GAMERS USING Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service have been hit by scams resulting in millions of stolen cash.
Thousands of accounts have been hacked by scammers conning users into giving up sensitive details in return for rewards, reports The Sun. Users in the UK apparently have lost £100 on average but some have been swindled out of up to £200.
Microsoft told us, "The security of Xbox LIVE members is of the utmost importance, which is why we consistently take measures to protect Xbox LIVE against ever-changing threats. In this case, a number of Xbox LIVE members appear to have recently been victim of malicious 'phishing' scams."
One email phishing scam lures gamers to a web site that offers free Microsoft points but requires users to enter personal details to get the rewards. The crooks then use the data to access account and credit card details and take small amounts of money repeatedly to avoid attracting attention.
Other tricks involve conmen befriending players within the Xbox Live service and persuading them to give up personal details. The gamers only realise that something has gone wrong after they discover that their account has been locked because someone else has accessed it.
As a result of the scams Microsoft said it is:
"Working closely with affected members who have been in touch with us to investigate and/or resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts resulting from phishing scams."
"Warning people against opening unsolicited e-mails which may contain spyware and other malware that can access personal information contained on their computer without their knowledge or permission."
"Reminding all customers that they should be very careful to keep all personal information secure whenever online and never supply e-mail addresses, passwords or credit card information to strangers." µ