LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- With many people being online more these days, experts are warning consumers to be vigilant and to watch out for scams during online game play. 

Video games are giving consumers a way to interact with friends, family, and strangers without the danger of contracting the coronavirus, but experts warn there are risks users must consider.

Laurian Clause, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “Most of these games can be played by children who are home now, and if they’re using a laptop of their parents, it may be tied to a bank account so they could be using information through these kinds of things that scammers are accessing through the game.”​

Clause is talking about the “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” video game… warning parents to be mindful of what their children are doing.​​

“It’s a virtual reality that gets created in this Animal Crossings game, and it’s an open-ended game, and you can with the items that are collected purchase within the game,” explained Clause.​

Since its initial release, Animal Crossing has become a hit with many players, and there are Facebook groups dedicated to the game. ​With strangers coming together to arrange virtual town visits, reports of scams have surged online. ​

Clause added, “What’s happening is Facebook groups are getting created, and eBay will show that you can purchase this in real money and build your virtual reality quicker, and so what we want consumers to know is that doesn’t exist. You cannot use real money in this particular game so it is a scam.”​
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to follow so you won’t get ripped off.

  • Beware of “real life” transactions – scammers can and have created listings on eBay or in Facebook groups, advertising wanted characters or items for sale.
  • Know your friends – set boundaries with players you interact with online.​
  • Create a safe space.