Getting Played: gamers encouraged to keep details safe from fraudsters when gaming online

  • Three quarters (75%) of gamers say they’re concerned about gaming fraud according to new research from Visa[1].
  • Almost half of gamers (46%) plan to spend more time playing online over the festive period[2], leading to a potential increase in fraud attempts.
  • New gamers may be more likely to be targeted by fraudsters as they want to advance quickly through levels according to Ukie[3].
  • Visa teams up with Lloyds Bank and Ukie to empower new and returning gamers to recognise the signs of fraud and help them feel confident when gaming online.

As we approach the holidays, the number of people planning to spend time gaming is anticipated to rise. Visa, a world leader in digital payments, has teamed up with Lloyds Bank and gaming body, Ukie, to empower gamers and parents of young gamers to recognise the signs of fraud and help them feel confident when playing online.

According to Ukie[4], December is a key time of year for the games industry, with the majority of big releases and console purchases taking place. With almost half of gamers (46%) planning to spend more time playing over the festive period[5], the opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage also has a potential to rise. In fact, Visa research shows that[6]:


  • Three quarters of players (75%) report being concerned about gaming fraud.
  • Almost a third (31%) say they don’t feel confident in knowing how to spot the signs.
  • Half (51%) say that they are worried their personal information will get stolen or that their personal account details might be saved in platforms (41%).
  • One in three (33%) worry as they feel it’s a lesser-known type of fraud, they’re not sure what they’re looking for (23%) or because they know people who’ve been targeted (20%).



Spending on gaming related activities is also expected to increase over the next year[7]:

  • On average, those surveyed say they plan to spend £66 a month on gaming in general.
  • The most growth in spending is forecasted to go towards in-game add-ons, with players planning to spend an estimated £40 more a month on average, the main reason being they want to advance in the games (30%).



Of the gamers who will be online over the festive season, new and more inexperienced players otherwise known as ‘Noobs’, may be more likely to be targeted by fraudsters[8]. According to Ukie this is because new players tend to want to advance quickly through levels, are more likely to trust advice from other online players, who they might not know, and may make more purchases in a shorter space of time[9].


In addition to ‘Noobs’, returning or ‘Boomerang Gamers’[10] are also advised to stay alert, given the changing landscape of gaming. According to Visa’s research[11]:

  • Many Boomerang Gamers say that they used to play on games or consoles that didn’t have a live connection to other people (46%), weren’t online (40%), or didn’t require bank details (33%).
  • 22% of these gamers say they have been a victim of a gaming-related scam or know someone who has (27%).
  • 28% report seeing fraudulent attempts as often as two or three times a month while gaming.


Mandy Lamb, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at Visa comments: “With more people planning to game over the festive period, it’s important for gamers to understand how to spot the signs of fraud – and what to do to keep their payments safe. We’re coming together with Lloyds Bank and Ukie to shine a spotlight on what to look out for, and the steps to take to game safely online. When it comes to using your Visa card, you can feel confident that if something does go wrong you have protection. Visa’s Zero Liability Policy* means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorised or fraudulent charges made with your account.”


Liz Ziegler, Fraud Prevention Director, Lloyds Bank comments: “We know that fraudsters are sophisticated and can adapt their methods speedily, so we want people to feel empowered to spot the signs of fraud when they or their children are gaming. Helping gamers – and their parents – know what to look for is an important step in preventing fraud and our SHIELD code educates all gamers, no matter how experienced they may be, ensuring spotting scams is top of mind and allowing people to play safely.”


Andy Robertson, Ukie Family Gaming Expert & Editor of Ask About Games comments: “Our aim is to help all gamers and parents of children who game, to understand the types of fraud taking place and eliminate as many potential risks as possible, for example being aware of in-game chat filters. This is a useful way that parents can encourage open conversations about online strangers and spending, so children understand these risks in the context of gaming and their wider digital life.”


The Game Players SHIELD Code by Lloyds Bank

A six-point guide encouraging players to:


  1. SCREEN any chats from strangers, as well as unexpected gifts and special edition or time-limited offers. Never transfer money to someone you haven’t met in person.
  2. HIDE personal information from others at all times, concealing your personal details where possible to avoid them being leaked.
  3. INVESTIGATE any gaming-related purchases before handing over money, such as checking whether the website is blacklisted on and only making card payments which offer greater consumer protection.
  4. EVALUATE whether gaming-related downloads are being made from established trusted sources and whether they are safe by checking for malware via
  5. LOCK your gaming network by using password managers, two-factor authentication within platforms and anti-virus software.
  6. DELINK your bank details from gaming and online browser accounts. Having two-factor authentication set up on bank transactions and using prepaid cards will also help to keep your money protected.


As a network working to protect payments, Visa is committed to tackling fraud to help everyone pay with confidence. Visa has proactively blocked £3.5 billion in attempted fraudulent payments across 122 million transactions in the last year alone, before customers were impacted[12]. Visa Advanced Authorization (VAA) is a state-of-the-art tool that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate transactions, drawing on data from more than 3.8 billion card accounts[13] to help banks promptly identify and prevent fraud. In 2021 alone, our fraud prevention capabilities helped stop over £19 billion in attempted fraudulent transactions[14].


If you are targeted by a fraudster, to help others avoid falling victim you can report it to Action Fraud or the National Cyber Security Centre. And if you think you have been defrauded, call your bank and explain the situation – they can often help you claim your money back.


To find out more about the protections you have when paying with Visa, click here.

[1] Opinium research, November 2022

[2] Opinium research, November 2022

[3] Ukie industry expert gaming trends, November 2022

[4] Ukie are the trade body for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry

[5] Opinium research, November 2022

[6] Opinium research, November 2022

[7] Opinium research, November 2022

[8] Ukie industry expert gaming trends, November 2022

[9] Ukie industry expert gaming trends, November 2022

[10] Boomerang Gamers: Those who played when they were young and have returned to it later in life, as defined by Opinium research, November 2022

[11] Opinium research, November 2022

[12] Visa Earnings Report, October 2022

[13] Visa Data, October 2022

[14] Visa Data, October 2022

Previous post Winners celebrate at the TechWomen100 Awards 2022
Next post Take Control of Cloud Costs and Maximise Cloud Benefits: Aptum Cloud Impact Study