Children scammed with virtual money for the Roblox game platform

Scammers use popular online gaming platform Roblox to extort money from kids. NOS Jeugdjournaal regularly receives reports of such scams.

Roblox online platform allows users to play millions of games. These are shooting and fighting games, as well as games where players can create their own worlds or go on adventures. This type of scam revolves around Robux, a virtual currency that can be purchased with real money within Roblox. However, people can buy clothes and pets in the game, among other things.

Kids receive a link via WhatsApp that promises they can earn tens of thousands of Robux by completing a survey. That’s what happened to 12-year-old Mila from Rosmalen. “I got a connection from all kinds of kids in my class. If you click on it, you can earn Robux. I wanted to try this. Then I had to answer all kinds of questions.

“It felt real”

Mila encountered some kind of questionnaire that she had to fill in order to receive the virtual coins. Among other things, “Great, I didn’t win anything!” He was promised Robux if he finally got the survey to enough people. This is the reason why the phishing link is shared collectively by children in classroom practice groups, among other things.

Eleven-year-old Abel also received such a connection. “It was like Roblox was celebrating an anniversary and giving away Robux for free,” his mom says. “All you had to do was give your address information and they mailed it to your home. It looked so real and there were all kinds of reviews that it worked.”

The poll looks like this:

While filling out the questionnaire, Flubot malware, a type of virus, is installed on smartphones. According to the police, this allows criminals to steal personal information such as passwords and bank details. In Mila’s case, text messages were sent to a foreign number with money deducted from the call package.

“I got all kinds of text messages saying ‘You lost 5 Euros’. I found that a bit odd,” says Mila. “This crowd just kept growing and I kept going because I was like, ‘I’d love to have Robux. In the end, he lost about 70 euros. “Then I went to my mother. He immediately understood what was going on and then got a little angry with me.” He never received the virtual coins.

A police spokesperson acknowledges that such types of cheating occur in games. We see this in the statements as well,” he said. However, according to the police, this problem does not only affect Roblox. “We also see these kinds of practices in other games where people are drawn to things like getting more credits or more lives.” Police currently don’t have any numbers on Roblox scams.

Roblox has been around since 2006, but its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. As of August 2020, there are over 164 million monthly active users worldwide. It is especially popular with children. More than half of children under the age of 16 in the United States use Roblox.

Source: NOS