Money Laundering in Fortnite

A story we linked to yesterday alleges criminals are taking advantage of the in-game economy of Fortnite for money laundering. It turns out there was also a longer report on this last week on The Independent (thanks Slashdot via Ant) with more on this charge. Here's a bit
Stolen credit card details are being used to purchase V-bucks – the virtual currency used to buy items in the game – from the official Fortnite store. By selling V-bucks at a discounted rate to players, the criminals are effectively able to “clean” the money.

An investigation by The Independent into online black markets selling V-bucks, together with research by cyber security firm Sixgill, revealed the scale of the money laundering operations.

Discounted V-bucks are being sold in bulk on the dark web – a hidden section of the internet only accessible using specialist software – as well as in smaller quantities on the open web by advertising them on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

By posing as potential customers, Sixgill agents uncovered operations being conducted around the globe in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.

“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.

“Threat actors [a malicious person or entity] 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… This directly touches on the ability of threat actors to launder money through the game.”
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14.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 19:42
14.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 19:42
Jan 22, 2019, 19:42
 
NOTHING is safe
13.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 13:49
13.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 13:49
Jan 22, 2019, 13:49
 
Ah, so there it is. That was my question, too, since v-buck are non-transferable... It isn't nearly so simple as buying gold in an MMO.
12.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 13:47
12.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 13:47
Jan 22, 2019, 13:47
 
I don't know enough about the game to make a for sure comment so this is just a guess. They make accounts to buy the discounted currency and then sell the account itself... but the key here is that epic seems to allow account linking. So my guess is that's where things come into play: link account buy shit from the new one.

If the currency isn't transferable this is the only way I could see it working. This is also something that would be virtually impossible for the company to stop without completely disabling the core ability to link accounts.

As long as there is some way to transfer goods from one person to another this will be possible. The unfortunate nature of the internet and popular things.
11.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Jan 22, 2019, 13:38
11.
Re: Out of the Blue Jan 22, 2019, 13:38
Jan 22, 2019, 13:38
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 12:39:
HoSpanky wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:13:
Me Tact, I came here to ask something similar. Last I checked, you can’t transfer v-bucks or items across accounts. V-bucks can only be purchased in-game.
Okay, either HoSpanky is wrong, or Blue's explanation (even if accurate) makes no sense. Are people buying accounts simply to get specific virtual items on those accounts?

A little Googling shows it's very easy to find sellers, so this looks like it is a big business. A video that was equally easy to find suggests that doing this indeed requires trusting someone with your account credentials.
Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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10.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 12:39
10.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 12:39
Jan 22, 2019, 12:39
 
HoSpanky wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:13:
Me Tact, I came here to ask something similar. Last I checked, you can’t transfer v-bucks or items across accounts. V-bucks can only be purchased in-game.
Okay, either HoSpanky is wrong, or Blue's explanation (even if accurate) makes no sense. Are people buying accounts simply to get specific virtual items on those accounts?
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." -- Groucho Marx
9.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 12:32
9.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 12:32
Jan 22, 2019, 12:32
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:22:
xXStellarDadXx wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:15:
I love Fortnite...Keeps the little annoying kids out of the good games...

2 of your last 3 posts are this joke.
With comments like this, I am thinking his user name is a lie
Steam: SpectralMeat
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8.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:31
8.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:31
Jan 22, 2019, 11:31
 
Not really surprising. I suspect the same thing is going on for CS:GO and PUBG cosmetics, in some way shape or form.


Who knows how bad it is on some of the hugely popular (but unknown to me) phone games?

G2A.com was the same story, stolen credit card fraud, money laundering, etc. Digital marketplaces make this sort of thing absurdly easy, it seems.
Avatar 54863
7.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:22
Beamer
 
7.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:22
Jan 22, 2019, 11:22
 Beamer
 
xXStellarDadXx wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:15:
I love Fortnite...Keeps the little annoying kids out of the good games...

2 of your last 3 posts are this joke.
6.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:15
6.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:15
Jan 22, 2019, 11:15
 
See below...Just for you Beamer and some other Fortnite lovers out there...

This comment was edited on Jan 22, 2019, 12:42.
I love Fortnite..keeps thy little kids out of thy good games...
5.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
Beamer
 
5.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
 Beamer
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:04:
Apologies in advance for me being an ignorant old crony, but how do the credit card thieves get the real world money back out of the game after buying V-bucks on stolen cards? I'd guess there are third party sites which sell in game items for real money? Is that correct? Assuming so, is there a reasonable/legitimate thought process to allow this type of third party interaction with the game? Or it is simply pure greed motivation on the side of the game devs?

Yeah, Blue hit it, but in large part devs try to avoid something like this and discourage it, but Life jerks, uh, find a way.
4.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
4.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
Jan 22, 2019, 11:13
 
Me Tact, I came here to ask something similar. Last I checked, you can’t transfer v-bucks or items across accounts. V-bucks can only be purchased in-game.

If that’s still true, then kids are giving out their login credentials to try to get cheap v-bucks, and the stolen credit cards are being used on those accounts to do so. I’m not sure what anyone thinks Epic is supposed to do against that sort of thing. Non-transferable items and currency is pretty much the most they CAN do.

The article’s mention of “people with stockpiles of v-bucks” as suspects makes me think they’ve changed something and v-bucks may be transferable now. Are there gift cards for v-bucks available in stores now?
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3.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Jan 22, 2019, 11:08
3.
Re: Out of the Blue Jan 22, 2019, 11:08
Jan 22, 2019, 11:08
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 22, 2019, 11:04:
Apologies in advance for me being an ignorant old crony, but how do the credit card thieves get the real world money back out of the game after buying V-bucks on stolen cards? I'd guess there are third party sites which sell in game items for real money? Is that correct? Assuming so, is there a reasonable/legitimate thought process to allow this type of third party interaction with the game? Or it is simply pure greed motivation on the side of the game devs?

Right in the quoted portion:

Discounted V-bucks are being sold in bulk on the dark web – a hidden section of the internet only accessible using specialist software – as well as in smaller quantities on the open web by advertising them on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
Avatar 2
2.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 11:04
2.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 11:04
Jan 22, 2019, 11:04
 
Apologies in advance for me being an ignorant old crony, but how do the credit card thieves get the real world money back out of the game after buying V-bucks on stolen cards? I'd guess there are third party sites which sell in game items for real money? Is that correct? Assuming so, is there a reasonable/legitimate thought process to allow this type of third party interaction with the game? Or it is simply pure greed motivation on the side of the game devs?
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." -- Groucho Marx
1.
 
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite
Jan 22, 2019, 10:36
Cutter
 
1.
Re: Money Laundering in Fortnite Jan 22, 2019, 10:36
Jan 22, 2019, 10:36
 Cutter
 
And yet again this still all goes back to the CC companies and their security. These stories always blame the merchants for what isn't their responsibility.

"I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words." - David
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