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In 2020 it's difficult not to spend money in video games. More and more, games are adapting to free-to-play systems where paying money is optional but heavily advertised. The biggest success story for this model is arguably Fortnite.
The battle royale game has a system where players can buy V-Bucks, an in-game currency, to spend on cosmetics and dances. New skins drop all the time in Fortnite so it's easy to get caught up in wanting the latest styles. And obviously, one kid got a little carried away because somehow he now owes V-Bucks to Epic Games.
In a post on Reddit, user Dream_Now posted a picture of a Fortnite screen where the V-Bucks total is -4250. Oof. The post just says "my friend's son fraudulently purchased V-Bucks and this was Epic's punishment."
What commenters think happened for this kid to end up in debt, was that he bought V-Bucks from a third party, that turned out to be bought on a fake or stolen credit card. When the transitions where cancelled or pulled, Epic Games couldn't take away the cosmetics or, chose not to, and decided to put the kid in debt instead. This means that as they play they'll likely start earning the V-Bucks back, or can ask a Guardian to actually pay Epic.
Here is v3ritas1989's take on the situation: "People buy V bucks with stolen credit cards (or in other games, farm in-game coin with bots) and then resell them online. Until the game company gets wind of this and wants to back process the order. They will not refund the parents credit cards as they did not receive payment from the parents. That's what online games usually do when they catch people buying black market coin, they will roll back the purchase and maybe ban the account for a few days, so next time they know better and buy from the official online store and not on the black market for half the price.
"Even if this is just about a teen stealing the parents' credit card and the parents call Fortnite to get their money back, the parents would still not have legal grounds to get their money back."
Other than the image and title, the original poster hasn't said anything else about the situation so that's about as good as a guess people have, but at least it's funny as an onlooker to see the ways in which Epic deals with fake purchases.
Featured Image Credit: Epic Games
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