One of the things that I love about playing games online with my console, is that I won’t boot up the machine and find my Xbox or PS3 inbox flooded with numerous 419 scams and Nigerian royalty begging me to help them move a few million dollars.
Well, it hasn’t happened to me yet anyway, but apparently, quite a few players on Xbox Live have been caught up in some phishing schemes, and it might just get worse in the future. British Tabloid The Sun, recently ran an expose on this new racket, and with some straight facts, they handled the story quite admirably for once.
No, I’m lying, they handled it like an alcoholic with a half bottle of brandy.
The crooks have employed several well-known internet scams, redirecting players to free MS points websites that are in actual fact, phishing sites, said The Sun in their “exclusive” article.
"Victims then enter personal details which let criminals access accounts and get hold of credit card information," wrote The Sun. "Crooks take small amounts from credit cards over several weeks, making them hard to detect."
Some of the other methods used to gain access onto a players account was to befriend them on Xbox Live, and then see how stupid/gullible they were and ask for their personal details, eventually leading to them being locked out.
After the “exclusive story” broke, Microsoft issued the following statement to Kotaku;
The online safety of Xbox LIVE members remains of the utmost importance, which is why we consistently take measures to protect Xbox LIVE against ever-changing threats. As a result, we are currently:
– Working closely with affected members who have been in touch with us to investigate and/or resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts resulting from phishing scams.
– Warning people against opening unsolicited e-mails which may contain spyware and other malware that can access personal information contained on their computer without their knowledge or permission.
– Reminding all customers that they should be very careful to keep all personal information secure whenever online and never supply e-mail addresses, passwords or credit card information to strangers.
Microsoft remains vigilant at all times regarding the security of Xbox LIVE customers. As always, Xbox LIVE customers who have any queries or concerns should contact Xbox LIVE Customer Service on 0800 587 1102 or visit www.xbox.com/security.
Moral of the story? If you’re too thick to be a little bit cautious and sensible, don’t make new friends on Xbox Live.