By Jennifer Earl, ,
Published July 20, 2018
A 13-year-old boy learned a valuable lesson after his "Fortnite" account was hacked and his video game character was killed off by a stranger during a gaming session last week.
Jake Bates, of Mason, Ohio, was in an intense battle with another gamer, discussing the action on a headset, when the player volunteered to transfer over cool new skins if he gave him access to his account.
Bates, eager to get free items, agreed — and told the unidentified player his username and password.
"When he logged into his account, he took everything over," Bates's mother, Amy, told WLWT. "The guy took over his account, but also took over his email account and changed the passwords, changed the recovery passwords and the phone number."
The teen suddenly realized he was in trouble. The stranger now had access to his personal information, including his mom's credit card number. And even more devastating for the "Fortnite" enthusiast, the scammer killed a character Bates spent "hundreds" of dollars on — paying for different skins, according to WLWT.
"It's really scary," Amy told the news station, adding that her son "feels violated" by the stranger's act.
Epic Games, the developer of the hit game, told Fox News on Friday that "Fortnite" users are warned not to share personal information.
"We encourage any player who has any issues with their account to reach out to our player support. Additionally, players should never share their password or other personal information with others. This applies not only to Fortnite, but all online account services," Epic Games said in a statement.
Epic Games’ free “Fortnite Battle Royale” spin-off is wildly popular, becoming the most viewed game on YouTube earlier this year — surpassing “Minecraft,” “PUBG” and “Clash Royale,” according to data released in March by influencer marketing platform Matchmade.
"Fortnite," described as a cross between Minecraft and a shooter-survival game, allows players to fight other players, enemies and build shelters while navigating a vast landscape.
Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this report.