Playing Games on PC Safely: A Guide to Avoiding Scammers

For many gamers, playing games on PC is a great way to relax and have fun. But unfortunately, scammers can take advantage of unsuspecting players. They aim to steal your personal information or money, and it's important to know how to protect yourself. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from these malicious individuals. This article will look at how to stay safe when gaming online and provide tips for avoiding scammers.

Playing Games on PC Safely  A Guide to Avoiding Scammers

1. Use Legitimate Sites to Download Games

Only download them from trusted, legitimate sites to stay safe when playing PC games. Many online gaming stores now offer free pc games download options for popular titles, which are the safest places to purchase new releases. Some websites may trick you into downloading malicious software masquerading as free games or game cheats.

If you need more clarification about the legitimacy of a website, research it first and check for accreditations from major game publishers. Also, be aware of any fees associated with the download, and take time to read the legal disclaimers before you proceed.

2. Be Aware of the Risks

Awareness of the risks of playing games on a PC is important. While there are many legitimate online gaming sites and services, scammers can also target unsuspecting players by posing as game developers or offering fake in-game items for sale. If you don't take precautions, you could find yourself vulnerable to identity theft or financial loss.

That's why it's essential to understand the potential threats before engaging in any online gaming activity. The best way to protect yourself is to research and ensure you know who is behind a particular game or service before making any transactions.

3. Use Secure Networks

One of the most important steps you can take is to ensure that all your devices are connected through a secure network connection with strong encryption protocols. Any data sent over the internet will be encrypted and protected against potential snooping or theft. Additionally, if you're connecting via public Wi-Fi hotspots — such as those found in coffee shops and airports — always remember to check that they are legitimate before entering any personal information or passwords.

It's also wise not to save passwords on public computers so as not to leave them open for anyone else to access them later on down the line. Try connecting directly via an ethernet cable instead of relying entirely on wireless connections, which might be more susceptible to hacking attempts because they broadcast signals.

4. Use Strong Passwords

A strong password is essential for keeping your data safe when gaming on a PC. Make sure to use at least ten characters, including numbers and symbols, to make it harder for scammers to guess. It's also important to remember not to use the same passwords across multiple sites and services, making it easier for hackers to access your personal information.

llaptop keyboard typing

Make sure to change your passwords regularly and avoid using words or phrases that are easy for others to guess. These simple steps can help ensure your gaming experience is safe and secure from potential threats.

5. Utilize Anti-Virus Software

One of the most effective ways to protect your PC when playing games is by using anti-virus software. This software can detect malicious programs and other threats, such as Trojans, worms, rootkits, spyware, and ransomware, that could lurk on your system. Anti-virus software can also help prevent you from downloading infected files or clicking on suspicious links that may lead to malicious sites.

Anti-virus programs are designed to scan your computer for potential viruses or malware and alert you if anything suspicious is detected. They also provide real-time protection against new threats as they arise so you can stay safe while gaming online. It's best practice to keep your anti-virus software up to date with the latest version available to ensure maximum security when gaming online.

6. Beware of Phishing Attacks

A suspicious email or message asking for your personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, could be a sign of a phishing attack. It's important to remember that legitimate game developers will never ask you to provide sensitive information via email or messaging. If in doubt, always verify the source of the communication before responding.

It's also wise to avoid clicking on any links sent from unknown sources and never download any suspicious files or attachments that could be infected with malware or a virus. If you ever receive an email claiming to be from your game provider, contact customer support directly to verify its authenticity before taking any further action.

Following these simple tips can help ensure that your gaming experience is safe and secure from potential scammers and other online threats. As long as you remain vigilant and aware of any suspicious activity, you should be able to enjoy your PC gaming experience without worrying about the risks associated with it.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

Bookmark articleSave

Was this article helpful?

Comments, Questions, Answers, or Reviews

There are no comments as yet, please leave one below or revisit.

To protect your privacy, please remove sensitive or identifiable information from your comments, questions, or reviews. We will use your IP address to display your approximate location to other users when you make a post. That location is not enough to find you.

Your post will be set as anonymous because you are not signed in. An anonymous post cannot be edited or deleted, therefore, review it carefully before posting. Sign-in.

Write Your Comment, Question, Answer, or Review

Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Playing Games on PC Safely: A Guide to Avoiding Scammers