Fake Game Codes Target Gamers Ahead of Cyberpunk 2077 Launch
With any highly anticipated game launch, there are loads of scammers trying to steal game codes, Xbox Live or PlayStation Network accounts, and money from players. With Cyberpunk 2077 coming out very soon, it’s no different.
Several websites have been found offering free Cyberpunk 2077 game downloads. The malicious websites all work the same. If the user clicks on the link to get a free copy of Cyberpunk 2077, the site downloads a malicious installer on their machines, says a report from security researchers at Kaspersky Labs.
To continue the dodge, the malware shows a splash screen with some useless buttons that supposedly configure and start the game download.
If the user clicks on the button to get a license key, they are prompted to take a survey or enter sweepstakes to get a game code. The survey prompts the victim for contact information which is harvested by the scammers.
What is Cyberpunk?
Cyberpunk 2077 is CD Projekt Red’s newest game. It is set in dystopian Northern California, specifically in Night City. The game is set in the year 2077.
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When is Cyberpunk 2077 coming out?
This game is been in production for the last eight years. Since 2012, when it was first announced, the Cyberpunk release date has been delayed from the beginning of 2020. Cyberpunk 2077 will be releases on 10 December for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Xbox One. But the official Cyberpunk release date for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S isn’t until sometime in 2021
Best Buy has been accidentally sending Cyberpunk Collectors Editions of the game out to individuals early – meaning before the release date. That means, it’s possible that a scammer could send physical copies of the game to an individual, journalist, or review site telling them that the copy is from Best Buy or another retailer. The fraudster could legitimately claim that a copy of the game was accidentally shipped to them before the official Cyberpunk release date.
“We found several websites supposedly giving away Cyberpunk 2077,” says the report by Kaspersky Labs.
Furthermore, digital download codes have been difficult to come by for reviewers. Journalists and player influencers are commonly offered access before a game is officially released to the public so they have time to work on a review. Typically ,a reviewer would get a copy of a video game up to a month ahead of the date the game becomes available to the general public. That way, they can post a review on launch day. The journalist gets a free copy which drives sales for the game company.
The early release date opens up an opportunity for fraudsters. A malicious actor, pretending to be from CD Projekt Red, might target journalist with a phishing email. The messaging could offer them a game code to unlock Cyberpunk. If the victim journalist is tricked by the email and is lured into visiting a spoof website (like the ones shown above) to download their fake reviewer copy, it could infect their machines with malware or steal data.
Cyberpunk In-game Scams
Since there are no microtransactions in Cyberpunk there is no money to steal. Also, there is no multiplayer mode. So players should not fall for scam account related emails – but all too often they do.
Since Cyberpunk does not have multiplayer, you don’t need an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account to play. So, if anyone sends you an email saying you’ve been locked out of Cyberpunk multiplayer, then you know it’s a scam.
How to Protect Against Cyberpunk scams
- Never click on a link in an email to get a free game code
- Cyberpunk does not have multiplayer mode and does not require an Xbox account. Don’t be fooled by suspicious account login notifications
- Use a reliable security solution to protect your setup against malware