CFPB Not Playing Games with Financial and Privacy Risks

  • The CFPB issued a report regarding the increase in financial transactions taking place online in video games and virtual reality platforms and the alleged concurrent lack of protections against financial scams or theft on such platforms.
  • The Banking in Video Games and Virtual Worlds report details how gaming assets stored on player accounts—which can be used to purchase goods and services and can be transferred between users—are not protected in the same way as other banking and payment services that facilitate the storage and exchange of valuable assets. The report notes increasing reports of users losing access to their virtual assets through hacking, account theft, scams, and unauthorized transactions, and asserts that gaming companies have provided little support to consumers experiencing financial harm. Additionally, the report identifies risks associated with the sale and use of location and other data collected by gaming companies.
  • The CFPB has started monitoring these markets and has encouraged consumers to submit complaints regarding such financial products or services to the agency.