EA is cracking down on scammers with an update for FIFA 12 which includes new security and game features.
It predominantly affects the game's Ultimate Team online mode, which allows players to buy, sell and trade virtual player cards for in-game coins, or purchase packs for real money.
There have been previous reports of users having their account information obtained unlawfully, and some who have had their players and coins stolen. This March update hopes to tighten security further and reduce the number of breached accounts.
The news comes following reports of cyber crooks hacking into Xbox Live, which Microsoft denies, though it said it does recognise online fraud and identity theft.
The FIFA 12 update – which is now live – requires players to provide a unique answer to a security question when logging in from another console. They'll have to have this answer to hand when using EA's Ultimate Team web app too. When logging in after 30 days, they'll have to provide it again.
Players can also lock their account whenever they like via the internet app. Also, they can now only send ‘trade offers' for player cards to people on their friends list. Finally, the auction system has been revised to prevent users from ‘being tricked to losing many coins'.
An EA statement on the FIFA 12 forum read: We're committed to doing everything we can in our game to help keep [users] safe from phishers and scammers, and our March game update is key part of that commitment.
We are immensely proud of the huge, passionate community that has built up around FIFA Ultimate Team and we're committed to providing it with the value and support it deserves.”
The update also fixes a number of bugs, including a disconnection error affecting PS3 and PC users. There are also game updates such as revised tournaments, Football Club challenges and squad-building features.
As part of the fix, the FIFA Ultimate Team web app will be down until this Friday, March 16th at around 7am.
EA has also produced a ‘stay safe' guide for FIFA Ultimate Team users.