According to an investigation done by the Independent, cybercriminals are laundering money through the wildly popular video game Fortnite. Using a technique called “carding,” crooks will purchase in-game cosmetics and packages of V-bucks with stolen credit card details, then sell them at a discount through social media, eBay, or on the dark web.
The hugely popular Fortnite earned a whopping $3 billion in 2018 and attracted more than 200 million players worldwide. But Fortnite developer Epic Games isn’t the only one making money off the game. Cybercriminals have been using Fortnite’s in-game currency, V-bucks, to launder money, according to the Independent.
According to The Independent and cybersecurity firm Sixgill, a hacker will access someone else’s credit card information, and then use it to create a Fortnite account and buy V-bucks, which is the game’s currency. Once the account fills up with V-bucks, it is then sold through a legitimate vendor like eBay, or on the dark web, for lower rates than the $10 for 1,000 gamers will get in the game or through an authorized online store.
“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity,” Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill, told The Independent.
The Independent found one seller on the dark web who claimed to be rich and just wanted to give back to the dark web community by “giving away” V-bucks at steep discounts. Of course, there is no way of knowing how the individual acquired these V-bucks, and since he only accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, his transactions are almost impossible for law enforcement to track.