Feeds

UK bank blames fraudsters for World of Warcraft ban

Halifax leaves Blizzard out in the cold

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Frequent use of stolen credit cards to pay for World of Warcraft subscription has prompted UK bank Halifax to block payments to the game's publisher, Blizzard Entertainment.

In a statement, the bank said its decision to block payments was not a reflection of the integrity of Blizzard or its billing systems.

"We have seen a significant number of fraudulent transactions through Blizzard's gaming sites. We have, therefore, blocked the majority of Visa/Mastercard transactions we receive from there in order to combat this. We do not believe the fraud is anything to do with Blizzard themselves, their sites or the integrity of their billing systems, rather it is site users utilising stolen credit card details to pay for subscriptions," the bank said. "If a customer does want to subscribe to a game site operated by Blizzard, using a Halifax or Bank of Scotland credit card, we can arrange for the payments to be processed for them if they contact us."

A spokesman for the bank declined to elaborate on how many organisations were also blocklisted explaining that details of its anti-fraud systems work is confidential.

The issue came to light after Reg reading expat Brit Michael, who lives in Canada but banks with Halifax UK, complained to the bank about his inability to buy World of Warcraft subscriptions using his card. Halifax apologised for the inconvenience but told him its fraud analysts have "made the decision to decline all Blizzard transactions due to the high volume of fraud and a high incidence of compromised details".

Michael is unconvinced by Halifax's arguments.

"I am not aware of any other bank or credit organization refusing Blizzard transactions, so I assumed their exceptional behaviour in this instance might be worth reporting, especially if it convinces them to resume normal and appropriate behaviour in connection with these transactions," he told El Reg.

It's unclear whether any other banks have acted over similar concerns. Blizzard representatives didn't reply to emails requesting comment. ®

Additional reporting by Dan Goodin

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.