SCRABBLE GO fans are being targeted by “creepy men” who appear to be trying to flirt with them, charm them and then scam them.
Women who play the popular game claim they have been targeted by the suspicious users who appear to purposefully lose games.
The mysterious men start up a match with the potential victim before starting to quiz them about where they live and if they are married, reports the BBC.
They then attempt to talk the women into moving from the game app onto other messaging services such as WhatsApp.
It appears the men are what are known as “romance scammers”, fraudsters who attempt to charm their way into getting victims to send cash.
Potential victims have questioned whether the users are even human, with many of them seemingly acting like “bots”.
Bots are automated accounts which respond to real users’ messages with a pre-programmed script.
One woman, from Croydon, told The Sun Online she has received messages from a handful of men – all who appear to say the same thing over and over.
She started using Scrabble Go to beat boredom during lockdown while on furlough, but was disturbed when she was bombarded with messages.
The 24-year-old said: “Its creepy, you are just trying to play a game and then you get messages from these weird people.
“They seem like bots, they just say ‘hi’ repeatedly. It makes me feel uncomfortable, and makes me want to delete the app.”
Scopley – the company behind the game – said the chat function can be restricted so only friends can message you.
Another woman, in her 60s, told the BBC she was messaged by three men claiming to be from the US and speaking in broken English.
She said: “It’s almost like a script. They start with, ‘How you doing?’ They match you to start a game, then start messaging.
“They play very badly, so you win the game. And then they big you up.
“Regularly, they say, ‘I just want to check, can’t we be friends?'”
She added: “When you say, ‘No,’ some of them disappear, they resign from the game.
“If you don’t reply at all, most of them resign from the game. This is not a dating site”
In one unusual message, one apparently human scammer confessed to using his son’s picture on the app as he was “more attractive”.
Scrabble Go launched in March 2020 and became the official Scrabble app in June when Mattel ended its partnership with games giant EA.
Scopley has boasted the app has 2.5million daily users.
Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission also said it had receives reports of romance scams on Scrabble Go.
Romance scams feature across gaming apps and social media, being difficult to police as the attempted swindle takes place inprivate messages.
Scopely said it “does not tolerate any harassment or misconduct” and encouraged players to report incidents to the firm.
A spokeswoman added: “In Scrabble Go, players are able to access mute and block functions within the chat feature, as well as the ‘mute public chat’ privacy setting.
“When enabled, players will only receive chat notifications and messages from players they already know and are connected with as a Facebook friend, favourite, or via their synced contacts.”
Lisa Forte, from Red Goat Cyber-security, said: “As individuals, we really need to start treating unsolicited online contact with people we don’t know as suspicious until it’s proven otherwise.”