HERE’S a little warning: If anyone approaches you asking for money and promises investment returns of up to 40 percent, stay away.
Especially if that person approaches you via NBA 2K21 voice chat.
Video game website Kotaku Australia is reporting about an alleged scam run over popular video game series NBA 2K21. According to multiple interviews conducted by Kotaku’s Lavender Baj, dozens of Australian and New Zealand gamers, some as young as 17, were approached over the game’s voice chat function by individuals asking for large sums of money, often in the thousands of (Australian) dollars.
They were promised returns of 40 to 50 percent. Victims tended to be young and apparently able to send large amounts of money to the scammers.
“I lost $6000 (around P210,000), was supposed to be paid $11,000 (around P385,000) on that due to the ‘interest’ we were supposed to be paid,” said a 21-year-old gamer to Baj.
Another victim of the scam, who was just 17 years old, also filed a complaint with the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
Popular streamer Tyceno first made revelations of this scam on his social media accounts and YouTube channel. In a Twitter post on September 20, Tyceno said that “over US $200,000 got taken from young vulnerable victims believing they could ‘flip’ their money.”
He accused another popular NBA 2K figure, StepBackRack, of perpetrating the scam.
Another gamer active in the 2K community, Raangee, also figured in the alleged operation, according to reporting done by Australian channel P.TV. P.TV obtained screenshots of the FAQ document received by the victims, where Rangee allegedly says, “First of all, I want to say that what we’re doing is not illegal at all.”
Kotaku has reached out to Rack and Raangee for comment, as well as to 2K Sports, developers of the hit video game series. None have responded to the publication’s requests. The publication also speculated that Rack and Raangee may not actually be behind the op; scammers may have also “[used] the name of one of the community’s most popular figures.”
According to the game’s terms of service, NBA 2K21 cannot be used for unlawful, commercial, or gambling purposes.
Read the full report — along with screencaps of conversations — here.