One in four parents expect their children to play online games for at least seven hours a day during half term

·         60%­ of parents are concerned about their children being contacted by potential fraudsters via an online game

·         Over a quarter of parents (27%) have started playing, or thought about playing, online games to better understand how they work

·         Visa teams up with Lloyds Bank to empower the whole family to recognise the signs of fraud and help them feel confident when playing games online


As the half term break approaches, new research from Visa reveals that nearly a quarter of parents of children who play online games (23%) anticipate them to play for seven or more hours per day during the school holidays, with the average anticipated to spend over four hours playing.

The festive period proved a popular time for games consoles, of the one in ten who purchased a device in the last three months, 78% did so for Christmas or during a sale. The top reasons for buying a games console are that they were top of their child’s gift list (43%), they didn’t want their child to feel left out (24%), and that it’s a good way for their child to socialise with friends (23%).


When it comes to feeling confident in protecting their children online, 56% of parents say they don’t feel up to date with how different online platforms work. Also high on the list of worries are the potential of their child being scammed while playing online (62%).

Other concerns include:

·         The amount of time their child spends playing online games (64%)

·         Their children being contacted by potential fraudsters via an online game (60%)

·         Whether their children are not spending enough face-to-face time with their friends due to playing online games (55%)

What’s more, some parents are unaware of the potential risks, with 38% saying that they didn’t know it was possible for their child to be defrauded by someone via an online game, and almost a third (32%) saying they didn’t know how this could happen.


To further empower parents and children to keep safe whilst playing online games, Visa, a world leader in digital payments, has teamed up with Lloyds Bank and Ukie to help the whole family feel confident when it comes to playing games online.

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at Visa comments: “We know that parents are worried about how they can best protect their children from scams while they are playing online games, which is why it’s more important than ever that they know that with Visa, their payments are protected. 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.”

According to Ukie, parents and carers are advised to protect their children by setting up parental controls and child accounts on their console so they can monitor spending, set time limits, control chat and messaging features and use content filters. Families should also encourage open conversations about online safety, so young people can continue to have positive digital experiences as part of everyday life.


Visa finds that over a quarter of parents with children who play online games (27%) have taken up, or considered taking up, playing themselves to better understand how it works, feeling it’s a good way to help their children stay safe. Two fifths of these parents (39%) say they feel more confident in educating their child about how to keep themselves safe whilst playing games online and a third (33%) feel that the decision to start playing has brought them closer to their child.

To support parents in their journey, Lloyds Bank has developed The Game Players SHIELD Code that encourages players to follow a six-point guide whilst playing to improve their safety:

 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.

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 playing games online. Helping players – and their parents – know what to look for is an important step in preventing fraud and our SHIELD code educates all players, no matter how experienced they may be, ensuring spotting scams is top of mind and allowing people to play safely.”

 Andy Robertson, Ukie Family Games Expert & Editor of Ask About Games comments: “Our aim is to help all players and their parents understand the types of activity that fraudsters use in all kinds of online environments. Games platforms invest in powerful security measures to prevent such activity, but young people can be tricked into sharing details they shouldn’t or use unauthorised, unregulated third-party websites to make purchases. We help parents understand and engage with their children’s play to ensure there’s an open conversation about online safety and activating the parental controls appropriately.”

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[2][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.

Previous post EssenceMediacom launches new platform with Code Computerlove
Next post Looking for a date this Valentine’s Day? These 10 apps could help!