Words with Friends is a popular online game that combines the way you used to play “Scrabble” with fun and innovative new rules, in a crossword-style game! You can play Words with Friends on your computer or smart device. As the name suggests, you can challenge your friends and online contacts to see who is the best wordsmith!
Unfortunately, the app has also become a hotspot for scammers and spammers. Users frequently challenge their family or Facebook contacts but also get matched against strangers. This gives scammers the ‘in’ that they need to contact potential victims.
Watch out for These Words with Friends Scams
1. Chatty Strangers
While regular users might make occasional comments to someone they play against (something along the lines of “Oh no, I have all vowels!”), it is rare for most who use the app to message frequently. If someone is very chatty, use caution.
Consider looking up the username the player is using on Social Catfish and see if it’s linked to an actual person. Although users do sometimes make online friends through the app, it’s more often an exception than the rule.
2. Chatty Strangers Who Want Money or Love
Use particular caution if the user you are matched with (or who starts a conversation and game with you) has model quality photographs, gives you immediate praise, treats the app like a dating site, or says they usually live locally but are working overseas. Each of those actions follow the blueprint for being scammed and innocent users fall for it all the time. If someone is interested in a love match, don’t be caught off-guard.
First, verify their identity through Social Catfish or if you suspect they are a scammer, block them and alert the app. If a user directs you to message them elsewhere, such as through social media platforms or Google Hangouts, beware. This may be a way to get to know more about you or because they may soon be caught and kicked off Words with Friends.
If someone falls “in love” with you, without ever meeting, they are more often than not a scammer. Dating and romance scammers know what to say to encourage trust and strong emotions from you. This is because they do it all the time and leave many heartbroken victims in their wake.
Do not ever give money to anyone you meet through Words with Friends. Online reports show users out as much as $60,000 from overseas scammers impersonating an online date or friend they grew to trust.
3. Outside Links
Bots love dating apps and apps in general. This is because they can match with multiple users and send messages with links you might be tempted to click. If a “user” made small talk and then attempted to direct you away from the app or to a paid service, you are dealing with a bot.
4. Married People
If you’re single, you might need an online date or use a dating app. If you’re unhappily married, you probably won’t post your name and photograph on Tinder or Bumble, but you might play Words with Friends and look for someone to pursue. If you suspect someone on the app is lying about not being married, search for their name and other details online.
You use caution and filter the people you add or follow on Instagram or Facebook. On Words with Friends, you can be matched up with users you know nothing about.
While you might not know them, if you use the same username on Words with Friends that you do for your other accounts, someone with evil intentions or who is following you online without your consent, might try and find you. Don’t share information that could let someone know your habits, location, work or home address.
An Oregon Woman Deals with Words with Friends Scam
Judy Crawford is a Words With Friends fan from Oregon, who met a man and quickly formed a romantic relationship with him. He claimed that his name was David Age, that he was from Milan, Italy but was in America working on an oil rig in Texas. He always sent her photos of what Judy thought was him and the crew by the oil rig.
One month after their relationship formed, he started asking for small amounts of money in the form of iTunes cards so that he could supposedly talk to his kids. He then asked for more and more money and asked her to sell her house so that she could keep giving him money. This is when she realized it was all a scam and reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.
This is why you should only contact your friends when playing Words With Friends so that you don’t run into a scammer. If you do have to play with a stranger, keep your guard up because all scammers care about is your money, not your feelings. If they have to travel overseas for anything, that is also a red flag to keep in mind too. Play safely, and remember to reverse search using Social Catfish if something doesn’t seem right.