RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina (BBB) advises consumers to be vigilant and to watch out for scams while playing “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”
Video games are giving consumers a way to interact with friends, family, and strangers safely but scammers are taking advantage of this new platform to steal money.
Recent Animal Crossing related scams that have emerged are centered around individuals trading real-world money for in-game funds, particular characters, or other perks.
“We’re all online more these days, and many people, adults and children alike, have sought solace in the virtual worlds of online video games during this time of social isolation,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB. “While most players may be respectful and kind, a few bad eggs have ruined the online gaming experience for others and we want to make sure all players are aware of the scams occurring.”
BBB has the following tips for safe game play:
Beware of “Real Life” Transactions – Scammers can and have created listings on eBay or in Facebook groups, advertising wanted characters or items for sale. Once you pay with your own money, not in-game currency, the scammer disappears, and you’re left without your purchased items.
Know Your Friends – Set boundaries with players you interact with online. Only provide travel codes (called DODO codes) or send “best friend” requests to people you know and trust in real life. The “best friend” designation gives players a greater ability to make potentially unwanted changes to your town.
Create a Safe Space – If you must invite a stranger to your island, fence off areas that you don’t want a visitor to interact with – such as flowers, fruits, and other objects you don’t want stolen.
If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.
For more information on coronavirus-related scams visit BBB.org/coronavirus.