Expert advice from our safety and moderation team on how to spot unauthorised activity
Continuing our series of articles looking at online safety, in this edition I wanted to share some broad advice to help you keep yourselves safe online. This is by no means a complete list of potential issues you may come across, but does apply to a wide variety of potential issues. As I said in the last article in the series – and as a general rule of thumb – if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
Also remember the best way that you can help keep PSN safe is by using the system level reporting function so if you ever come across anything on PSN that you suspect is a scam you can report it to our Moderation team who will be happy to investigate.
Selling mods or cheats
While some games support official mods the sale of mods or in-game exploits by individual users is strictly prohibited. In the vast majority of cases the people that claim to sell these cheats are lying in an attempt to gain access to your account details or to simply steal your money.
As well as running the risk of losing your account or being conned out of money, the developers of the games in question may also punish players that use real cheats to gain an unfair advantage.
We’ve said it before, but you should never share your login details with anyone, especially the unscrupulous sort of person that thinks cheating in online multiplayer games is acceptable in any way shape or form.
Remember, if a digital item isn’t being sold on the PlayStation Store or through a genuine authorised retailer then it likely isn’t a legitimate offering.
“Free” games or PSN credit generators
Let’s nip this in the bud right here: there is no such thing as Free PSN credit or game code generators. Sites that claim to offer free codes are designed to make you part with your personal information which can result in your account being compromised, being signed up for unwanted services, or being bombarded with spam mail.
These sites are often designed to look like legitimate sites, such as PlayStation.com, but if you look closely at the URL and see that it isn’t the site you were made to think it was then that should be a huge red flag. You should never enter any personal information on these sites because you have no idea who will have access to your details or what they’ll do with them.
Impersonating an official
In 2016 we introduced verified accounts with the PS4 System Software 3.10. This blue tick is given to the accounts of verified games industry professionals, as well as the official accounts of specific games and PlayStation staff. In short, if you see the blue tick next to their online ID you know that they are who they say they are.
You will never be approached with offers for free items or rewards via PSN messages, especially from someone without the blue tick next to their online ID. The scammers may ask you to verify your own identity by providing them with personal information, such as your email address and password, but remember that we would never ask you to provide your personal information.
While this isn’t always a particularly malicious thing, chainmail spam is incredibly annoying for those that receive it. It can be even more annoying when the messages that are being forwarded on contain obviously false claims.
Chainmail spam may claim to contain details of some sort of exclusive deal or offer – such as getting free PSN credit for every person you send it on to – but this is universally false. If we were running a deal or promotion we would advertise it through our own official channels, such as this very blog.
As outlined in our last article, we do not allow people to sell their services through PSN. The scammers are likely well aware that this is against the rules and will try to hide what they’re doing.
Firstly, there’re no guarantees that they will actually be able to provide the service they are offering. Secondly, there’s no way to be certain that they won’t just take your money and run as soon as you hand the cash over.
You can be confident that it is a scam if the other player tries to direct you to switch to a messaging service other than PSN. They will do this because our moderation team cannot see messages that are shared outside of the PlayStation ecosystem.
If you are ever the victim of serious fraud you should contact the police and we will do whatever we can to assist in their investigation.
Someone may offer to sell you an account with a ridiculous number of games on it for a very low price. You can safely assume that these accounts have been stolen and that the perpetrator is trying to get some quick cash before the original owner reclaims the account. So long as the original owner is able to prove their identity, we will always side with the original owner of the account.
If you have ever lost access to your account you can contact our customer services team who will be happy to help regain access once they have verified your identity.
Read more in our “Helping you stay safe on PlayStation Network” series: