British authorities said on Monday that they had received 35 reports of Fortnite-related fraud between April 1 and March 31, with up to $6,800 (£5,120) being stolen in total. Complaints were lodged by dozens of angry parents who discovered their kids had been exploited by the scams.
In the majority of cases, players are directed to follow links spread across social media platforms like Facebook which claim to offer free in-game money, used to purchase cosmetic items for their character. In reality, fraudsters set up “phishing” websites to log personal information and account details.
According to Action Fraud, which revealed the scale of the issue, culprits have asked for phone numbers in return for fake V-Bucks which could then be used to sign the victim up to premium rate subscription services. In other cases, scammers sold access to the stolen Fortnite accounts. On Tuesday, Newsweek found one such site and followed the links to document the short path to fraud.
A quick Google search resulted in multiple websites flogging “100% Safe Free V-Bucks,” some claiming to be working in partnership with the legitimate Fortnite developer, Epic Games. Behind one link, a slick website using Fortnite branding states: “I have V-Bucks to give you! What’s your Username?” Following through the victim is offered three options, for V-Bucks packs of 2,800, 7,500, and 13,500.
Clicking add, the website claims to be connecting to Epic Games and Fortnite severs but eventually stops for further verification. “To be sure that you are not a bot it’s necessary that you complete a security verification,” a pop-up box states. “After you complete the verification it will be credited 7,500 fortnite v bucks generator in your account.” Continuing on leads to three separate phishing websites.