Cybercriminals have found a new avenue for fraud in Fortnite as it rises to become one of the most popular online games in the world.
Fortnite has risen to the top of the charts in the gaming industry and attracted a large base of players around the world.
Currently, it has over 200 million registered users. The game has, so far, made over $300 million.
Sixgill, a cybersecurity company, has been studying the fraudsters’ use of the game for their crimes.
How Cybercriminals Use the Game
Cybercriminals rely on stolen credit cards for their crimes. They use them to buy goods on the game and then sell them for cash.
Furthermore, Fortnite allows its players to buy in-game currency, V-bucks. With these bucks, the criminals can easily cash out. They can then sell the virtual money for cash.
Some of these individuals have been using the dark web to sell their Fortnite accounts. They sell the login details of the account and its email address.
The cybercriminals receive payments through WebMoney, PayPal, or in the form of Bitcoin.
They also sell the payment receipts to ensure that they transfer full ownership of the account to the buyer.
The cybercriminals complete the process by selling the accounts, thereby laundering the money they made through the operation.
Most of the victims of these fraudulent operations are teenagers, a significant portion of Fortnite’s demographic.
Their frequent usage of the game exposes them to fraud that leads to the loss of their accounts.
Some of the cybercriminals have been acquiring Fortnite accounts by tricking young gamers.
They prey on the teenagers’ desperation to get V-Bucks. They ask for their login details and promise to give them V-Bucks in return.
Once the criminals have the details, the victims do not receive the V-Bucks. Instead, they’re locked out of their accounts.
Other criminals pretend to offer the V-Bucks at subsidized rates. Gamers fall into this trap and agree to buy the currency outside the game.
In several cases, gamers have ended up giving up their credit card information to criminals pretending to be V-Buck vendors. The fraudsters can then use these credit cards to make purchases in the game.
V-Bucks are a vital part of the game. Players with this money have better chances of moving to the next levels.
Unfortunately, it takes a while to earn V-Bucks. Thus, desperate gamers can do virtually anything to have some of this in-game money.
Additionally, it takes a large amount of V-Bucks to buy goods in the game. Gamers, thus, gain respect from their peers by spending their V-Bucks in large amounts.
In October of this year, players across the world spent more than $1 billion on console full game downloads.
The Carding Menace
Cybercriminals are now using carding to steal money from their victims. All they need are credit card details to commit fraud.
The criminals use these details to make massive purchases and sell them for cash. The dark web provides a market for these criminals to sell the products they buy.
Additionally, many fraudsters choose to sell credit card information to buyers on darknet markets and forums.
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, acknowledges that carding has been affecting the game’s players.
Thus, the company recommends that Fortnite players should buy V-Bucks in the game or via an official site.
Perhaps the availability of these V-Bucks on sites other than the game has contributed to the rise of carding.
Sixgill observed that in the last two months, the revenue from the sale of Fortnite goods on eBay had exceeded $250,000.
Staying Safe on Fortnite
Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud in the U.K., has stated that Fortnite players and their parents should be keener in detecting any signs of cybercrime.
Many gamers fall victim to these crimes by attempting to purchase random add-ons that come up in the game.
Smith added that players must ensure that the add-ons they buy come from the game’s official website.
Besides, Smith warned the gamers of clicking on links that lead them to unfamiliar sites.
She also said that the players should never discuss their banking and password information with strangers.
Epic Games also warned players against the sites offering V-Bucks at lower rates.
The company also reported that some websites claim to give this in-game money for free. These are scam sites that feed on the naivety of players.
The police have also announced that Fortnite gamers need to be more wary of scammers following the numerous reports of fraud that they have received so far.
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