your gaming accounts from being stolen. Fans of using simple passwords become victims of scammers.

Where do the bandits get the list of emails from? There are many vulnerable databases being stolen by cunning specialists. These bases are then sold on the black market and will be useful to account finders.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

For the experiment, a cheap Origin account was purchased. Immediately the system issued the profile data, which turned out to be incorrect. The seller responded quickly and sent others to replace. After some time (about a month) it was no longer possible to enter the profile (the real owner changed the password or scammers). And this is the case for many users. One account is sold to dozens or hundreds of buyers.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

On digital marketplaces, you can find bad reviews, where store owners give users a chance to read the opinions of buyers about unscrupulous “hucksters”.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

A naive gamer wants to save money, but will only lose a few tens or a good hundred hryvnias, giving them away for air. “The miser pays twice” is the appropriate expression in this case. Buying an original game on sale is too easy and expensive for schoolchildren, even if the discount is more than 50%. It is on such a greedy or poorly provided audience that scammers count on and rip off the last money from their wallet.

Untrusted Subscriptions

Let’s consider another type of fraud on the example of a subscription for XBOX Ultimate for 12 months. For only $30 we are offered an annual subscription. But what is wrong here?

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

How the scheme works: the user buys a subscription, which will be used through family access. A cyber-bandit (seller) adds a buyer to his “family” and shares a subscription with him. In this case, you also risk losing your account by transferring data to scammers. You will not own a subscription that you paid $30 for. You will only be added to the list of those with whom they shared access from the main account. If you want to save money, it’s better to buy an official subscription with your friend and add him to Family Sharing. Steam has something similar for distributing its library.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

The description clearly states that you must provide your personal data. Don’t be surprised if your entire account gets banned or your password changed. Very often people put the same password for email and game profile. It’s risky enough.

Cheating players: what's wrong with online stores of digital keys and video game accounts?

Negative reviews on the plati website are immediately removed without compromise. The administration is well aware of who its sellers are and will always stand on the side of the scammer, because they receive % of the profit from sales. If the buyer complains and reasonably writes his dissatisfaction – it does not matter, his comment will stand for several minutes. We give the terrible site plati 0 points out of 10 for covering up fraudulent schemes and ignoring the opinions of buyers. Other platforms for selling digital goods at least do not hide the reviews of dissatisfied customers. We send the resource to the black list.

conclusions

Buying stolen game profiles is unreliable, humiliating. Shamelessly using someone else’s account. Those who sell and steal them are classified as criminals, not sellers. Sites that protect scammers are also in the share and are well aware that they help sell stolen valuables. By buying cheap “subscriptions”, the user risks losing personal data or getting a game profile blocked. Negative reviews never always reach the public, because it is all very well controlled and removed by the managers of this criminal business. We do not recommend buying accounts and subscriptions in any form. A safe exception on such sites may be activation keys in your profile without “shamanism”, but they often cost no less than a Steam game on sale.

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