How to Protect Your Kid from "Fortnite" Scams

The popular game has become an easy way for scammers to trick kids into sharing way too much information. By Frannie Ucciferri
How to Protect Your Kid from "Fortnite" Scams

You were just getting used to your kid's obsession with Fortnite, and now, all you hear about is V-Bucks. V-Bucks, like Robux on Roblox, are Fortnite's in-game currency. Players use them to buy the fun "skins" (characters and outfits) and "emotes" (those hilarious dances like "Flossing" and "Take the L") that kids will say they totally need to make Fortnite even cooler. For the record: You don't need V-Bucks to play Fortnite, and if you do spring for them, they cost real money. Also, online scammers are all over V-Bucks. (Get the whole scoop on Fortnite in our Parents' Ultimate Guide to Fortnite.)

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Fortnite's incredible popularity among kids has made it an easy target for rip-off artists trying to make some actual bucks while the game is hot. A recent study from online security company ZeroFox discovered more than 4,700 fake Fortnite websites, and the company sent out more than 50,000 security alerts about Fortnite scams in a single month. Kids are particularly vulnerable to requests to turn over personal information, including names and email addresses or even credit card numbers. Here's how you can spot the scam and protect your kids.

What to watch out for

  • V-Bucks generators. "V-Bucks generators" are one of the biggest online Fortnite scams. These are often websites that offer people points for watching or clicking on ads, and these points can supposedly be traded in for free V-Bucks within Fortnite. Not only do these free V-Bucks never appear, these sites often try to collect people's Fortnite usernames and passwords or have them take surveys where they submit personal data under the pretense of verifying that they're human.

  • Fake domains. Similar to V-Bucks generators, there are also tons of sites that offer free V-Bucks or trick people into buying fake ones. These fake domains mimic developer Epic Games' and Fortnite's real styles, colors, and fonts to fool people. Some even put "Fortnite" in the URL. These sites also collect personal information, but they often go a step further in directly charging a credit card or bank account.

  • Social media scams. One of the most popular ways that scams are spread is through social media. Fake sites and V-Bucks generators often encourage people to share their links to get more points, which helps expose the scam to more people. Plus, these links often direct users to suspicious apps and malware that can also target your kid's personal information.

  • YouTube video scams. Similar to link-sharing scams on social media, there are tons of YouTube videos offering free V-Bucks and more. These fake videos and accounts have millions of views and send gamers to other sketchy sites.

  • Fake Android apps. After Epic Games made the controversial decision not to offer their Android app in the Google Play Store, scammers took advantage by putting up fake Fortnite apps. Although they're designed to look like Fortnite, they're really data theft and malware distributors in disguise.

Tips to avoid getting scammed

Talk to your kids about how to spot and avoid Fortnite scams and other scams online. Here are some tips to keep your kid's information private and your money safe:

  • Be cautious when you give out private information. Tell kids to check with you before filling out forms, quizzes, registration pages, and the like on a website or app. For older kids, teach them to think carefully about why a site or app might want your data.
  • Only spend real money through official platforms. PlayStation, Xbox, Epic Games' official website, and the official Fortnite app are the only places to buy V-Bucks. Anything else is a scam.
  • Double-check URLs and domain names. Talk to kids about scams and how some sites or apps look very similar to the official ones but are designed to trick you into giving up money or information. Domain names and URLs might have only one letter or symbol that's different from the original, so look carefully.

About Frannie Ucciferri

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As associate managing editor, Frannie Ucciferri makes sure each of Common Sense Media's more than 30,000 reviews and 700 curated lists is as complete and comprehensive as possible. Frannie is a graduate of UC Berkeley,... Read more

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Comments (3)

Teen, 14 years old written by JoshuaSWhite48204

I think the article is correct in saying that many kids are playing Fortnite, But many including myself do not like the game and do not want to play it. Also where it mentions the scams it fails to mention that there are scams everywhere not just online and that anything that gets a big enough following online will be followed with scams I find it annoying that you fail to mention this and make it seem like it is only fortnite that has scams following it P.S I am not saying these scams are not a problem, they are, but I just wanted to try and help your articles be more accurate. I know you won't edit this article even if you read this because it sounds better that way and gets more clicks. but we should be growing up in an age where kids are thought what scams look like by their parents as soon as possible so they can identify a scam and avoid it so that scams would die out because they would not bring in any money because no one would be ignorant to the subject and click on the scams P.PS it is pretty easy to avoid a scam all you have to do is to make sure the link underneath the writing is short (which in most cases it is for the real website), or more simply for a game like fortnite, search fortnite and it will be the top response, and you can buy V-bucks in the actual game and you don't have to go to third-party sources, kids choose to or go to them out of ignorance. thank you for reading if you made it all the way through, and this is my opinion and I know you are probably gonna discredit it because I am a teen but I am just putting my opinion out there. Thx
Parent written by jeannab13

Thanks for this info... I am an Instructional Technology Facilitator at a middle school and the mother of preteens.... I share many of your articles on our school FB Page.
Adult written by BobCole

Thanks for this! I now make sure that my kids only play via iOS apps. With Family Sharing and restrictions, they can’t purchase anything via iOS apps without their parents approving via an alert on our devices asking us to approve or deny.