Criminals Using Mobile Video Games To Launder Money, New Report Claims

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Online criminals are reportedly laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars using blockbuster mobile games like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Marvel Contest of Champions, according to a new report by German cybersecurity firm Kromtech.

Free-to-play games often rely on in-app purchases that allow players to exchange real money for gold, gems, or some other “premium” currency. With this premium currency, players can buy advantages, bypass time gates, and generally make themselves better at many games. In the most successful mobile games, like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, in-game purchases rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly revenue. The currency is also a relatively easy way to launder money.

Online criminals reportedly used 20,000 stolen credit cards to make purchases in Clash of ClansClash Royale, and Marvel Contest of Champions, Kromtech says. The criminals resold accounts with those same purchases on third-party markets like G2G or iGameSupply and received money in exchange, with no attachment to the stolen credit cards.

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