As authorities field complaints of scams through the popular app “Words with Friends,” N.H. Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald has a piece of advice: Make sure the person you’re communicating with is really your friend.
Available on most electronic platforms, Words with Friends is a Scrabble-like game that challenges players to build words, crossword-style, for points. The app also features a communication function where users have fallen prey, according to a news release from MacDonald’s office.
“Scammers utilize the app’s communication function to ask users a series of questions, in attempts to gain personal information that the scammers then use to exploit the individual,” the release says. “Scammers also pose as individuals seeking a personal or romantic connection and, like with other popular scams, urge the user to send gift cards, money, gold, and other valuable property to the scammers, often internationally.”
Another tactic, according to the Attorney General’s Office, is to send the target a dangerous link or ask them to switch to a platform where their personal information will be more vulnerable.
On this and other gaming apps, MacDonald’s office offers these tips to stay safe:
Only play or communicate with family and friends.
Even if you think you’re communicating with friends or relatives, don’t send any account passwords or other sensitive information through the app.
Don’t click on any links sent through the app or accept any invitations to leave the app to communicate with a person on another platform.
Cut users who are bothering you from your friends’ list.
Don’t use the app to meet potential romantic partners, or for any reason other than its intended purpose.
More information about a range of scams is available at https://bit.ly/2BPHT9l, and New Hampshire residents can file formal complaints either at https://bit.ly/2NjIXYl or by calling the attorney general’s consumer information line at 888-468-4454.
Those aware of a scam affecting a vulnerable adult can call the state’s Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services at 800-949-0470. Calls are confidential, according to the news release.