Although parents are often on-guard about their kids and teens running into trouble on social media, multi-player video games present a whole different opportunity for trouble. Just a few weeks ago, a mom in North Carolina spoke out about a horrifying incident involving the popular game Roblox. Now, another family in Ohio is issuing a warning about the web-based multi-player game Fortnite, which has drawn in more than 45 million players around the globe.
Amy Bates says her 13-year-old Jake had been playing the competitive shooting game for some time, spending $300 of his own money on in-app purchases for his character. In the midst of game play, he was convinced by another player to share his login information, offering to give him cool "skins" or avatar clothes for his character.
Bates told WLWT that when the hacker obtained access, he took over everything on the account, going so far as to hack into the email account that was linked, changing recovery passwords and phone numbers. He also obtained access to Bates' credit card number, which was of course linked to the Fortnite account, so that Jake could make those in-app purchases. And as if that wasn't enough, the gamer killed off Jake's character.
The mother and son were understandably shaken by the incident. Now, Bates has filed a complaint with the game developer Epic Games and hopes to share what happened to Jake with parents everywhere, so as to preempt a similar incident from occurring.
Experts say one way to safeguard your personal information is to use throwaway credit cards—ones that aren't linked to a bank account. It's also wise to use a password that's different from those you use on any other site or game.
Finally, keeping login info completely private is a must. As Bates told WLWT, "It says on the game not to give your information out and, ya know, I'm like, it's a lesson learned."