Like any of the dozens of other internet scams, phishing has been around for as long as people with ill-intentions have known it to work. There are dozens of different methods to take someone’s identity, financial information, or login passwords, but Email Phishing has long been the most successful and for that reason World of Warcraft scammers have taken it up just as readily as anyone else.
While it might not be as dangerous to fall for a World of Warcraft phishing scam as a Paypal or Bank of America scam, it is equally as frustrating. Hours of your life have been put into your characters online and for someone to come along and take them from you is incredibly upsetting. For that reason as well as the other scams mentioned, you should know exactly what to look for when reading any email about your World of Warcraft account.
First off, the rules about what phishers are allowed to write to you, legally, are rather hazy. For example, certain words and phrases are copyrighted by Blizzard and cannot be used in an email for the purpose of scamming. However, other phrases are not. Generally, it doesn’t matter what they say as they are taking your information and performing fraud, but many scammers try to stay in the legal grey area as much as possible, so they will take the time to utilize alternate words in their emails. This includes things like ‘Blizzard E’ instead of ‘Blizzard Entertainment’. Watch for any phrases or words that don’t’ match up with what you traditionally receive. The template might be identical with a slight switch in the wording.
Next up is the email address itself. Blizzard has its own domain and no one else can use that domain. If you get an email from anyone but Blizzard.com, you know you’re getting a phishing email. Don’t reply. This is a simple matter of paying attention. Never click through a link on any email unless you’re sure it is legitimate. Instead, if an email asks you to click a link, type in the website address directly and login that way. It’s much safer.
Finally, always read the entire contents of the email. Phishers will often try to scare you into giving away information that you should never give away in the first place. They might tell you your account has been hacked and that you must send your login information so it can be confirmed as yours. They might pretend you’ve done something wrong and ask you to login to a fake address where they will take you information.