Phishing crack-down on RuneScape

RuneScape Logo

RuneScape Logo

Jagex Games Studio, the United Kingdom‘s largest independent game developer and publisher announced via press release that a UK resident was arrested for phishing, following collaboration between Jagex and the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU). This arrest was made as part of Jagex’s effort to counter account theft in their RuneScape MMORPG.

The 23-year old man was arrested on November 24th by officers of the PCeU following allegations that RuneScape accounts had been hacked. RuneScape accounts were stolen through phishing sites. Phishing, in short, is a means of acquiring sensitive materials (usernames, passwords, credit card details, game credentials) by pretending to be a trustworthy organization or entity.

“Account theft and the use of phishing websites is a problem facing the entire online games industry and Jagex maintains a specialist team to combat any law breaking within our games” stated Mark Gerhard, CEO of Jagex. “Where there is any evidence to suggest someone has committed a crime, as is clearly the case with any phishing or hijacking, we work closely with law enforcement agencies around the world to bring these people to account.”

Phishing is a very, very serious criminal activity, as identity theft is a tremendous problem worldwide. While the damage caused by phishing could be as irritating as being denied access to your game account or e-mail, it could also lead to a significant amount of financial loss, depending of course on what information was given away.

Considering how much time and effort players invest in their accounts, the theft of one could very well be considered the loss of valuable property. It is a true shame that some people would so carelessly steal and ruin the experience of another gamer. While the arrest of this phisher truthfully is small-scale, it is nonetheless a satisfying victory. With luck, more phishers and cheaters will be pulled from MMORPGs in the near future to make gaming a more enjoyable experience for all.

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