Gamers: Avoid the phishing hook

Did you ever get an email that seemed legit, but it asked you to click a link or give up some personal information? Well, if you play massive multiplayer online games, be warned: phishers are looking for ways to get those emails into your inbox.

Here’s how it goes:

You get an email warning your account is about to be suspended. The reason? The email says “you tried to sell your in-game character or virtual goods for real money.” It claims the gaming company may sue you for as much as $2,700 if you ignore the notice and continue selling virtual goods for real money. If you want to check the status of your account or challenge the suspension, the email tells you to click a link and fill in a “verification” page. In fact, it’s all a trap to try to steal your personal info, like your account or credit card numbers.

It can be hard to tell what’s a scam and what’s legit, especially when an email uses logos or company names. Here are a few tips for dealing with emails like this:

  • Don’t reply and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message
  • If you’re concerned the message is legit, search for the company’s real contact information on your own and reach out to them yourself
  • Use security software from a trusted source and set it to update automatically
  • Don’t open attachments or download files from unexpected emails; they may have viruses that can harm your computer.

If you ever feel like a message you get is a scam — or if you are unsure — talk about it with family and friends, especially before giving out personal information or sending money. We’ve got more about spotting and reporting phishing messages.


I totally understand. I was on the Publishers Clearing House website playing all of their games for the last month. There is a scammer that has hacked our computers and is in my phone. He even sent me a call this morning that I had won the sweepstakes. When I was on their website he was watching every move I make and I think he is watching everything I do on this phone. Very scary.

This FTC article about malware hast tips about what to do if you think someone has added malware or spyware to monitor your computer and phone.

Ok I have not played any games since I realized, after calling Publishers Clearing House that a scammer had infiltrated our systems. When our computer crashed a couple of months ago my husband typed in "Apple Help" and this guy called us and said he was a level 9 technician and could fix our computer from where he was. So we turned it over to him and paid him $300. That is where it all started. We turned all of our information over to a man claiming to be a tech guy but he was the scammer. When our PC went blank my husband. He took our home PC down to the Apple Store and that was when we found out that we turned all of our information over to the scammer. Bad news.

Thank you, I didn't know about this scam...

I've been hacked and before and I Thank you for putting this on Facebook as other people may not be aware of all the scams

Thank you for this information I just recently had facebook try something like this and they want me give them a copy of ID and other forms of ID and told them no I was going to do that and told them that if they try ed to ask for it again I would contact the federal trade commission and file charges and I have not had that problem since

no wondering why it prevent me to play a ghost tales in face book

I delete many of the PCH emails now. Damn scammers! Even when they call asking for DH or myself, I can hear that they're in a boiler room call center and tell caller take me off their call list and if they call one more time I will report them to the FCC! They don't call back. This big dog has teeth and will bite!

are there any services( legitiamte) to opt out of data searches for web sites like instant checkmate and my life .com that releases personal information.

To manage what information is shared, you could:

  • Opt out of getting offers for new credit cards and insurance. That will limit companies getting access to your credit report so they can offer you credit and insurance. This FTC article explains how to opt out.
  • Read the privacy notices you get from companies you do business with. Privacy notices tell how the company shares your information. You have the right to limit some of the sharing.This article explains privacy choices for your financial information.
  • Learn how data 'cookies' are used online to track you, and how you can control who tracks you.

Websites that show information about you - like your name, prior addresses, telephone number, and who lives with you - often collect information from public sources. They might use your social media account, other people's accounts, public records, newspaper articles, etc. You can choose to limit what you put out in public. You can contact a company that creates profiles and ask if it will stop showing your information.

God help America, who can no longer trust herself.

Yes this situation happened to me, they made us tell them our address to help us with our computer problems. The next day they robbed us of our money and food.

how to take back my apple smart phone?i need help

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