Don’t Buy Video Game Accounts

Scammers have found a new way to rip you off!
February 24, 2017

Buying Video Game Accounts is a Risky Business

Every gamer knows the frustration of getting stuck on a certain level, or trying to acquire a new character in a favorite game. Buying an account from another player may seem like a fast, easy way to level up, but buying accounts is rife with scams, and most game manufacturers forbid the practice.

How the Scam Works

You search online message boards and fan sites for someone selling the account you want... at the right price. When you find someone, you exchange contact information. The transaction seems easy: you pay the seller, and in exchange, he or she provides the account information.

Of course, these transactions often don’t go as planned. Sometimes, the seller provides incomplete or fake account details. Before the buyer notices, the scammer files a support ticket with the game manufacturer to change the account details. Other times, the scammer sells the account to multiple players and provides them all with the correct account information. However, when multiple users attempt to change the credentials at the same time, the manufacture realizes the account has been compromised and shuts it down.

Most game manufacturers forbid selling game accounts and will deactivate your account if they find out. If you share your account details, this person can pose as you online, making it nearly impossible for the game manufacturer to determine the original owner.

Keep your online game account secure:

  • Don’t share account information with others. Choose a secure password and don’t share your account information with anyone, including friends.
  • Don’t pay users to play for you: Ignore offers from users who play for pay, putting in the hours you need to level up. You will need to share your username and password with these players, compromising your account. If your credit card is attached to your account, these users can go on a shopping spree.
  • Don't share personal details in games. Other players may ask you about yourself, but sharing personal details such as your full name, address, birthday, etc. can open you up to the risk of identity theft.
  • Use unique passwords: Use different passwords for each account you create. If your password falls into the hands of scammers, your other accounts won’t be compromised.

For More Information

Most gaming system manufacturers have safety information on their websites (here are two to check out: Xbox, Playstation). More information for parents is available from the National Cyber Security Alliance. To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (

Note: Sony Corporation of America, which owns Playstation, is a BBB Accredited Business.