Cybercriminals have now set their sights on Fortnite as a way to carry out money laundering and utilize stolen credit cards. The popular game seems to have a deep dark underbelly. Suffice it to say, criminals are using it to their full advantage.
Cyber intelligence firm SixGill reports the problem to be growing at an exceptional rate. The popularity of Fortnite and how much revenue it generates makes the game a prime target. Scrupulous individuals are using it as a platform to carry out transactions. We’ve reported on criminals using Fortnite to lure in children, but now it’s being used for a whole other kind of crime.
How they pull it off
Basically, all the criminals have to do is create a new free account on Fortnite. Next, they use the stolen credit card information to stock up that account with V-Bucks, skins, weapons, etc. They then turn around and resell the digital goods on eBay and G2G to make a profit.
It’s a very lucrative business with tons of listings popping up on those sites. Some of these accounts go for quite a lot of money. SixGills’ report stated that about $250,000 in profit was made in the past 60 days alone from Fortnite listings on eBay.
Fortnite’s format and popularity have drawn the attention of cybercriminals, and resulted in a thriving criminal eco-system around the game. As the game’s popularity increases and the financial system around it becomes more diverse, fraud involving games such as Fortnite is likely to become more prevalent.
Speaking to Variety, Epic Games suggested a few tips. Firstly, users can protect themselves by utilizing two-factor authentication on their accounts, not sharing account information with anyone, and creating strong passwords.
Brian Preminger, a cyber threat intelligence expert, explained to Variety why these criminals have latched onto Fortnite to do their dirty work.
Fortnite assumes its place in the gaming fraud hall of fame for a number of reasons. Fortnite is breaking records in its popularity. The game’s user base, hundreds of millions strong, seems to be extremely diverse in terms of age, gender, socio-economic status, and country of origin. This mass market appeal gives cybercriminals the opportunity to target a host of different victims, from young children with access to their parents’ credit cards to older adults with little awareness of the potential dangers of cybercrime. As more and more people enter the Fortnite Battle Royale arena and purchase in-game items, the more opportunity cybercriminals have to hack user accounts and run away with the virtual booty.
For those who actively play Fortnite, this practice does go against Epic’s policy of buying and selling accounts. If you do this, Epic Games can and will close your account. Sure, it can be enticing to buy a fully loaded Fortnite account, but you run the risk of actively supporting organized crime.
Just sit back and play the game like the rest of us do legally – while shelling out some of your own real-world cash, of course.