Watch Out for Dangerous Fortnite Scam Videos on YouTube
Make sure your kids know what to look out for.
Fortnite: Battle Royale is a hugely popular game with kids and adults, with tens of millions of players logging in to play the free-to-play game each month. When a game is this popular, it typically becomes the target of scammers and other nefarious folks who want to take advantage of that popularity to serve their own needs.
Fortnite is no exception to this. There have been countless reports of accounts being hacked and unauthorized charges being made to users’ credit cards. To combat this, the game’s developer, Epic, gave away a free in-game dance to users who turned on an extra security measure on their account called two-factor authentication.
However, scammers can attack players in other ways aside from going after their accounts directly. There are tons of YouTube videos and ads that promise players free V-Bucks (the game’s premium currency) and “cheats” that will help them get ahead in the multiplayer shooter. The problem is, most of these videos are scams. (There are ways to “legitimately” cheat in Fortnite, but Epic has been known to sue users who do so, so don’t do it.)
As Polygon reported, antivirus technology company Malwarebytes investigated some of these scam videos that are currently on YouTube. A detailed report from Malwarebytes showed how a recent scam operates.
While each scam may vary slightly from the next, they typically involve the victim clicking a link in the video’s description that takes them to a page where they must do something -- like complete a survey -- before they’re allowed to download what they think is the Fortnite cheat file. In the case of this scam, users are asked to subscribe to a specific YouTube channel.
Once they download the file, it contains malware designed to steal their data. Malware is nasty software that you definitely don’t want.
If you want to see more of the nitty gritty about this scam, definitely check out Malwarebytes’ report.
There’s an important lesson here for anyone who spends time online. Parents, make sure your kids know these videos are “too good to be true,” and that cheating in Fortnite puts them at risk of losing their account entirely -- either by getting banned by Epic, or by you taking it away.