Parents fear children will fall victim to ‘gaming fraud’ – The Independent

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‘Gaming is playground currency, especially to kids with older siblings,’ says Helen Skelton
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Nearly two-fifths of parents have never spoken to children about risks of online scams, poll claims
One-third of parents fear it is only a matter of time until their children become victims of so-called gamer fraud, according to a survey.
A study of 1,000 parents of children aged between six and 15 found 31 per cent felt powerless to protect them – with 36 per cent fearing their own finances were at risk.
However, 38 per cent admitted they had never spoken to their offspring about the threat posed by fraud when gaming online.
And this was despite 55 per cent of parents having given their children access to their credit or debit accounts.
The poll was commissioned by Lloyds Bank.
Helen Skelton, the former Blue Peter presenter, is backing the bank’s new campaign urging parents to discuss gaming fraud with their children, and set up stricter controls on devices which can limit in-game chat or spending.
She said: “For a lot of children, gaming is playground currency, especially to kids with older siblings.
“Mine are no different to other kids and my eldest in particular is showing a growing interest in online games and activities.
“I am a self-confessed technophobe so, like a lot of parents, I am nervous about the world beyond the screen I know nothing about.
“That’s why it’s important to me to try and put protections and safeguards in place so I know they can at times play safely online like their peers.”
One in 10 of those polled said their children had already fallen victim to this type of crime – with identity fraud the most common, followed by hacking, phishing, and grooming.
The most common methods used by scammers are in-game chat functions, impersonating in-game support, phone calls, phishing emails or texts, and malware.
But 77 per cent of respondents let their children play video games without any adult supervision at all, and 25 per cent did not use any security measures to help prevent fraud.
One-quarter admitted they did not know how to protect their children from fraudsters.
Liz Ziegler, retail fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Sadly, gaming fraudsters do not discriminate and all too often children can become victims of online gaming scams.
“We want to help bring parents into the world of online gaming to help them understand the types of fraud taking place within games and where the highest points of risks are.
“Parental awareness and education is the first step in helping to prevent gaming fraud among children.”
Andy Robertson, family gaming expert at Ukie, said: “Video games are an important way to maintain and extend playground friendships.
“They play a role in creating connectedness, reducing anxiety, and promoting relaxation.
“However, it’s important parents are involved in this area of their life and encourage open conversations about online strangers and spending.
“Having conversations about fraudsters and setting up appropriate parental controls ensures that your child’s gaming stays positive and healthy.”
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Nearly two-fifths of parents have never spoken to children about risks of online scams, poll claims
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