40 People Laundered Money Through Twitch in Turkey
Last week, Turkish police detained 40 people on charges of laundering money through the Twitch trading platform, The Washington Post reports.
They were discovered thanks to hackers who hacked Twitch in October last year and leaked information on the income of various streamers on the platform.
In this article, we’ll tell you the details of this resonant case.
Previously, we’ve collected the most dangerous internet scams. Read more here.
In Turkey, 40 people were detained by local police during an operation against scammers using the popular streaming service Twitch.
The fraud first surfaced due to a massive data leak on Twitch in October 2021, which revealed the top earning streamers on the platform, including several Turkish streamers. It is believed that hackers stole credit cards that were used to transfer Bits – an internal currency on the platform – to streamers. Then these streamers returned most of the money to the hackers.
Several Turkish streamers have launched a campaign against fraud, including popular streamer Jahrein, who publicly called on Twitch to act. The scam was put on the agenda of the Turkish parliament thanks to his campaign.
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What did the fraud scheme look like?
The scheme turned out to be simple: the scammers used the data of stolen credit cards to buy Bits, which they then gave to streamers. Those streamers, in turn, cashed in the Bits for real money from Twitch and returned most to the scammers, reserving a commission for their services.
At first, the scheme attracted attention as a kind of curiosity: Turkish streamers who were not the most popular were listed as recipients of abnormally large sums. They could receive up to $1,800 per day, while the number of viewers on their streams did not exceed a couple of dozen people.
BBL Lego streamer has already admitted his participation in the scheme. According to him, a former friend approached him with an offer to earn extra money and assured him that everything would be legal and honest:
“And I, like a fool, got involved in this adventure. Later, when I realized that the Bits being sent to me were anonymous, I suspected something was wrong and wanted to refuse. But at that moment, I was on the rise, and the person who suggested it had a lever of pressure on me. So I was forced to continue, even though I didn’t want to.”
According to BBL Lego, the attackers laundered four thousand dollars through Twitch.
The Turkish police said that other “well-known streamers” were also involved in this scandal, but it is still unclear who exactly they are talking about.
In addition, the police seized documents and digital materials during the raids. The Demirören News Agency reports that some suspects were minors.
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