As a gamer you spend a lot of money. Whether you like the old school titles or the latest releases, you’ll pay top dollar for collector items as well as the newest and hottest titles. With such an expensive hobby, it’s important that you protect yourself from thieves and scammers as your financial and personal information are jackpots for dishonest people.
Skimmers are devices designed to capture your debit card number from an ATM transaction. Skimmers come in all shapes and sizes and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial fraud each year. Some fit onto the front of an ATM right where you slide in your card. When you do so, the device reads your magnetic strip and saves your information. Others are small cameras that are positioned to see your debit card number and your PIN, when you type it in.
There are ways you can spot skimmers on an ATM, as long as you’re alert. If the ATM looks loose, or there are scratches or tape residue near the card slot this is a dead giveaway. If there is a pin size hole at the top of the ATM it’s probably skimmer camera placed there. If you see this, contact the financial institution the machine belongs to. If you have any doubt about an ATM machine, don’t use it.
Anti-virus, Anti-malware, Anti-theft
Malware is always a danger if you’re a computer gamer. Unfriendly URLs can trigger the download of unwelcome malware which gums up your computer and can potentially search your hard drive and data for passwords, account names, and even financial information. However, there are a host of reliable Internet security programs that cover anti-virus, anti-malware, and protect you with a hefty firewall. Products like BitDefender, ESET, and Webroot offer a host of protection tools and constantly monitor your device as well as keep tabs on it with anti-theft mode.
A strong password is as important as keeping your credit card information private. That’s why you should use a random password generator. When you use different randomly generated passwords, your accounts become monumentally more secure. Now if one password is compromised it doesn’t give a hacker the password to all your accounts. Keep all your passwords organized in your phone with a password keeper app. If your phone gets lost, stolen or broken, you can look up the passwords on your friend’s phone just by logging into your account through the same app.
Phishing is the most common gaming fraud. Phishing emails can trick your account information out of you. They typically come addressed from your game provider or a game clan member. The sender’s email address will be as close to possible with the email address they are impersonating, but with one small variation, which, unless you check it meticulously, you’ll be none the wiser that it isn’t from a trusted source. The email itself commonly contains a request that you verify your account information, with a link you click on. This link is a fake website that captures your information when you type it in. Awareness and vigilance is the only way to spot phishing schemes, so make sure you check closely if any emails you receive ask you for account verification.