Xbox Live Users Hacked, Scammed Out of Thousands of Dollars

A hacking scandal is now plaguing Xbox Live users, and gamers are being scammed out of thousands of dollars.

The hacks come through fake emails, and they used phishing tactics to coax people into revealing bank account details.

A Microsoft spokesperson acknowledged the hacks in a statement Tuesday.

"A number of Xbox Live members appear to have recently been victim of malicious 'phishing' scams - online attempts to acquire personal information," said the spokesperson.

"The security of Xbox Live members is of the utmost importance...which is why we consistently take measures to protect Xbox Live against ever-changing threats," he added.

The attack is usually disguised as an email that leads a user to phony websites offering free Microsoft software points that can be used to buy games on the system.

The victim is then asked to reveal personal account information that allows the hackers to access credit card information. Many of the victims are children who give up the information due to their lack of knowledge on hacking.

Simon Ellison, an Internet security expert at Norton, told the Daily Mail: "Phishing is widespread - 86% of phishing attacks specifically target the financial sector, but another 13% target information services. Users need to be vigilant."

Users should not give out password information in unknown emails and should keep their computer software up-to-date to prevent against the hacks, according to news reports.

Microsoft advised victims of the attacks to contact the company. They also urged Xbox live users to double check email to make sure it is not a fraud.

Hackers infiltrated PlayStation 3’s network earlier in the year with 77 million users being affected. Sony said an "external intrusion" resulted in hackers ending up with victims' personal information.