Insurance Fraud epidemic is sweeping Grand Theft Auto Online

Watch the message that pops up in the bottom left hand corner of the video. You just witnessed a robbery. That’s GTA Online‘s new hack in action, and it could ruin the game for a lot of PC players. Yes, cheaters are still prospering by stealing money from your account, but this time once the dough is gone it’s gone for good.

Some morally bankrupt yet enterprising players are using a modmenu command called Insurance Fraud. It works like this: the mod creates an expensive personal vehicle and attaches an object to another unlucky player in the game lobby. The object then blows up said expensive vehicle. The unlucky player is implicated in this wanton destruction and fined for the insurance, removing the money directly from the player’s bank account.

We can only shake our heads at the title of the menu.

Videos show fines of about $63,000 to $93,750 popping up repeatedly and in quick succession, completely draining player’s bank accounts. Any player in the public lobbies can get hit. Adding insult to injury, players that suffer this particular hack– let’s call them fraud victims — are then labeled Bad Sports for destroying others’ personal property, and shunted to games with other Bad Sports–which in turn likely amplifies their chances of getting trolled even more.

Many GTA Online insurance fraud victims, like the guy in this curse-riddled video are understandably angry, and they’re heading to the forums looking for help. YouTuber MrBossFTW shared the issue with his million followers, warning them against public lobbies and suggesting they send tickets to Rockstar.

Obviously fraud victims that have been wiped out want their in-game money back from Rockstar. Conker the Cat, the YouTuber in the header video spoke to a Rockstar rep on the phone and got $3,000,000 of in-game cash refunded, but was told he had to wait out the Bad Sport rating due to a counter bug. According to him, the Rockstar rep said the company is considering removing insurance claims or Bad Sport lobbies altogether if they can’t get this hack under control.

Unfortunately a lot of victims haven’t had their complaints addressed yet; the company is still working on it.  The beleaguered lads and ladies at Rockstar have been waging an uphill battle with hackers over GTA Online since the early days of the game.

They tried combating online hustlers by disabling all mods, and back in July 2015 Rockstar tried filling GTA version 1.28 with 3MB of dead code just to prevent hackers from getting up to any funny business. Unfortunately, that dead code translated to severe performance issues in the game that made players even more irate like stuttering frame rates. Since then Rockstar settled on an insanely detailed stat tracking system that automatically flags accounts for suspicious behavior, like making multiple millions of dollars in less time than it would take Trevor to tumble out of a dumpster.

Related: GTA V traffic turns into chaos with Watch Dogs mod

So players trying to roll through Los Santos online have dealt with clone killing sprees (a uniquely annoying hack that creates aggressive clones) and now they have to fear Insurance Fraud. What makes this hack especially painful – aside from the loss of in-game cash and the time taken to earn or steal it – is that since some players actually buy Shark Cards, there’s the possibility of people losing real world cash over this. Technically, hackers stealing money from other players could be committing an actual crime. With this last hack, GTA takes one step closer to the real life. The situation has brought up the question of segregating Shark Card money from regular player funds so that hackers can’t touch it.

If targeted for Insurance Fraud, there may be a way to avoid permanent losses: Shut down the program without closing to single player mode. Hopefully that will prevent the auto-save from recording the fraud and all should be as it was at the last save point. Try to hardquit as soon as the first message assigning blame for a vehicle being destroyed pops up.

Or just stay away from public lobbies altogether until the issue has been sorted.

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