A group named XboxLIVEAvatarGear on Facebook recently posted the above picture. Although the website has been shut down, it brings up a good topic that we should talk about this month, as I anticipate many, many more scam sites to start popping up.
The point of XLAG’s post on Facebook was to alert people to a website called XboxGifts.com – there’s nothing there, now, don’t worry. But the website looked identical to Xbox.com and surved one purpose: to promise you free things for forking over your Microsoft Account ID and password. No gifts would come, only pain of dealing with your account being hijacked and the possibility of Microsoft points and games being purchased under your ID, then charged to your credit card. Sites like this pop up all the time, but when the release of a big game, or a new console is around the corner, scam sites more than double in frequency.
With the upcoming announcement of the next Xbox console, you can bet there will be sites promising your free consoles, beta previews, insider news, etc… all if you just log in with your Microsoft account! Do yourself a favor, only get your news from trusted sources… say like Kotaku, or Joystiq, or Unscripted 360, and don’t put your Microsoft password anywhere that isn’t Microsoft.com or Xbox.com. Watch the address bar at the top of your web browser closely, make sure you know you’re on Xbox.com. I would even suggest people worried about this type of scam enable smart screen in Internet Explorer.