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FIFA Ultimate Team phishing scam using Instagram to steal Origin, Xbox Live logins

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

FIFA Ultimate Team has long been a target for phishing attacks, and scammers are attempting to use a new venue to coax players into giving up their Origin and Xbox Live login information: Instagram, according to Malwarebytes Unpacked.

FIFA Ultimate Team, which debuted in 2011's FIFA 12, is a mode within Electronic Arts' FIFA titles in which players put together fantasy teams of footballers by earning and buying packs of virtual trading cards. Scam artists have targeted Ultimate Team users and, in previous years, have hijacked their Xbox Live and PlayStation Network accounts with the goal of building up a great collection of cards and then selling it at a profit — and racking up huge bills for the original account owners in the process.

Anti-malware firm Malwarebytes has previously warned Origin users about phishing scams on Twitter. The company recently discovered a fake Instagram account, @easportsut2014 (screengrab above), that is attempting to capitalize on EA's real integration for the 2014 World Cup in FIFA 14's Ultimate Team mode.

Through FIFA 14 Ultimate Team: World Cup, which is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, EA is offering special upgraded versions of cards for athletes who perform well during the real-life World Cup. The aforementioned Instagram account claims to be an official EA channel, and posts images promoting Ultimate Team content that direct people to a phishing URL where visitors are encouraged to log in with their Origin or Xbox Live accounts to receive the special cards. The account has nearly 8,800 Instagram followers.

A representative for EA declined comment on the specific account, but said that the company is always making efforts to have these kinds of scams taken down.