Facebook and MySpace Social Gaming Scams Moving to iPhone?
According to TechCrunch, some of the worst scams in social gaming are moving from Facebook and MySpace to the iPhone:
Users are offered virtual currency in exchange for answering a quiz or some other seemingly harmless offer. But once they click through and awswer the quiz questions they’re told they need to enter their mobile phone number to get quiz results. Often there is fine print outlining the charges. But the already tiny print is completely unreadable on a mobile screen, making that disclosure meaningless even when it appears.
SMS subscription scams are among the most lucrative offers to game publishers because users get a recurring fee of $10 – $25 per month until they are able to terminate the subscription. Many users never notice them, and those that do usually have a lot of trouble getting them shut off.
TechCrunch has reached out to the companies they claim are powering the scams, including "OfferPal Media and SuperRewards and now Google" and has received reassurances from some of them that they are working towards guidelines and policies -- not to get rid of the practice but to make the terms clearer for end users. Apparently, there's so much money involved in this type of "advertising" that it's not going anywhere soon, it just might get less "scammy".
Read the articles linked above for more information on how it works and who the players are, but bottom line remember -- if something sounds too good to be true, it is. If a game offers you"free" in-game currency (or whatever they use to incentive play) there's always a cost. Don't give out your mobile number, and don't download apps unless you trust them completely.
If you've had any experiences with social gaming scams, or any type of in-app scams, let us know!