Credit Card Fraud and Online Games.

Further to my previous post on rumoured FBI plans to data mine online game World of Warcraft, in an unrelated incident “.net” magazine and “the register” have recently reported that UK Banks the Halifax and Royal Bank of Scotland have started blocking Visa and Master Card payments to game publisher Blizzard Entertainment.

Following an increase in the number of fraudulent card payments for world of war craft game subscriptions, the bank has set the default action for these payments to block. This does not affect existing account holders, and legitimate card holders can contact the bank and have their account overridden to allow these transactions if desired. The banks have stated that they do not believe that publisher Blizzard Entertainment are at all involved in these fraudulent transactions but due to the nature of the type of transaction there is a great enough security risk to justify their action.

This is not the first credit card problem that Blizzard Entertainment have had to content with. In 2005, many World of War Craft customers received statements stating that the 8.99 charge was being made by the Croyden Park Hotel, Croyden or Swallow St. George Hotel, Harrogte, after card processing company Euro Conex based in Dublin, Ireland made a processing error on the payments.

Interestingly World of War Craft, actually offer their own credit card scheme in the US, that allows users to earn game time at 1% of every dollar purchased.

This kind of credit card fraud is very popular, because it is relatively difficult to trace. It is  comparatively easy of set up an account with a false name and address, but comparatively hard to trace an account back through an isp to a phycial address or person. It’s a card not present transaction not requiring a pin number, there are no phyisical goods are being delivered, so there is no delivery address to trace back to, making it much easier for stolen cards or card details to be used.

According to industry organisation APACS, the numer of card not present card frauds affecting UK gambling sites rose by #12.7 million in the first half of 2007, It is estimated that mail order websites suffered 13 million pounds worth of fraudulent transactions in 2007. Many of which come from overseas transactions.

Credit Card Fraud and Online Games.

2 thoughts on “Credit Card Fraud and Online Games.

  1. Jenny Dickman says:

    Just wondering if anyone has had any problem with this site as I have been scammed out of thousands by this site using false names such as go-stbix and box st xxx. I never authorized any of these charges and have no idea where these have come from other than they have my credit card info any advice as who to contact. I have contacted my bank and since it was by credit card it went through and I did not authorize it they said I need to go to the source but I was told not to visit these sites as I would be asking for more problems.

  2. Jenny firstly i have not included the link to the site that you believe that you were scammed by, as i wouldn’t want either to have user of my blog accidently link to it, or them wrongly acused.
    Using stolen credit cards on online gaming sites would generally not work like sing word of war craft, in that if you won real money then it would have to be transfered into a real bank account and there would be a paper trail that could be followed.
    I assume you have had the card blocked already. I would ask your bank if you can do something called a callback, effectively they can put the transaction on hold and make the site prove that they transfered the funds legitamitely. I would also ask you bank what security credentials were used normally you would have to enter the security code for the card, and match the name, address, postode and country of origin. To be honest i would expect the bank to have already gone through this with you.
    As far as contacting the site, this is a tricky on, it depends on whether its a legitimate site that someone has used a stolen card on, or whether it is an illegitimate site stealing money.
    ANyway good luck getting your money back!

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