Some scammers link to Fortnite news articles, but use ad links that earn them cash when you click.
Some scammers link to Fortnite news articles, but use ad links that earn them cash when you click.

Fortnite scammers target Android owners

FORTNITE scammers are using the game's recent launch on Android phones to trick users out of money.

The hit video game was released on select Android devices this month - but fake download links are putting players at risk, The Sun reports.

A phony Fortnite Android video promises users ‘free V-Bucks’, the game’s virtual currency. Picture: Screengrab from website
A phony Fortnite Android video promises users ‘free V-Bucks’, the game’s virtual currency. Picture: Screengrab from website

The game is only available on Android phones via the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9, as part of an exclusive partnership between Samsung and Fortnite developer, Epic Games.

Other Android phone makers are expected to get their own version of Fortnite in the coming weeks.

But fraudsters are hoping that a lack of patience will tempt some gamers to fall for their scams.

A host of different Fortnite scams have surfaced across social media.

Hoax videos are luring Fortnite gamers to fork out cash to scammers. Picture: Screengrab from YouTube
Hoax videos are luring Fortnite gamers to fork out cash to scammers. Picture: Screengrab from YouTube

A YouTube scam features a video showing you how to get Fortnite on Android.

The video clip shows a person demonstrating the process on their phone, but the method is completely phony.

The user will ultimately download a rogue app, prompting them to pay a sign-up fee, despite the fact that Fortnite is available for download free of charge.

Once paid in full, the user is linked through to the actual Fortnite download link - and the hacker has pocketed your cash.

The scams are exploiting the fact that the genuine Fortnite download isn't available through the official Google Play app store.

Epic Games' billionaire boss Tim Sweeney decided against using the official app store, allegedly blaming the 30 per cent cut Google takes from sales.

Instead, customers are forced to download the game from Fortnite's website, paving the way for the scams to surface.

 

To secure ‘free V-Bucks’, users need to perform a series of verification tasks — which do nothing but line scammers’ pockets. Picture: Screengrab
To secure ‘free V-Bucks’, users need to perform a series of verification tasks — which do nothing but line scammers’ pockets. Picture: Screengrab

Another scam lures gamers into a YouTube video for the Fortnite Android download, but instead, scammers offer up a how-to guide and web links for free V-Bucks - a virtual currency in Fortnite.

Normally, you would have to pay cash for V-Bucks, but the phony website promises V-Bucks in exchange for tasks.

These tasks are supposedly part of a "verification" process, but involve downloading games, taking surveys or watching ads.

All of these earn money for the scammer - and leave you with empty pockets and wasted time.

Fake download websites are easy enough to spot — just look for typos on the page, like ‘buton’ and ‘servar’.
Fake download websites are easy enough to spot — just look for typos on the page, like ‘buton’ and ‘servar’.

A third scam involves fraudsters using social media platforms like Twitter to share links for the Fortnite Android download page.

These links take you through to web articles about Fortnite on Android.

But before you get there, you'll have to go through an advertising page that generates money for the scammer.

You don't necessarily end up anywhere dodgy, but you've inadvertently helped a stranger earn some quick cash by wasting your own time.

Cybersecurity firm Synopsys' lead engineer Steve Giguere said fans of viral games like Fortnite are particularly susceptible to online cash grabs.

"The temptation for enthusiasts, blinded by fandom, is such that it subverts the good sense to prevent one from exploring the realm of questionable websites and apps, and the dubious downloads that lead to the malicious malware," Mr Giguere said.

"Any form of social engineering is successful because it is designed around human nature. We should not be ashamed of being caught out by scams like these,

"We have to learn that where we exhibit human weakness, the cybercriminal will be present looking to take advantage and to put our nature against us."

Samsung has partnered with gaming phenomenon Fortnite to provide exclusive content to its Galaxy Note 9 buyers. Picture: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Samsung has partnered with gaming phenomenon Fortnite to provide exclusive content to its Galaxy Note 9 buyers. Picture: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson

The rise of Fortnite scams isn't a huge surprise, of course.

Back in June, security researchers warned phone owners about similar scams - before the game had even launched on Android.

It was a similar story with Fortnite's released on the iPhone in March.

Scammers used the game launch to hoodwink players out of their hard-earned cash by asking gamers to pay fees via PayPal or with Bitcoin to get a copy of the game.

But Fortnite is a free game, and will eventually be available on a wider selection of Android phones - so have patience, and don't get caught out by sneaky scammers.


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