Fortnite is apparently fertile ground for doing crimes, like money laundering

    
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Hey, you know what is fun? Money laundering! Wait, did we say “fun”? We meant “highly illegal and full of dire consequences.” It’s probably not something most of us have entertained, but there’s a chance that it is going on underneath your very nose in one of the most popular games on the market.

The Independent reports that organized crime is utilizing the battle royale shooter Fortnite as a cover for money laundering. “Criminals are using stolen credit cards to buy Fortnite V-bucks, then selling the in-game currency for bitcoin at a discount on the dark web as a way to launder money,” the investigator writes.

MMO designer Raph Koster tweeted that this shouldn’t shock us, as virtual worlds have often dealt with the ramifications of real-world currency exchange. “The surprise isn’t that someone is trying to wash money through Fortnite. The surprise is that it took so long. Any videogame with a robust secondary market for in-game currency or goods is a viable channel,” he said.

Speaking of Fortnite, Netflix is claiming that the game is now a bigger competitor to the streaming platform than rival HBO. And it’s probably right.

Source: The Independent via Boing Boing, Gamasutra
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Mewmew
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Mewmew

“The surprise isn’t that someone is trying to wash money through Fortnite. The surprise is that it took so long”

These guys are clueless. Gold Farmers have been doing this kind of things on games for practically as long as Internet games existed. It hasn’t taken so long, it’s been going on right under their noses right along. Just because they’re just hearing about it doesn’t mean it’s something that’s just starting to happen…

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

That was Koster’s point. He meant took so long in Fortnite (the Independent’s piece is the first investigation into it afaik). If you click on the link, he goes into the whole history of this in MMOs. He talked about it in his book last year too.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

With so much money being spent on Fortnite I’m surprised people didn’t launder money ealier during the heydays of 2018.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Oh wait, they did…

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Armsbend

With the competition starting to heat up for sub based game streaming – this type of metric will gain more traction as time wears.

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Nathan Aldana

Bitcoin, the currency that definitely isnt mostly a dodgy way for dodgy people to make dodgy money

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Mr.McSleaz

Cause a Central Currency, Controlled by a Private Family & their Banking Cartel is sooooo much better.

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Bruno Brito

One mistake doesn’t clear the next.

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John Kiser

The point they were making is that all currency can be used for shady crap.

Xijit
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Xijit

And you all laugh at me when I say that Star Citizen is an elaborate Money Laundering scheme.

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Armsbend

Not me.

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Bruno Brito

Can we say it’s a scheme with a product?

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Armsbend

Sure – as long as you subtract the product part.

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Bruno Brito

I’ll subtract a complete product, but they do have an playable alpha.

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Mr.McSleaz

They have a playable Tech Demo.

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Utakata

You guys are welcome to prove that in court if your really believe that’s what they are doing. Best to have them shut down before they do more damage if it’s in fact as you say. Just saying.

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rafael12104

Good point. Netflix is tracking this? Why? Lol!

IMO, there may be a crossection of viewers/players impacted, but most can do both quite easily.

Xijit
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Xijit

most people don’t watch Twitch streams & Netflix at the same time.

Netflix (obviously) tracks who is watching what, and comparing view rates to other external entertainment trends. If Netflix has lost 100,000 viewer hours in the same time frame that Fortnight has gained 100,000 viewer hours … kinda obvious.

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Armsbend

The thing that makes me most happy is that between NF and Fortnite even fewer people are Comcast customers any longer :)

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rafael12104

Hmm. A couple of things. Many people do in fact listen to episodic programming on Netflix while they do other things, even play games. Just as there are many people who play the same vid programming numerous times as background for whatever they happen to be doing.

Your opportunity cost reference between Netflix and Fortnite is flawed. Put quite simply, while there might be fluctuations in viewers vs. players, the mediums differ significantly in scope and customer preferences. And there is no exigence to play or watch anything immediately on release.

There are many outlets who offer streaming services just as there are many other games to play. So direct comparisons may serve as seasonal or situational markers but not much more.

Remember, Fortnite and Netflix can be done in serial, one after the other. Nothing has to be live.

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s anything that has little governmental oversight and is easy to sell or cash in for reasonable amounts of money, really.

Heck, two decades ago a lawmaker became famous here for “winning” the government-run official lottery over two hundred times; what was actually happening is that the crooked politician was contacting people who had won a lottery prize, purchasing their winning ticket at a premium using dirty money, and then getting the prize as clean money.

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A Dad Supreme

Columbus Nova thinks this story is fake news.

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rafael12104

Breaking news: Illegal things done on the internet.

Stay tuned for: Fortnite Responsible for US Government Shutdown

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Armsbend

I bet 100 Simoleans that members of the US Government don’t have any clue this is going on. So this is a necessary report for someone.

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Armsbend

Some people are naturally drawn towards a human vileness. It is in their nature. Non-myth vampires really.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I’m shocked, shocked to discover that in-game thugs are not the only thugs in gaming.