Fortnite players looking for ways to cheat at the mega-popular online game are being targeted by scammers pushing malware downloads, reports security firm Malwarebytes.
“The new season of the incredibly popular video game Fortnite is upon us, and so too are the scams,” wrote Malwarebytes researcher Chris Boyd in a blog post. “It’s no surprise that con artists would jump on this bandwagon, eager to peddle their fakeouts.”
Some scams promise cheats or free in-game currency and simply feature endless loops of surveys, ads, and download links that pull users along without ever serving up any actual content. But at least one, linked from a since-removed YouTube video, actually led gamers to a bogus cheat program that contained malware. If players ran the program, it would attempt to bundle up information about their browsing history, bitcoin wallets, and Steam sessions to a server in Russia.
An accompanying file offered to sell additional cheats for $80 in bitcoin, Boyd writes.
The scam isn’t the first to target video game pirates or cheats, or even to attempt to swindle Fortnite players: In July, The Independent reported scams offered fake Android downloads of the game as well as offers for free V-bucks, the game’s internal currency. People potentially including some youthful players of a game popular with teens and tweens, who tried to claim the digital funds, were either led to ad-laden survey pages or asked to reveal their Fortnite login credentials.
Many of those scams were publicized through YouTube videos, and at the time the company reported it was removing the fraudulent offers as soon as it became aware of them.