Scammers cash in on ‘Fortnite’ game popularity

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WEHT) — Do you know what video games your kids are playing? There’s a good chance they’re hooked on “Fortnite” like millions of gamers around the globe.

The cartoon shooter has taken the world by storm, and now scammers are cashing in.

Something else for parents to add to their long list of worries. But you can help cancel the concern by paying attention to what your kids are doing. 

“Fortnite” is addicting and adrenaline inducing, and if your kids are hooked into your credit card, it could cost you. 

“If you don’t know what your kid is doing online, that is a very big red flag,” said Oana Schneider with the Better Business Bureau. 

The game has new character costumes and cosmetics for sale every day, ranging from $5 to $20 a piece. 

Scammers are preying on kids who crave the coolest new items by promising them new skins if they give them access to their account. 

“Promises are made,” said Dr. James Schroeder, a child psychologist at Easter Seals. “The promise they’re making about what they can have sounds really good.” 

The BBB said it’s a bad idea to keep your credit card info saved online, especially if your kids have access. Schroeder says scammers will stop at nothing to steal your money, even if it means duping children. 

“Sadly, kids can be taken advantage of,” added Schroeder. 

But, it doesn’t take a scammer to spoil your credit score, he said. Kids with access to virtually endless spending can do damage on their own because kids don’t know any better. 

“We call it naive. It’s not bad to be trusting but unfortunately that can be taken advantage of, and so that power; ‘Oh, my gosh, I’ve got this credit card that’s seemingly unlimited.’”

That’s why Schroeder said it’s important to talk to your kids about right and wrong. The BBB suggested knowing your kids’ passwords so you can better track what they’re doing.

Stay plugged in because the ‘Fortnite’ craze doesn’t appear to be fading away.

If you think you’ve been victimized you can get help with the Better Business Bureau by visiting bbb.org/scamtracker or calling 812-473-0202.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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