Warning: Are You Wise To These Common Beta Scams?

So dates for the Battlefield 1 beta and release have been confirmed by the studio. You’ve got August 31st stamped onto your calendar for some open multiplayer action and somewhere between October 13th and 21st for the full release. But it’s not all big guns and merriment, because beta scamming is becoming a tidy business internationally, with crooks using the ruse of a popular beta to grab your precious details and con you out of a stack of cash. So here’s how to avoid these all-too common beta scam mistakes.

Work From Home

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We all know the ‘work from home’ ads are no more than placards for pickpockets. However in the often crowd funded, player tested video game industry, these ‘work from home’ ads can seem a lot more legitimate. Sites are offering figures of around $100 to naive players who believe they’ve found their dream job – play testing beta versions of video games and keeping the software. What they don’t tell you though is that they need certain details to pay you, or that you’ll need to buy certain pieces of software yourself before developers start sending you games to test – the more you spend on this ‘software’ the more games you’ll get. You see what i’m getting at.

How To Avoid:

  • Video game developers will very, very rarely pay for their games to be play tested and even then probably by industry specialists on a particular aspect.
  • If you’re a keen reviewer, make sure you’re applying for a paid review position rather than a testing position. Normally they’ll pay pocket money, typically around $3-5 a post, far from that $100 pay check you were promised.

The Beta Key

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This one may be fairly raw for some, with recent phenomenon No Man’s Sky being hit with such a scam. A site offering beta keys for upcoming releases under the guise of a secret stress test on behalf of the developers is not a site to trust. They’ll often require you to click elsewhere on the site, triggering a virus download, or demand that you cough up for the bogus code you’re about to receive. No Man’s Sky developers Hello Games had to release a public statement on Twitter this year to warn players that the beta advertised by one site had nothing to do with them. The same thing happened with Pokemon GO in February and countless titles since.

How To Avoid:

  • Only receive keys from the developers’ official site, or through a mailing list directly linked to the developers
  • Even if they’re offering a free deal, never register for a key through another site. They won’t have access to the actual keys, if they did they wouldn’t be carrying that $0 price tag, and they’ll probably just steal your details.

The Extra Content

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We all want that little bit extra from our weekends with our favourite upcoming titles. But for some, this has proved disastrous. Sites offering keys to unlock hidden content within the beta are prolific, and often advertise new weapons, ways to boost your in-game status, and exclusive skins. In multiplayer pursuits with progress translated into full game on release therefore, these boosts are appealing to those prepared to trade in their credit card details. As you guess, they don’t work and can go for eye watering amounts of cash.

How To Avoid:

  • If a site other than the official development site is offering an extra content key, don’t even go there.
  • Some betas use certain exclusives for customers with specific subscriptions or previous purchases, however if you have none of these and you’re being offered the same privileges something under the hood is going on.

I’m still waiting on those sexy singles in my area though, that subscription’s gonna pay off soon I can tell.

@MusingsTwit

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