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People are using the dark web to launder money through Fortnite V-Bucks

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In one of the craziest stories about Fortnite, apparently dark web sellers are using V-Bucks as a way to launder money.

First reported by The Independent, this story is absolutely wild.

For those unfamiliar, the dark web is a section of the internet able to be accessed with specialized software. It is nearly impossible to track and heavily encrypted and is used almost like an Amazon for illegal businesses.

Money laundering is the process of taking money from illicit sales and running it through a clean business to be able to pay taxes and keep the cash flow legal and hide the real source from the government.

Fortnite’s V-Bucks have become a prime candidate for laundering because of the crazy demand, and a lack of regulation from Epic according to the article. Sellers are using dirty money to buy V-Bucks, then selling those at a slightly discounted rate and the money they receive is legitimate.

The Independent partnered with security firms Sixgill and ZeroFox to uncover the scope of the operation. Here are some things they found:

  • Operations have been uncovered in five different languages
  • The number of mentions of Fortnite on the dark web has risen along with the game’s revenue
  • There were 53,000 different instances of online scams related to Fortnite in a one month span between September and October

“Epic Games doesn’t seem to clamp down in any serious way on criminal activity surrounding Fortnite, money laundering or otherwise,” said Benjamin Prenger, a senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill, to The Independent.

Epic did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment but we will update this article if they release an official response.

I can’t wait for Jason Bateman to turn to Fortnite V-Bucks on Season 3 of Ozarks. 

Esports

Epic Games respond to claims that they failed to pay Fortnite pros

Epic Games has contacted us with an official response to claims that they failed to pay some Fortnite pro players.

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Yesterday, we covered a story about pro players and content creators calling out Epic Games for failing to pay them their tournament winnings and Support-A-Creator earnings. You can take a look at the original story here.

On June 25, Epic Games reached out to us with a statement on the issue, clarifying why some of the prize money and Creator Code earnings have been held up. Below is the official statement from Epic Games on the matter.

Via: Epic Games

Epic Games’ official response to FortniteINTEL

“Recently, we experienced delays to Competitive prizes due to two separate issues. The first issue was related to our DreamHack Anaheim event. Here, we encountered delays due to additional California state tax withholding that required manual processing of payments outside of our Hyperwallet payment system. All prizes for DreamHack Anaheim have been sent directly to player bank accounts. These prizes should be deposited in the respective winners accounts in the next few days. We apologize for the delay.

The second issue was related to overpayments for some prize winners of online cups due to a clerical error and required manual correction. Now that we have sorted out the overpayment issues, we are back on track to process prizes in a more timely manner.

Regarding Support-A-Creator payouts, there are two issues at play. The first relates to us running into obstacles as we transition to a new payment system, including bugs and delays. We appreciate Creators who have been patient as we make this transition and resolve those issues. Creators who are encountering issues should watch our Hyperwallet Account Activation tutorial or reach out to Support-A-Creator Player Support for assistance.

The second issue involves creators who have violated the terms of the Support-A-Creator program by scamming or defrauding players. Typically these individuals create social media material that falsely promises special benefits to players relating to a specific Support-A-Creator code. The players use the code but never receive the special benefits they were promised. When these accounts are detected or reported, we remove these creators from the program and do not pay out their fraudulent accounts. We take these violations seriously, and are looking at additional measures to prevent bad actors from abusing the program, up to and including potential legal action.”

There should be a more detailed blog post from Epic Games on the topic within the hour, giving more information on all of these issues. We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.

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Fortnite pros calling out Epic Games for failing to pay them

Professional and competitive Fortnite players are calling out Epic for failing to pay them their earnings while some Content Creators are missing their SAC money.

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Update 6/25: Epic have responded directly to these claims. Full statement here.

Epic Games is, once again, under some fire from Fortnite pros who claim to have never received payment for Fortnite tournaments. What’s more, some content creators are even coming out and saying that they haven’t received their Support-A-Creator (SAC) earnings.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve covered Epic Games’ payment issues. Last June, Epic responded to a popular Reddit thread where competitive Fortnite players and pros complained about failing to receive their prize money – often several months or even a year old.

One year later and we seem to be right back where we started. Last week, we saw another Reddit thread blow up on the same topic, showing tweets from PWR Repulse and Liquid Cented, claiming that Epic owes them tens of thousands of dollars.

Since the thread got so much attention, Fortnite YouTuber, ThatDenverGuy, did a bit more digging on the topic and found several more professional and competitive Fortnite players who haven’t been paid. Many of these players claim to have gone through the proper channels – something that Epic mentioned when the first situation took place.

The biggest revelation in the video might be that Epic haven’t paid some of the Creator Code earnings that they owe. YouTubers Landon (3.26 million subscribers) and SkyDiverge (2.53 million subscribers) both reached out and told ThatDenver Guy that Epic owes them for their Creator Code earnings.

As ThatDenverGuy notes in his video, some of the SAC earnings were made through illegitimate means such as taking a popular player’s name and tricking their young viewers. It’s difficult to tell whether or not these SAC issues are related to the alleged “dishonest means” that TDG mentions.

The last time that a story like this blew up, Epic responded and was quick to pay-out some of the people who were owed money. They clarified their system and made it easier for some of the pros to receive back-pay for their winnings. Repulse has even deleted his original tweet and said, “ily @FNCompetitive” on June 23, suggesting that he finally received his payment.

We should mention that many of these issues are only claims on Twitter and don’t have proof attached to them. We don’t know if all of these players went through the proper steps to receive payment, outlined here. We do have some high-profile pros and content creators speaking out on the topic, however. We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days.

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Epic address multiple Chug Splash bugs in Fortnite

Chug Splashes offer some of the best healing in Fortnite Season 3. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the buggier items.

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Addressing bugs in Fortnite is a game of whack-a-mole. Epic squashes one issue and two more pop up. Fortnite isn’t unique in this regard. Most other constantly-evolving titles have the same problem.

No one expected Fortnite Season 3 to release bug-free. There aren’t any glaring game-breaking bugs with the update, but there are some small issues that need to be addressed. Thankfully, Epic are staying on top of the bugs and keeping us up to date with their progress.

Chug Splashes were among the returning items in Fortnite Season 3, and they’re also one of the buggies. We’ve seen several reports of Chug Splash-related problems on the r/FortniteBR and r/FortniteCompetitive subreddits. Epic have replied to these posts with the reassurance that they’re working on a fix.

One of the rarer issues is the Chug Splash only healing for 1 HP. Players have encountered this a few times, and one player posted a clip of the bug on Reddit.

Community Coordinator, EmptyTux, commented on this post and said that he’d send it to the QA team for analysis. This isn’t the only Chug Splash bug that players have encountered, however. We’re also seeing issues with this item when used in a bush or in water.

Right now, the issue with using Chug Splashes in bushes is listed as “fixed in next game update” on the Fortnite Community Issues Trello board. Let’s hope that the rest of these are fixed in the next patch, as well. Chug Splashes offer some of the best healing in Fortnite. It would be a shame for them to be bugged for longer than a week or two.

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