There are a few things that made stronger impressions than Fortnite in 2018. Having over 200 million users makes that game the undisputed, most successful game of last year. Epic games managed to bank a little over $3 billion from in-game sales, but as always there seems to be a downside. It seems that Epic Games is not the only party getting rich from the game. Many reports are coming in that the game’s official currency “V-bucks”, is laundering money for criminals on the dark web.
According to researchers, hackers are using stolen credit cards to buy V-Bucks. The V-Bucks are later resold at a lower price to other players in order to “clean up” the currency. Of course with 200 million users, there will always be those who would love V-Bucks at a lower price.
Laundering Money is a skill that’s evolving
These money laundering exploits were firstly discovered by Sixgill. The cyber-security firm managed to discover the exploits by posing as interested customers. In order to fully confirm the company’s suspicions, experts also engaged with transactions with some of the criminals.
One of the Senior Intelligence Analysts at Sixgill stated:
“Criminals are easy executing fraud by getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity.”
There is currently no real way to see the scale of the money laundering in the game. Experts from Sixgill however, believe that the money stream is bound to increase as the game grows in popularity. This is largely due to game’s population being children, teenagers and young adults who can easily be taken advantage of.
As technology rapidly grows, criminals are also becoming more adaptive and intelligent. The dark web is where most criminal activities are conducted. This is also the place where most of the money laundering for V-Bucks is done. Of course there are such activities being conducted in plain sight on most social medias, but they are quickly discovered and banned out.
Ironically enough, V-Bucks might become the new Bitcoin when it comes to laundering money online. According to statistics, criminals managed to launder more than $2.5 billion worth of Bitcoin for the ten-year period between 2009 and 2019.
Of course Epic Games is already notified about the ongoing scams and has already released a statement:
“We take these issues very seriously. Chargebacks and fraud are putting our business and players at risk. We keep encouraging players to protect their accounts by turning on two-factor authentication and not revealing their passwords to anyone.”
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