‘THE Last of Us’ fans have been plagued by cyber scams after the TV adaptation exploded in popularity.
New players of the videogame have unfortunately emerged as the latest target for phishing and malware schemes, an investigation by security firms VPNOverview and Kaspersky has revealed.
Fraudsters have been trying to capitalise off the recent excitement surrounding HBO’s adaptation of the popular videogame franchise, which was first released a decade ago.
Kaspersky researchers shared with VPNOverview details of two separate scamming campaigns that are currently doing rounds.
One was designed to inject PCs with malware, with a fake offer of ‘The Last of Us Part II’.
And another was a phishing ploy designed to steal banking information and other financial data using a bogus game activation code.
“Gamers are a popular target for cybercriminals because, in addition to personal information, passwords, and bank card data, scammers may steal their gaming accounts with internal currency and rare skins, for example, using stealers,” Kaspersky said.
Fake ‘The Last of Us Part II’ offer
Technology expert at VPNOverview, Prateek Jha, said gamers are being lured in with the offer of ‘The Last of Us Part II’ for PC.
But anyone who attempts to download it will automatically have malware injected into their device.
“Most often, players get malicious software, stealing sensitive data, on their devices when trying to download a popular game from a third-grade website instead of buying it on the official one,” Kaspersky added.
Malware can remain hidden inside a device unnoticed for years.
“Users will not know that something is wrong because it may not cause any visible harm while silently doing its job,” the cyber firm warned.
Both ‘The Last of Us’ games are currently exclusive to PlayStation, and are not available to download.
Bogus activation code
The second scam has seen gamers tricked into giving away their banking details over a fake offer of activation codes for the game.
The phishing site bundles the code with a “gift,” such as a PlayStation 5 or a Roblox gift card.
To receive the code and the gift, users must pay a commission fee by entering their credentials and credit card data.
Victims are then left with nothing in return, as scammers can use the stolen data to conduct various types of online fraud.
“Cybercriminals actively lure their victims with trendy games: for example, by offering a free download of a game that may be very expensive on Steam, or by distributing games that have not yet been officially released,” Kaspersky continued.
“And not just games – gamers can download something that looks like Discord from a third-party site but will actually turn out to be malware.”
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