LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you have kids, chances are at least one of them is into video games. Now, cybercriminals are trying to use your kid’s gaming habits to get into your bank account.
It’s the newest trick from cyberthieves: steal gamers’ identities, tap bank accounts, and run up parents’ credit cards.
“Trying to get them to get information from parents, credit card numbers, there are so many different ways that these online predators and these scammers try to target our children,” said Metro Police Lieutenant Allen Larsen.
Scams offer kids things they value, like free access to online games, prizes, or special features.
“Kids are being exposed to technology at much younger ages than you and I ever were,” Lt. Larsen added.
He suggested that parents make sure their kids know to stay alert about it.
“Find a news article, or a blog, or something else where it talks about how a kid was specifically scammed and how that hurt them and relay those stories to them,” he said.
Scammers create fake versions of popular games, use phishing scams to get account details, and send fraudulent emails or fake QR codes to grab a password they want to get into the kids’ info to get out with a credit card number.
“When we allow our kid’s unfettered access to the Internet, on a tablet, or a phone, or a computer in their rooms without us having any kinds of eyes on it, or being in close proximity, we have absolutely zero clue”, Lt. Larsen continued.
What can parents do? They can whitelist websites, use strong passwords, never share credit card information, use two-factor authentication, and set filters to implement parental controls, including a feature where you type in your Apple ID.
“One thing to watch for if you’re a parent is don’t enable Face ID for app purchases or things like that for your younger children,” Lt. Larsen continued. “They’re a lot more trusting than maybe we were. And a lot more naïve than we were when we were kids.”