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FBI alerts gamers against rising play-to-earn gaming scams

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an advisory warning to the public against the rise of a new digital currency scam involving play-to-earn games.

In the warning dated March 9, the FBI stated that the bad actors rope in victims with the promise of impressive digital currency-earning opportunities on the gaming platforms. The victims are approached over the internet by the scammer, faking a relationship to earn their trust over several weeks.

According to the FBI’s statement, the scammers tell the victim to create a digital currency wallet and fund it before accessing the game. The scammers often claim that the larger the funds, the more rewards that would accrue from playing the game.

“Victims play the game and see fake rewards accumulating in the app. When victims stop depositing funds into the wallet, criminals drain victim wallets using a malicious program victims unknowingly activated upon joining the game,” the FBI said.

To make the most of the scams, the bad actors will ask victims to pay taxes and other additional funds to speed up the withdrawal process. The FBI notes that the rampaging fraudulent scheme has cost residents millions of dollars in losses across the U.S. as it urges citizens to be wary of such schemes.

The FBI suggests several ways for residents to protect themselves from scams. According to the warning, users looking to participate in play-to-earn offerings are advised to use a separate wallet to link with gaming apps so that losses will be minimal in the event of a breach.

Users are also advised to use a third-party explorer to confirm the balance of addresses in the gaming wallet and to leverage a third-party token allowance checker to revoke permissions inadvertently granted to shady websites or applications.

Swimming in a myriad of scams

The FBI has been at the forefront of combating the scourge of digital asset scams ravaging the industry, recently issuing a warning on the rise of pig butchering scams.

“You’re dealing with people that are going to use different psychological techniques to make you vulnerable and to get you interested in parting with your money,” Jeff Rosen, a Santa Clara County, California, district attorney warned.

Following its notice on pig butchering scams, the FBI issued another advisory warning on decentralized finance (DeFi) exploits involving the use of flash loans, and oracle and security verification exploitations. Users interacting with DeFi apps were advised to invest in projects that have been independently audited and to keep an eye out for changes made to the underlying code.

Watch: Law & Order Regulatory Compliance for Blockchain & Digital Assets

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