If you are in the gaming world, it is impossible not to be aware of Discord, a popular communication platform initially launched for gamers. However, its ease of use and intuitive interface made it massively popular outside of gaming, and it now commands a massive and loyal user base across the globe. This also means that cybercriminals have turned their eyes to this platform as a potential area to exploit. In this article, we review the common Discord scams and how to protect yourself from them.
Types of Discord Scams
- Phishing: Any popular platform that allows users to exchange messages will be vulnerable to the threat of phishing, and Discord is no different. Like standard phishing, Discord users are scammed into clicking on malicious links and handing over their personal information, such as passwords, payment details, etc. This is done by attackers either sending fake emails that impersonate Discord communication or direct communications within the platform itself.
- Fake Bot Scams: Bots are a popular feature of Discord that allows users to automate activities and streamline the entire experience. Cybercriminals can exploit this feature to create bots offering attractive services such as game cheats, server moderation, giveaways, etc. However, once granted access, they can start spamming users and spreading malicious links.
- Fake Giveaway Scams: A popular trend within Discord are “giveaways,” in which gamers give away free stuff to their followers. Cybercriminals can exploit this same trend to create fake giveaways in which they impersonate trusted individuals and offer game codes, subscriptions, and other products in exchange for the participants to share links or spreading the giveaway to more users. In reality, no gift is given away, and the cybercriminal is socially engineering users to spread malicious links and increase their chances of being scammed. This can also be combined with Fake bot scams in which bots contact users and inform them about the giveaways.
- Investment scams: Cybercriminals have quickly jumped on the trend of Cryptocurrencies online by creating fake investment scams within Discord. Discord users are contacted and promised massive profits for minimal investments and give fake statistics as proof. Along with Crypto, fake Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are also used to trick users into buying them with their cryptocurrency.
- Nitro Scams: Nitro is a paid version of Discord that offers additional perks and benefits that are not present in the free version. Cybercriminals are aware of the lure hat the paid version of Discord holds for many users and will send fake messages directly or via bots promising users free access to Nitro. In reality, these malicious links compromise users and spread the link to more victims spreading fraud.
- Discord support Scam: Similar to the PayPal technical support scam, Cybercriminals will impersonate a Discord representative and contact users, asking them to join a community initiative. This scam is used to steal users’ personal information via malicious links and should be ignored.
How to protect yourself against Discord Scams
As with any online platform targeted by scams, user awareness is the best tip to protect yourself. Educate yourself on the common types of scams on Discord, and always be skeptical of messages promising gifts and items. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is! Discord provides easy access to their Trust & Safety team, which should be contacted if you feel scammers are tagging you.
Additionally, follow these tips for a safe Discord experience:
- Verified Servers: These are trusted communities with strict guidelines within Discord that are monitored for suspicious activity and provide a much safer experience than any anonymous server.
- Enable Multi-factor authentication (MFA): Besides following good password practices like avoiding reuse and regular changes, MFA should be enabled for your account. Turning on MFA can be the difference between your account being taken over or not. Make sure to turn on this feature to get an additional layer of security on your account.
- Beware of Bots: Bots are a fantastic feature within Discord, but you should be extremely careful when granting them permissions within the platform. If an unverified bot contacts you and requests admin privileges, then that is usually a red flag that something suspicious is happening. Only use bots that come from trusted sources.
- Enable privacy settings: Educate yourself on Discord privacy settings that allow you to control who has visibility on your profile and who can message you. This dramatically reduces your chances of becoming visible to cyber criminals and becoming a target.
- Be skeptical of giveaways: If you are contacted and informed that you have won a giveaway without entering anything, then be highly suspicious of this message. There is a high chance of this being a scam, and it should be treated with caution.
Discord is one of the best online platforms offering a rich and diverse community of users around the globe. Keeping yourself updated with the latest scams and how they occur is essential. Follow Discord’s regular updates on scams and how to protect yourself as cybercriminals keep changing their tactics and updating to new guidelines and controls. By following these tips and guidelines, you can enjoy the rich experience Discord offers while keeping your information safe at the same time!
What are the common types of scams on Discord?
Common types of Discord scams include phishing, fake bot scams, giveaway scams, and investment or pyramid scheme scams.
How can I protect myself from scams on Discord?
Protecting yourself from scams on Discord involves being skeptical of too-good-to-be-true offers, using two-factor authentication, being cautious with bots and links, reporting suspicious activity, staying informed about the latest scam tactics, prioritizing privacy in your settings, thinking before clicking on any links or requests, using verified servers, and regularly updating and securing your account.
How can I report a scam on Discord?
If you encounter a potential scam on Discord, report it to Discord’s Trust & Safety team. You can do this by submitting a request on Discord’s support page, detailing the nature of the scam, and providing any evidence you have.
How can I secure my Discord account?
Securing your Discord account involves using a robust and unique password and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). Regularly updating your password and avoiding using the same password across multiple platforms can also help keep your account secure.