Fortnite‘s incredible popularity among kids has made it an easy target for rip-off artists trying to make some actual bucks while the game is hot. A recent study from online security company ZeroFox discovered more than 4,700 fake Fortnite websites, and the company sent out more than 50,000 security alerts about Fortnite scams in a single month.
Kids are particularly vulnerable to requests to turn over personal information, including names and email addresses or even credit card numbers. Here’s how you can spot the scam and protect your kids.
What to watch out for
- V-Bucks generators. “V-Bucks generators” are one of the biggest online Fortnite scams. These are often websites that offer people points for watching or clicking on ads, and these points can supposedly be traded in for free V-Bucks within Fortnite. Not only do these free V-Bucks never appear, these sites often try to collect people’s Fortnite usernames and passwords or have them take surveys where they submit personal data under the pretense of verifying that they’re human.
- Fake domains. Similar to V-Bucks generators, there are also tons of sites that offer free V-Bucks or trick people into buying fake ones. These fake domains mimic developer Epic Games’ and Fortnite‘s real styles, colors, and fonts to fool people. Some even put “Fortnite” in the URL. These sites also collect personal information, but they often go a step further in directly charging a credit card or bank account.
- Social media scams. One of the most popular ways that scams are spread is through social media. Fake sites and V-Buck generator often encourage people to share their links to get more points, which helps expose the scam to more people. Plus, these links often direct users to suspicious apps and malware that can also target your kid’s personal information.
- YouTube video scams. Similar to link-sharing scams on social media, there are tons of YouTube videos offering free V-Bucks and more. These fake videos and accounts have millions of views and send gamers to other sketchy sites.
- Fake Android apps. After Epic Games made the controversial decision not to offer their Android app in the Google Play Store, scammers took advantage by putting up fake Fortnite apps. Although they’re designed to look like Fortnite, they’re really data theft and malware distributors in disguise.