Live streamers based in Turkey are allegedly behind a $10 million money-laundering ring that used the live streaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, according to reports.
The offense came to light after an anonymous hacker divulged the Twitch payout information as well as the source code, which prompted some users in Turkey to look closer. It was soon discovered that streamers that were largely unknown were reaping thousands of dollars via the platform Bit.
Individual streamers on Bit can earn 1 percent from Twitch, and it was discovered that some were making as much as $1,800 a day, even though they only had 40 or 50 viewers.
Under the scam, hackers allegedly got credit card information from random people and then brokered deals with Twitch streamers to send the streamers big chunks of money via Bit. The streamers, in turn, would reportedly send 80 percent of the funds back to different bank accounts belonging to the hackers.
Other Twitch streamers became aware of a money laundering scam and followed the leak. They gleaned more information by launching a social media campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #dobettertwitch. Turkish Twitch users also started a campaign on Twitter calling for a “clean Twitch” #temizTwitch.
A total of $9.8 million was laundered through 2,400 Turkish streamers over the past two years, according to the Turkish news website Haberler.com.
“This is something that many of us have been aware of for a long time, but we couldn’t confirm Twitch and the owner Amazon nor the audience for years,” Turkish Twitch streamer Grinmax told publication Middle East Eye.
“We waited for the prominent names on the platform to talk about this issue, as I and mid-level influencers like me weren’t loud enough.”
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