'These scams are directly targeting innocent players and could be affecting your employees, customers, family and friends,' researchers say
Cyber criminals are targeting players of the popular video game Fortnite on a far greater scale than previously thought, security researchers have revealed.
Between early September and early October of this year, Zerofox discovered 53,000 different instances of online scams relating to Fortnite, the majority of which stem from social media.
"These scams are directly targeting innocent players and could be affecting your employees, customers, family and friends," Zerofox researchers wrote in a blog post that detailed their findings.
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One popular scam involves preying on children and adults in search of 'V-Bucks', the in-game currency used to buy items like new weapons and character outfits.
The only place to actually get hold of V-Bucks is either through the official Fortnite store, or by earning them in the game itself. However enterprising criminals have set up fake websites that claim to be "V-Buck generators", designed to look and feel like Fortnite.
These sites prompt people to enter their login details for the game, as well as personal information like name, address and credit card details.
To promote and spread these scams, criminals often use YouTube videos or social media campaigns that use phrases like "make quick money," or "earn easy cash."
An estimated 86 per cent of the 53,000 scam incidents were generated through social media, with 11 per cent coming from web domains and 2 per cent coming from YouTube videos.
Zerofox researchers also joined criticism of Fortnite developer Epic Games over its decision not to launch the game through the Google Play store, instead making it exclusively available through its website.
"This has created a prime opportunity for scammers to create fake Android Fortnite apps, as well as fraudulent websites prompting players to 'download' the Fortnite app," the researchers wrote.
"Despite Fortnite's best attempts to circumvent players from using these fraudulent websites through their forums and support, players continue to fall victim to these kinds of scams daily."