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Digital Original

There's an underground market for Fortnite accounts, and gamers are making a ton of money on it

Fortnite is a free-to-play game, yet some players are spending thousands of dollars on it.

The popular battle royale-style game is posting record revenue every month. Fortnite made $300 million in April, according to gaming research firm SuperData.

Players exchange real money for in-game currency called v-bucks. Gamers use v-bucks to buy new skins, accessories and emotes for their avatars. Fortnite developer Epic Games offers different character skins almost every day, causing some players to miss out on some cosmetic upgrades.

Gamers can also buy Fortnite accounts and services on unofficial marketplaces like eBay. Sellers use the online marketplace to auction accounts fully loaded with skins, emotes and accessories. Once a deal is reached, sellers complete the sale by giving the buyer the email and password attached to an advertised account.

While some players will shell out thousands on purely cosmetic purchases, others may choose to spend on sharpening their skills or at least padding their stats.

Players can also find coaching sessions on these marketplaces for about $20 an hour. Others offer to log into the buyer's account to boost their stats in exchange for cash. These auctions can range from $3 to $6,000.

Black market of Fortnite

But these marketplaces can also be used for more nefarious transactions. In March, they were flooded with deeply discounted access codes for Fortnite games.

Scores of players alleged that their accounts had been infiltrated by hackers, saying they saw fraudulent charges on their accounts.

Epic Games has since increased its security measures and made efforts to warn players about scammers. The studio published a splash screen advising gamers to protect their login information.

Despite the all the compromised accounts, players haven't stopped dishing out thousands on Fortnite. Whether it's through Fortnite's official marketplace or unofficial sites, players are going to spend some serious cash on the game.