Identity thieves are armed to the teeth with a slew of weapons all trained on gamers who can't wait for tomorrow's (May 15) release of "Diablo III."
A search for "Diablo 3 free download" turns up numerous bogus Web pages offering "free" copies of Blizzard Entertainment's mega-popular role-playing game, researchers at Trend Micro discovered. Some of the sites redirect impatient gamers to surveys; others promise a free download of the game after you jump through a series of hoops, including sharing a link through Facebook three separate times. Not only will this bother your Facebook friends, it also ensures the scam will keep spreading.
As with all survey scams, entering any personal data with your name, phone number or email address puts you at serious risk for identity theft.
"Of course, following the instructions do not really lead to a file download, instead only directing to yet another survey page," Trend Micro explained. "As enticing as it is to be able to download a very popular game right before everyone else does, users should keep in mind that such shady offers are widely used as bait by cybercriminals."
Scammers will always prey on popular games like "Diablo III," as well as movies, music, apps, gadgets and anything else people can't wait to get. With a little common sense, and a lot of patience, you can keep yourself safe from these threats. Wait until the game's official release, and never download anything from suspicious websites, which are very often rigged to wreak havoc on your computer.