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Fame of Fortnite's DJ Marshmello Opens Door for Scams

Fortnite hosted its first live in-game concert in early February, though scammers reportedly found ways to bamboozle players into buying tickets to the free DJ Marshmello concert, according to research.

According to Rolling Stone, 10.7 million users 'attended' the two 10-minute events featuring the fictional DJ known as Marshmello, a concert that the magazine said will prove to be "revolutionary" for the music industry.

"Unsurprisingly, 'mello's subsequent social media numbers reflect a masterstroke in global music marketing. Between February 1st and 7th, Marshmello's weekly YouTube views grew by more than 100 million; his Instagram follower count grew by a million within four days. On Twitter during the day of the concert, he was mentioned over 50,000 times."

What is also not surprising is that along with the fandom came fraudsters who tried to scam players. "Apart from the number of users it attracted and the fact that it had an audience 25 times larger than attended the legendary Woodstock Festival, the incident puts the issue of security back into the spotlight," wrote ESET security researcher Luis Lubeck.

Indeed, unsuspecting users fell for the scams, some of which offered not just concert tickets but VIP access as well. "A quick search on the hashtags #fortnite #marshmello #vip showed messages that jokingly refer to the sale of tickets as well as social engineering campaigns using the scam in the aim of making a profit or populating marketing databases," Lubeck said.

The concept of an in-game concert is not new, according to Rolling Stone, but the massive success has helped to catapult Marshmello to internet fame, the kind of recognition that young new artists crave.

As the music industry responds to this 'revolution,' security will become an increasing concern, particularly given the risks involved in communicating with strangers online, Lubeck said.

"It is important to pay attention to users' interactions, especially in the case of minors, and to check all the information found against a range of sources to avoid falling victim to social engineering campaigns. And lastly, it is important for users to learn to protect their personal information in order to avoid becoming a victim of someone abusive or a cybercriminal."  

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