FBI Warns About Cryptocurrency Theft Scams Using Play-to-Earn Games

The FBI has issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) warning of the use of money making games as part of a scheme to defraud users of funds held in the form of cryptocurrencies. According to the bureau, the perpetrators introduce victims to these kinds of games and then use malware to extract funds from cryptocurrency wallets associated with the game.

FBI releases PSA on Play to Earn Games crypto scheme

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning about the introduction of “play to earn” games in schemes designed to steal funds from unsuspecting users. On March 9, the institution posted an advertisement explaining how criminals are luring users into investing in games that need to earn money.

According to the PSA, perpetrators form relationships with selected victims in order to gain their trust. After that, they lure them into participating in online games that offer rewards for their actions and deposit funds into a cryptocurrency wallet as a staking mechanism.

The advertised rewards are proportional to the amount of funds held in the cryptocurrency wallet, so users are motivated to invest more funds to get more rewards.

Games are showing an increase in fake rewards in their cryptocurrency wallet and are spending more funds to keep increasing their rewards. However, when they want to withdraw these rewards, the criminals deplete their wallets of deposited cryptocurrencies, asking for more funds to help recover the stolen cryptocurrencies as a final theft against the targeted victim.

How not to become a victim

In the PSA, the FBI also offers a number of recommendations to avoid becoming a victim of criminals using such schemes. The first is related to the separation of funds, as the bureau advises keeping other funds separate from the game wallet, which should be created only for gaming purposes; this minimizes the consequences of losing a wallet.

Another recommendation suggests that users check their alleged earnings with a third-party block explorer to ensure they are real and actually flowing into the wallet of whatever cryptocurrency they are using. The latest recommendation encourages users to check which sites have access to the funds in their cryptocurrency wallets and periodically revoke that access to avoid losing funds due to unknown contracts.

The FBI issued several advertisements last year, including a warning about a pig butchering scam in December and another regarding decentralized finance in August.

What do you think of the FBI’s latest warning about schemes using the game to make money? Tell us in the comments section below.

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