Rockstar warns against Grand Theft Auto V beta scams

Grand Theft Auto V

Pre-release access to games through beta tests or various forms of early access have become so ubiquitous that we tend to expect it, especially when it comes to major titles. Grand Theft Auto V certainly qualifies as one of those, but Rockstar says in no uncertain terms that there will be no public beta for the game.

"Please note: There is no pre-release 'beta' test for Grand Theft Auto V," the message, written in white block caps on a stark black background, warns anxious GTA fans. "If you see ads or solicitations to join a beta program, beware as this is likely some kind of online phishing scam."

The message doesn't warn against any specific scam, but enticing gamers with the promise of free stuff is a relatively common practice. A FIFA World Cup scam went after EA Sports accounts over the summer, and phishers try to dig up Steam account information with almost admirable determination; the Malwarebytes Unpacked blog also recently warned of scams involving purported Xbox emulators.

As usual, the bottom line is simple: Always ensure that beta offers come through official channels, and always ensure that those channels are, in fact, official. The PC release of Grand Theft Auto V is scheduled for January 27, 2015.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.