How to Spot a Phishing Scam

Written by Chad

March 21, 2011

Most of us play MMO or Massively Multiplayer Online games, and we usually get newsletters from the game’s official website if not weekly, every month. And chances are you were able to received this kind of email.


As you can see on the image, the email stated that my account was being sold or traded or rather involved in real money transaction or RMT. I would have been convinced that my account was indeed involved in illegal activities if it wasn’t for two factors:
  • One is that the link that they provided is NOT that official website of the particular game (highlighted in red box)
  • And second I didn’t used my email to register for that game, so it is impossible for them to send me an email for that particular issue.
So in this case, this email is considered a phishing scam.
Phishing scams are attempted ways in tricking you to give your personal information (it can be your credit card info, account ID from your MMO games, email address and/or password) and they will steal your information and use it for any illegal activities and transactions. Some methods are by sending you and email where they ask you visit a particular link and input your account information (which is similar to the email that I received)
So how do we detect a phishing scam?
  • Check the spelling, grammar and even the spacing of their messages, if it was done unprofessionally; chances are, it’s a phishing site.
  • Check the address of the sender, if the email address of the sender is NOT from a game company email (e.g. World of Warcraft employees usually use on their email addresses)
  • But there are some who can masked their addresses and make them looked authentic, you can check their emails by looking at the email header to trace to the origin of the email. You can refer to the image below on how to detect a phishing scam by using the email header
  • If you are still unsure if the email that you received is authentic or not, you can verify it by contacting the customer support of that particular game (if you really have an account on that game)
Help! I’m a victim of their scams
If you became a victim of their scams, here’s what you should do:
  • If you visited the link that the phishing scam provided, do not give any personal and sensitive information if the link prompts you to provide
  • In case you did provided your personal information, change the email address that is linked to your game account as soon as possible
  • Also, change your game account’s password as well your email address password
  • In case your game was suddenly suspended, contact your game’s customer support immediately.
What should I do with their emails?
All you have to do is simply delete their emails, and if they keep on sending you emails, mark them as spam and filter their addresses to block any of their emails in the future.
Remember, it’s important to be well informed about scams like these, this kind of phishing scam is only the tip of the iceberg, as there more scams waiting for prospect victims, and please do take note that this does not only apply to a single MMO, this can happen to any MMOs, so be sure to share this guide to your friends to ensure a secured gaming experience on your favorite MMOs.
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