Scammers Are Ruining Mobile Gaming — But Raghib Khan Believes There’s Hope
Gaming become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the convenience of being able to play games on your phone or tablet, and thanks to the increasing availability of quality apps on online app stores.
The unfortunate part about this trend? With such easy access to gaming, it’s also easy for unscrupulous characters to prey on gamers with scams, spam, and other dishonest behavior.
Let’s take a look at some ways that scammers are adversely affecting gaming experiences offered by top gaming agencies and some ideas from the co-founder of Phonato Studios, Raghib Khan, on how you can use to stop them in their tracks!
How are scammers harming game developers?
Scammers are stealing players’ money by creating fake mobile games and tricking gamers into spending real cash on in-game items. In addition to this, many scammers rely on fake reviews to convince players that their game is worth downloading, but they end up wasting players’ time with low-quality games that just lead them to pay real money for terrible experiences.
Worst case scenario? These scammers might steal the personal information of unsuspecting victims or inject malware into their devices. By driving customers away from legitimate apps, these scams hurt all mobile gaming developers as a whole.
Why are the scammers ruining mobile gaming?
Scammers are drawn to industries where money is made; they want a sizable piece of that pie. Naturally, the reason scammers have invaded the mobile gaming industry is that it’s a profitable one. According to App Annie, a research firm, in-app purchases drove 70 percent of all revenue across iOS and Android in Q3 2015. For mobile gaming apps, the number has gone up drastically after the pandemic of 2020.
The problem of fake reviews in mobile gaming
Gamers who want to purchase free-to-play mobile games often turn to reviews written by other players to decide which title is worth their time and money. Scammers, however, have figured out how to take advantage of such a system by paying for fake reviews.
The practice of paying for positive reviews is called review fraud—and it’s becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in mobile gaming communities like Apple’s App Store.
Review fraud hurts gamers because they are unable to differentiate between honest reviews and fraudulent ones. It also hurts game developers because it leads to higher ratings on scammy apps that don’t deserve them.
How can gaming companies prevent gaming scams?
Scammers can game any system, but it’s important to acknowledge that there can be some accountability on both sides. Game development companies must do a better job of keeping players informed of upcoming updates and patches, while individual players need to be more vigilant in scrutinizing their interactions with other users. Fraud prevention methods such as these have been implemented by online gaming providers for years now, and many online gamers find them invaluable.
In addition to this, game development companies can take two additional steps to limit review fraud and suspicious, spammy behavior within their games:
1) Implement an in-game reporting system that allows players to report fraudulent reviews or users for abuse.
2) Investigate user reports of fraud or abuse and remove bad actors from their platform. This will help reduce instances of review manipulation by scammers and spammers, which should reduce negative reviews on apps that otherwise deserve positive feedback.
Thankfully, the problem of gaming fraud is finally being talked about, with its nature being brought to light by famous mobile gamers. Now, gamers can now be more careful about what they buy and developers can continue making games that players love. And while there is no easy solution, we can stay vigilant and continue talking about gaming fraud so scams are spotted faster in the future.
As pointed out by Raghib Khan, the silver lining here is that gaming fraud is being openly discussed at gaming conventions across Europe and beyond, as well as other places where gamers meet up.