3 Types of Fraud on Gaming Apps

Whether it’s a social activity or a personal hobby, online gaming has become a common pastime. Online gaming has exploded in popularity, with nearly 40% of the world’s population playing video games. In fact, the video gaming industry is set to be worth over 250 billion USD by 2025

Gamers often spend hours on end building up their characters and progressing through levels to reach the top. But this also makes their accounts a goldmine for fraudsters. One encounter with fraud can tarnish the gaming app’s reputation and cause a player to leave the platform for good. Given that online gaming is growing more popular, it’s important to know what types of fraud to look out for.

Types of fraud on gaming apps 

1. Account takeover (ATO) fraud 

Gaming accounts house everything from in-game currencies to character skins, making them the perfect victims for account takeovers. This is because they can save a fraudulent user thousands of hours building up their account. Fraudsters also use credit card details saved in the account to purchase gaming currency and buy digital goods. 

Fraudsters will often change the password on the account to lock the account owner out, which causes the genuine player to leave the platform for good. This leads to lost revenue and a negative user experience. Fraudsters also resell the taken over account for profit. 

2. Fake accounts

It’s no secret fake accounts have been wreaking havoc on the internet. Fraudsters will create fake accounts at scale using bots and emulators to flood online gaming tournaments and increase their chances of winning. This erodes the trust and confidence of genuine players. Similar to ATOs, fake accounts can also be created to make in-app purchases with stolen credit card details. 

3. Botting 

Fraudsters use bots to level up accounts and farm items, both of which can be sold for real-world currency. Bots are able to accumulate resources more easily and more quickly, which creates an unfair playing field and ruins the in-game experience for genuine players.  

How SHIELD can protect your gaming platform from fraud

SHIELD’s technology supports gaming companies in stopping fraud and building trust. The SHIELD ID, a unique device identifier that detects every risky user and device with unparalleled precision, is a key feature that enables real-time fraud detection. The advantage of the SHIELD ID is that it stays the same no matter how many times fraudsters try to make an existing device look new. For example, fraudsters will use the same device to create several user accounts and enter tournaments to increase their chances of winning. But with the SHIELD ID, gaming apps will know when one device is being used to access multiple accounts, in turn putting an end to multi-accounting. 

The group of SHIELD Risk Indicators also helps online businesses identify what tools are being used to commit fraud. Suppose a fraudster was using emulators, bots, and app cloners to conduct fraudulent activity on a gaming app. SHIELD’s technology would pick up on this in real-time, empowering the online business with the knowledge they need to fight fraud. 

As the number of users on gaming apps skyrockets, it’s imperative that companies are proactive in the fight against fraud.  

Learn how our technology can help protect your gaming app from fraud