5 Prevalent E-gaming Scams That Digital Identity Verification Can Prevent
With the increasing adoption of smartphones and rising internet penetration, more than 1 billion individuals stream online games every month. Because of the increasing interest, the industry is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 12% between 2020 and 2025. This surge in numbers has also attracted cyber criminals, particularly as more confidential data is available online. The relative anonymity and vulnerable security mechanisms of e-gaming platforms have paved the way for scams to take place. To counter the emerging scams, robust identity verification (IDV) solutions must be utilized.
Current State of the E-gaming Industry
The release of interactive games and the influx of online gamers during the COVID-19 crisis have contributed to the growth of this sector. Numerous e-gaming platforms have witnessed massive growth in the volume of sign-ups. With relaxed onboarding procedures and security controls, it makes an ideal ground for hackers and imposters. Let’s take a look at the five common frauds that have infiltrated e-gaming platforms.
- Phishing Scams
In a phishing scam, online users are tricked into exposing their sensitive account details. Fraudsters simply send their victims an email from a fake gaming platform with a bogus link attached and require users to confirm their login details and passwords. If the online gamers click on this link, they are taken to a fraudulent website. Once the details are provided, the account information is stolen. This stolen data can be used to commit countless other scams, such as identity theft and account takeover.
- Fake Mobile Apps
Cybercriminals use technical expertise to forge popular online games. Once downloaded, the fake applications install malware into the user’s smartphone or computer. The malware is then used for stealing confidential data. This can include credit card details, phone numbers, and login passwords.
- Targeting Children
Cybercriminals can easily manipulate minors through in-game chats, such as the one available in Call of Duty and PUBG. Often, the same technique is used to trick children into paying for in-game credits. This requires the online gamers to provide credit card details for making the payment. If scammers gain access to the account’s details, they can use it for stealing funds or simply sell the data on the dark web.
- Directing Users to Fraudulent Websites
Fraudsters have used this technique for tricking users into buying game add-ons, such as a unique outfit, weapon, or special moves. This is done by creating a legitimate-looking website. Once funds have been generated through the bogus website, gamers find out too late that they have in fact made online transactions for features that they never received.
- Online Hacks
IP, short for Internet Protocol, is a unique code that identifies a device through the internet. If another person gains access to your IP address, they can directly connect themselves to your device. This is why hackers target IP addresses. Once hacked, they can acquire sensitive information such as the online gamer’s full name, physical address, date of birth, and much more.
Additionally, gaming accounts are often linked with social media accounts or email addresses. With a hacked IP address, any of these accounts can be compromised.
The Role of Digital Identity Verification
Numerous online gaming platforms have employed fully automated online identity verification solutions to stay compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) regulations. However, responsible e-gaming platforms leverage these solutions to not only maintain compliance but also to mitigate the risk of fraud.
The growing amount of financial fraud and spoof attempts through gaming sites has intensified the importance of using the right IDV solution. It has become evident that the verification of both, a gamer’s identity AND age is critical for the safety of online gamers.
- Fraud Detection
The first step for detecting fraud is to utilize an AI-powered digital identity verification software for validating the gamer’s identity. This requires users to provide a government-issued ID document that serves as proof of their identity. However, this method on its own is not enough as ID document details are readily available online and can be bought over the dark web.
Because of this, an identity verification solution requires online gamers to take a selfie in real-time which is then matched against the image present on the ID document. This allows gaming platforms to detect forged, stolen, or modified identity documents.
The Added Value of Employing Biometric Facial Verification
Criminals use 3-D masks, animated avatars, replayed videos, and other spoof attempts to outsmart KYC checks. A robust IDV solution is equipped with unique biometric features of liveness detection and 3-D depth perception. Both of these features use AI algorithms to analyze pictures or videos to conclude whether they come from a live person and or an imposter.
Age Verification for Minor Protection
Traditional age verification checks include a tick-the-box technique where the online gamers are asked “Are You Above 18?”. By simply ticking the box, this age check can be bypassed. To protect minors from gaining access to violent games, document and face verification can be utilized. With this method of digital age verification, false documents can be identified, minors can be safeguarded, and fraudsters can be prevented from taking monetary advantage of children.
- Numerous scams have infiltrated the e-gaming industry
- To prevent phishing scams, fraudulent apps and websites, malware, and hack attempts, KYC identity verification solutions can be employed by e-gaming platforms
- Liveness detected allows online platforms to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent players
- Using robust age verification solutions, minors can be safeguarded against major crimes