Despite the fact that Blizzard has warned us, there have been some fake beta invite emails starting to go out for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. In fact, they tried to catch the CrunchGear crew this morning with their little fake email and site.
It started out looking legitimate enough; having received emails from Blizzard before, the format and tone looked legitimate. The first clue that something was wrong was when the URL that was shown in the email was different from the one that showed up on the webpage. Not to mention that to the best of my knowledge, “betasignup.com” is not a domain owned by Blizz, or somewhere they would ever send us.
After seeing the wrong URL come up, it was apparent it was a phishing expedition. The design of the page looked good, but when you refresh it, the captcha didn’t change.. Interesting eh? After bypassing the captcha screen, we get to the point: they ask for your account name, email address, and password. The fake site always warns to always check to make sure you are going to the “official” URL – a third different URL from the one included in the original email.
It gets better. After I entered in a fake user ID, password, and email address, the site told me that, “In order to ensure all accepted beta applicants have enough play time on their accounts, a 60 day pre-paid Game card is required.”
So not only are these scumbags trying to scam you for your account information, they are also trying to screw you over for a 60 day pre-paid card. Nice eh? This is why I use (and recommend you do too) the Blizzard authenticator. It’s easy to set up, and makes your account completely safe from any and all hacking attempts. There are two versions of the key, a dongle, and a mobile phone software version. The iPhone/iPod touch version is free, and definitely worth your time to set up.
So I hope you didn’t fall for that email. If you did, I suggest you contact Blizzard directly, unless your account is already gone.