ESO Strikes Back Against Stolen Game Keys

ESO deactivates accounts opened with stolen game keys.

According to a May news release on the official Elder Scrolls Online forums, ZeniMax Online Studios (ZOS) has seen an increase in the sale of fraudulently obtained digital game keys for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The companies selling stolen keys are as underhanded as Molag Bal’s minions, and they hurt a lot of people in their pursuit of turning a quick, illegitimate buck.

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Stolen Game Keys

Basically, this is how the ESO stolen game key scam works:

  1. Shady companies purchase legitimate game keys on Steam using stolen credit cards.
  2. The stolen game keys are resold on third-party websites at ridiculously low prices.
  3. Unsuspecting players (hoping to save money), purchase the stolen game keys with their credit cards.
  4. The shady companies misappropriate the credit card information used for purchases to go ahead and buy even more stolen game keys.
  5. Rinse and repeat.

The sale of fraudulently obtained game keys not only hurts theft victims and unsuspecting players who believe they’ve made legitimate purchases, but ZOS and Steam as well (when victims issue credit card chargebacks). Like all scams, the whole thing stinks, hurting society as a whole and the gaming community in particular.

Fraudulently obtained game keys violates ZOS and Steam’s Terms of Service.

Starting on May 26th, ZOS began deactivating all game accounts created with stolen game keys.

Emails have been sent to affected users with instructions on how to regain access to their accounts with legitimate keys.

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ZOS warns consumers that extreme discounting below retail pricing may be a warning that a digital game key is stolen. Remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true? This applies to digital game keys sold on third-party websites.

As always, consumers need to practice due diligence. In the news release, ZOS provides a list of official retailers where legitimate keys can be purchased without fear of fraud:

– 2game
– Allbrary
– AtGames (Direct2Drive)
– DLGamer
– Gamebillet
– GameFan Shop
– Gamesplanet
– Gamesrepublic
– Gamesrocket
– Get Games Direct
– Green Man Gaming
– Humble Store
– Metaboli
– Microsoft
– Nuuvem
– Paddle
– SaveMi
– Sila Games
– Smilegate
– Sony
– Steam
– The Licensing Agency
– Tradebyte
– Tranquiltechnology
– Ubisoft Uplay
– WinGameStore
– Xanatan
– Also Digital BV
– Exertis Ztorm
– Game Retail Stores ( Game Digital Limited )
– Gamersgate
– Nexway
– Soft Distribution Gmbh

North America
– Amazon
– Best Buy
– Busca Corp
– Buy Egames
– GameStop
– Imperial Games

– BT Games

– 1 Tonne de jeux
– 1c Digital / Muve/
– ALSO Shops
– Alternate
– Alza
– Au fond à gauche
– Boonty
– Boulanger
– CDiscount FR
– Cenega Digital – Muve
– Central Point NL
– Codora
– Computersalg
– Darty
– Digital Virgo
– Dream Game
– Elkjøp AS (Dixons)
– Entertainment Trading
– epay
– Fnac
– Foniks
– Game Sultan
– Gamedigi
– Games Republic
– Games Rocket
– Gamesload
– Gry-online
– IGE Group
– Intexmedia ES
– Jimms
– Keto Media GmbH DE
– Kioskea
– Komplett
– konsoleigry
– Micromania
– More Than Games
– Multiplayer IT
– Muve
– Notebooksbilliger
– Orange
– PC Garage
– Playcycle
– PlayGames
– PS
– Rue du commerce
– ShopTo
– Smadis
– Softonic
– Softwareload
– Spaceworld
– Starzik
– Tech Data
– Tones
– Toomai
– TTNet
– UnlimitedGameStore
– ZokkusMacGames_FR

Hong Kong
– 520 Game Limited
– Alta Multimedia Limited
– BE Advance Computer Systems Co.
– Black Hand Fu
– CC Game Company Limited
– Chinesegamer International Corporation
– Gallop Computer Technology Limited
– GameNeed (HK) Limited
– MSI (Micro-Star International)
– Limited
– Sino Legend International Company
– Six PC Company
– Success Comic Book & Network Game Gallery
– Tung’s Computer Technology Co.
– West City Computer Multimedia Ltd.

– Savemi
– Didgio Pty Ltd

– 1c Publishing / 1c – Soft-Club

South America
– B2C Express
– GatoSabido
– Incomp
– Nuuvem
– Paodeazucar
– Playspot
– Saraiva
– Starmedia

Southeast Asia/Japan
– GamePia
– H2 Interactive
– StraStar
– Tact Interactive Pte Ltd
– Beijing CE-Asia Co Ltd
– One Station Technology Co ( Gamesource )
– Transcrane Enterprise Co Ltd ( T/A Kanezo )
– SquareEnix e-store

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Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough

Shane Scarbrough is the founder of the Skyrim Fansite. He's a business owner, video game journalist, and role playing game aficionado. When he's not working he enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. He's currently on his third playthrough of Skyrim, and is playing as a Templar in The Elder Scrolls Online. You can find Shane on Google+ and FaceBook.

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