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Kid gets scammed by obvious Xbox Live scam for $500, let's see how it could have been avoided

The stranger couldn't have scammed the kid, of course. He was a nice man. The only reason he asked for the log-in details was so that he could give him some free Microsoft Points. Wait, what? He was a scammer? BUT IT ALL SEEMED SO PLAUSIBLE!

Listen up parents. There are some very simple ways you can stop this crap happening. Read on for my pro-tips. But first, the video:

1. In the report, the Zach's mother mentions that her son was desperate for some MS Points. This implies that his parents weren't handing out the digi-funds willy-nilly. This is a good thing. It promotes strong moral fibre and a good work/reward ethic.

So, knowing that you don't want your offspring having easy access to cash, and being aware that there's a credit card attached to the Xbox Live account, why not just not give him the password? Okay, so I assume you trust your son not to rip you off, but surely you're old and wise enough to know that other, badder people might want to rip him off? That's harder to do when he doesn't have access to the valuable information they need. Xbox Live has automatic log-in. Use it, because rolling on from this point...

2. If your kid stumbled into this scam all wide-eyed and innocent, the chances are he's a bit naive. Not stupid. Not immature. Justa little under-informedabout how many scum-bags are knocking around in the world, online or off. At the end of the report, theMrs. Grantexplains that she's not angry with her son, andthat this has been a learning experience for him. All fair enough. But there are much cheaper learning experiences. You don't need to crush his faith in humanity or tell him the tooth fairy has commited suicide. Just make him a bit more aware. That knowledge is a valuable gift for life.

3. Learn how the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live work. Make sure your kids know too. If a kindly old soul on the internet really wants to give you free Microsoft Points (and given how pushy Mr Lamborgini23 was here, it seems some people really want to give you free MS Points), they don't need your account log-in. What are they going to do? Attach their card to your account, buy the points, then remove it? Bit contrived, surely. If they really were such a benevolent Santa of the internet, surely they'd give you their card details? Or just buy a load of pre-paid cards and stick the numbers in DMs?

4. Know what your kids are doing online and know who they're talking to. There is no excuse for missing this these days. The internet is not new. Fact.

But what do you reckon? Is the kid's age an acceptable excuse for this, as some men of Radar think (and others don't)? Do parents need to be seriously more on top of how modern gaming works? Or was it all just an unavoidable attack by a vile and insidious fiend?

Source:Indiana News Centre

March 21st, 2011

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.