Twitch has banned a channel that peaked at over 20,000 live viewers after falsely branding itself as Rockstar Games and promising Grand Theft Auto 6 beta access.
The channel, titled “NewsRockstar” complete with Rockstar’s iconic logo, claimed to offer exclusive early access to GTA 6 for Twitch and Steam users. The fraudulent livestream was titled “GTA6 OUT NOW! [BETA] – Early Access Beta Test – Twitch and Steam Exclusive” and broadcasted for over five hours before being removed by Twitch.
Channel Leveraged Trusted Branding to Deceive Viewers
By posing as Rockstar Games, the channel was able to quickly amass a large audience of excited GTA fans hoping for a first look at the unreleased sequel. The channel even partnered with Twitch to display a verified badge, further manufacturing legitimacy to unsuspecting viewers.
“It was a phishing stream, they were offering access to the GTA 6 beta but it was to steal Steam accounts,” explained one viewer familiar with the scam.
Phishing Scheme Promised Coveted Early Access
The fraudulent livestream offered GTA 6 beta access by providing links for viewers to follow. However, these links were phishing scams designed to steal Steam account credentials and other personal information from viewers, according to reports.
By promising coveted early access to GTA 6, the most highly anticipated game release in recent memory, the channel was able to convince thousands of eager viewers to hand over their sensitive login details.
Twitch Quickly Identified and Removed Deceptive Channel
Fortunately, Twitch identified the scam channel and banned it from the platform shortly after the livestream ended. The channel’s removal was confirmed by StreamerBans, a service that tracks banned Twitch channels.
By leveraging Twitch’s verification system and Rockstar’s iconic branding, the fraudulent channel manufactured authority to deceive viewers. Twitch’s decision to promptly ban the channel limited the potential damage inflicted by the phishing scheme.
GTA 6 Anticipation Drives Scams
As Rockstar has yet to officially announce a release date for GTA 6, anticipation for any updates on the game is incredibly high. This hype has driven fake rumors and scams promising insider information or early access in exchange for personal details, in-game currencies, or other valuable digital assets.
Fans should exercise extreme caution when encountering unverified channels or offers related to GTA 6’s release. Rockstar has not indicated plans for a public beta of the game. Any giveaways or early access offers should be considered highly suspect without official confirmation.
Official Rockstar Channels Are Only Reliable Sources
Rockstar Games’ official Twitter account @RockstarGames is the only trustworthy source for updates on GTA 6. Fans should ignore any channels on Twitch or other platforms claiming to represent Rockstar without verification.
No third-party resellers or marketplaces offer legitimate access to GTA 6, as pre-orders and beta access have not been announced yet. Unless communicated through Rockstar’s official blog or social channels, any promotions should be considered fraudulent.
Gaming Community Quickly Spread Warning
Members of the gaming community acted swiftly in spreading awareness of the fake GTA 6 channel after its removal. Streamers and fans took to social media to alert others of the scam and advise ignoring suspicious early access offers.
This kind of organic policing helps protect consumers from malicious efforts to leverage excitement over upcoming releases. Remaining vigilant and skeptical helps limit the reach of scams so fewer fans get exploited.
Twitch Continues Efforts Against Fraudulent Channels
This ban represents Twitch’s ongoing efforts against impersonator channels and fraudulent livestreams. The company deploys automated detection tools and human moderation teams to identify and remove bad actors violating its Community Guidelines.
However, persistent scammers continue creating new accounts in hopes of deceiving viewers. Fans must also do their part by quickly reporting any suspicious channels attempting to impersonate developers or promote likely scams.
By working closely with game publishers and constantly improving its ability to detect impersonators, Twitch can better protect excited fans from malicious efforts to exploit their anticipation. Banning this fraudulent GTA 6 channel before more damage occurred shows effective progress toward that goal.
Staying patient and avoiding suspicious offers remains the best way for gamers to safely enjoy upcoming releases like GTA 6. Only by working together as a community can we curb the impact of coordinated scams and phishing efforts targeting passionate fans.