Fortnite, the Battle Royale range is being used for money laundering by organized crime

Out of the 53,000 instances of scam, about 86 percent were shared on social media websites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

  • Published: January 21, 2019 10:04 AM IST
Fortnite Season 7

Image Credit: Epic Games

Fortnite is currently one of the most popular online multiplayer game from the Battle Royale genre in the market. According to various reports, the game made anywhere between $ 2.4 to 3 billion in terms of revenue in 2018. The game is not showing any signs of slowing down in the near feature and it may gain similar figures this year as well. All this while being free to play without any upfront cost of purchasing a copy of the game on mobile platforms. The success of the game in terms of revenue is all good but a recent report has raised some concern.

According to a new report by The Independent, organized crime is currently using V-bucks, the in-game currency for Fortnite to launder the dirty money. The report noted that children and teenagers are buying V-bucks at a discounted rate from criminal elements and in turn supporting organized crime, all without realizing anything. Even though the game is free to play but V-bucks, the currency of the game is used to buy new outfits and other cosmetic things in the game. The report noted that criminals are using stolen credit cards to purchase V-bucks and then selling them to unsuspecting players.

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The legitimate purchase from players “cleans” the money as the purchase makes the stolen money official and in the financial system. According to the report, the investigation was also conducted by cybersecurity firm Sixgill to estimate the scale of money laundering on the dark web. The findings added that money laundering is going on “around the globe” in different languages.

The report also pointed towards the “weak security measures” from Epic Games and no concrete measures to take actions against “players defrauding the system”. It is unclear about how much money criminals made out of the total profit of $ 2.4-3 billion, though the report noted that Fortnite items have “grossed more than $2,50,000 in two months on eBay. The same report also included findings from IT security firm Zerofox pointing at about 53,000 instances of online scams that were related to Fortnite between early September 2018 to early October 2018.

Out of the 53,000 instances of scam, about 86 percent were shared on social media websites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. According to the report, Epic Games has not issued an official comment in response to the report. There is no reference to the report on the social media channels of Fortnite or Epic Games.

  • Published Date: January 21, 2019 10:04 AM IST