In an investigation by The Independent, The Battle Royale title has been named as a popular and profitable method for criminals to launder stolen money by exploiting Fortnite’s V-Bucks currency.
While most of these exchanges take place over the darknet using Bitcoin as the method of payment; a number have appeared on sites such as Ebay. These then benefit from active advertising on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
Speaking to The Indepedent, senior intelligence analyst Benjamin Preminger of security firm Sixgill indicated that the trend comes a result of Epic Game’s lack of sufficient security measures on their game. “Threat actors are scoffing at Epic Games’ weak security measures, saying that the company doesn’t seem to care about players defrauding the system and purchasing discounted V-bucks,” he said.
It makes sense that crooks would be tempted to exploit Fortnite given its lucrative popularity. 2018 alone saw Epic Games enjoy a profit of $3 billion thanks to a global player count of 200 million. While it remains unknown as to exactly how much is being made off the laundering scheme, Sixgill calculated that within a 60 day period from last year, Fortnite items listed on eBay generated a revenue of over $250,000.