Free video game console promotions could get you hacked


by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 12:21 AM

While XBox and Playstation have been busy trying to win your business, hackers have been drumming up ways to steal your personal information.

“Basically a three step scam to get your information,” explained Christopher Budd, a computer expert at Trend Micro. 

Budd said the phishing scam is disguised as a contest for a free console.

“They set up a Facebook page that says “Like” this page and enter to win a free new PS4 system,” said Budd.

The Facebook page will direct you to an external website where you'll be told to download a file and give up personal information like your name and email address.

“What they're trying to get is access to your online accounts for various purposes, whether it's banking, credit cards or things like email,” said Budd.

Since most people use the same password for all their accounts, all it takes is the bad guys hacking your email to create an even greater threat.

“Your online email account is often the nexus for your online identity.  If I can take over your email account then I can realistically take over all your accounts,” said Budd.

Bottom line – avoid giveaways like this unless they're through the manufacturer.  Change your passwords regularly and don't use the same one more than once.  You don't want to play a game of chance with your financial security.