Cybercriminals Use Crypto Gaming to Steal Millions — Philippines National Police
The cybercrime fighting unit within the Philippines National Police has asked residents to be wary of rewards promised by play-to-earn (P2E) games because they can be used to steal crypto assets worth millions of dollars. The unit said players can reduce the chances of losing money to scammers by doing their own research before committing funds.
Role Played by Custom-Made Gaming Apps
The Philippines’ cybercrime fighting unit, the National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG), has told residents to be wary of rewards offered by play-to-earn (P2E) games as such games are increasingly being used to steal crypto assets worth millions of dollars. In a warning published in the unit’s latest cyber security bulletin, the cybercrime unit said the theft of unsuspecting victims’ crypto assets is perpetrated via custom-created gaming apps.
According to the unit, these gaming apps lure victims with promises of “huge financial rewards directly proportional to investments to potential targets.” Such promises are usually made after criminals have succeeded in cultivating relationships with victims over time. The group added:
They then introduce victims to an online or mobile game, in which players purportedly earn cryptocurrency rewards in exchange for some activity, such as growing ‘crops’ on an animated farm. The mobile games have been designed to display fake rewards that accumulate as the victim plays.
Once a victim stops depositing crypto assets into an already compromised wallet, the cybercriminals then siphon the funds. The cybercrime unit added that hackers usually get away with such crimes because “cryptocurrency is relatively new and not well-regulated.”
Advantages of Crypto Gaming Over Traditional Games
The police bulletin nevertheless acknowledges the advantages of crypto gaming over traditional games, citing the popular P2E gaming platform Axie Infinity which is said to offer players a variety of ways to earn money.
However, the level of investment which is sometimes needed to play can put off some players. On the other hand, players can also lose their digital assets when they sent them to a “wallet that does not support the asset.”
The bulletin further says players can reduce the chances of losing money to scammers by doing their own research before committing funds. They should also be on the lookout for fake individuals and deceptive links.