Does the name “Fortnite” ring any bells? It should, because it’s probably the most popular video game in the world right now, garnering the attention of millions of fans and even a few celebrities. Oh, and a handful of cybercriminals as well. Despite the fact that the game is not yet available for Android, crooks are advertising “leaked” versions of Epic Games’ Fortnite — by releasing YouTube videos with fake links claiming to be Android versions of the game.
This scam begins with a user conducting a simple Google or YouTube search for “Download Fortnite for Android” or “How to install Fortnite on Android.” This search provides users with dozens of videos – some of which have millions of views – that claim they can show how to get the game on Android. From there, people are then directed to download one of the fake Fortnite apps.
These fake apps do a great job at seeming convincing, as many use the same images and loading screens found in the iOS app. They even play the game’s intro song and prompt users to log in – seems legitimate, right? But soon enough, the apps reveal their true colors.
The apps will ask a user to provide mobile verification, to which they’ll confirm and hit OK. Then, users get redirected to a site claiming to check if they’re a bot or not, which requires them to download another app and then click on a link that comes with the “unlock instructions” within that app. Once users hit “tap to install,” however, they’re only guided back to Google Play. Users can keep installing app after app and will never actually get to the actual Fortnite game.
Essentially, this means the cybercriminals are aiming to make money off of increased app downloads. This incident reminds us that online gaming has its risks, and Fortnite is no exception. Therefore, in order to stay protected from this scam and others like it, be sure to follow these tips:
- Do your homework. Know your game – find out when and where it is available on different platforms. And if for some reason your research yields mixed results, check the game’s main page to confirm the answer.
- Go straight to the source. It’s a good security rule of thumb for anything out there – do not download something unless you are getting it from the company’s home page. The most trusted source is the original one, so make sure you’re using the real deal. If you’re an Android user, it’s best to just wait for Epic Games’ version of Fortnite in order to avoid frauds.
- Use comprehensive security. Whether you’re using the mobile iOS version of Fornite, or gaming on your computer, it’s important you lock down all your devices with an extra layer of security. To do just that, use a comprehensive solution such as McAfee Total Protection.