Crooks ‘using Fortnite to launder stacks of dirty cash’ through cheap V-Bucks

FORTNITE players looking for cheap deals on V-bucks for buy new outfits are reportedly unknowingly helping criminals launder their ill-gotten gains.

An investigation by The Independent tied discount sales of the in-game currency on the dark web and public sites such as eBay to the use of stolen credit card information.

Getty – Contributor

Fortnite has been downloaded over 100 million times, and is played by tens of millions of people across the world[/caption]

Employees of security firm Sixgill posed as customers found sellers flogging cut-price coins in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.

By selling V-Bucks, which can be used to purchase items that change players’ appearance in the massively popular game, the fraudsters are able to break the link between the stolen cards and their ill-gotten gains, as there is no way of tracking individual V-Bucks themselves.

Epic Games reportedly made a profit of $3 billion last year, with company boss Tim Sweeney making an appearance on Bloomberg’s Billionaires List with a personal net worth of  $7.16 billion.

While it has not released total figures for Fortnite-related income, players on iPhone alone are handing over £1.25million a day — and the game is also available on Android devices, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

The game can be played on PC as well as mobile phones and games consoles

“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity,” according to Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence analyst at the firm, told The Independent.

Sixgill found that almost £100,000 a month was being made on eBay alone from the flogging of in-game items and currency in Fortnite — conduct forbidden by the game’s terms of service that could see you banned from playing the game or using any of Epic Games services forever.

“Epic Games doesn’t seem to clamp down in any serious way on criminal activity surrounding Fortnite, money laundering or otherwise,” Preminger told the former newspaper.

Cheap and “free” V-buck scams are also leaving Brits thousands of pounds out of pocket, with the police warning such scams are costing Brits hundreds of pounds each.

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