There never seems to be a shortage of scams online.
As speculation grows that Activision’s next installment in the Call of Duty series will be “Modern Warfare 4″, the number of fake sites will grow that prey on people hoping to get an invite to the beta version of the game.
This week, the so-called “social network 4 gamers” website that goes by the shortened name “Sn4gamerrs”, launched a fake Modern Warfare 4 Beta website on the matching domain name: ModernWarfare4Beta.com.
The fake Beta site has been set up to do nothing more than deceive users and drive up Sn4gamers’s Facebook likes and views on their other social networking accounts.
A link was posted Friday to their Facebook page (which has since been deleted) telling people they could download the free MW4 code.
ModernWarfare4Beta.com was registered this month to a Rhode Island resident according to WHOIS records, not to Activision Publishing.
When you enter the fake web site, you are instructed to follow 3 easy steps in order to download the code, as shown in the screen shot below. As you can see from the instructions, the goal is to trick unsuspecting users into spreading the information on social networks.
When you scroll to the bottom of the page, a message warns you that you must complete all steps before getting your “code”, but of course, there’s no need.
If you click the link at the very bottom of the web page that says, “Click Here to Get Your Free MW4 Beta”, a new web page appears that allows you to choose a platform.
The scam by Sn4gamers continues on with a fake code and then finishes off, laughably enough, with Sn4gamers asking people to take a survey because, “…it’s the least you can do to support us so we can continue to give out free betas.”
Despite the obvious and absurd claims by many scams, fake Beta sites continue to be a problem and people continue to be duped.
In the case of the fake MW4 beta site, using “Modern Warfare 4″ in the domain name is a desperate attempt to trick and confuse even more visitors.
As I wrote about last September, Ubisoft took ownership of a web address used in a Ghost Recon Beta scam. Also in 2012, Microsoft took control of the domain names Halo4Beta.biz and Halo4Beta.net, after filing complaints against their owners.
While Activision did confirm last month that it will release a new Call of Duty in 2013, it’s not even official yet as to which game in the Call of Duty series it will be.
My guess is the person behind Sn4gamers may receive a strongly worded letter from Activision’s lawyers in the near future, that, or a complaint will be filed over the domain name.
Activision won rights to the domain ModernWarfare3.com in 2011, bringing a saga that dragged on for months to a close.
The company doesn’t own ModernWarfare4.com. I spoke to the owner of the web address in 2011 by email, who made headlines in 2009 after launching a website that threatened to hurt a clown if the game development studio behind Modern Warfare, didn’t play ball the ransom demands.
UPDATE 1 March 4, 2013 6:29PM EST – It appears the folks behind ModernWarfare4Beta.com, have gotten the message, after a number of news outlets and gaming blogs picked up this story. The fake beta site was taken down in the past hour and a blank WordPress blog now appears on the home page.
Talking about this story: Examiner.com, VG247, PC Games, IGN Boards, gameswelt.de, Product Reviews, OnlineWelten.com, GameZone, playNATION.de, GameSpot.com, EGMNOW, Softpedia, Gamesaktuell.de, Power Unlimited, Gamekapocs and gamona.de