Popular streaming site Twitch hasn't been having the best of times as of late. Despite being one of the largest streaming sites in the world, the Amazon-owned platform has been engrossed in several controversies, such as, for instance, its content policies, double standards accusations, and the handling of fraud-related matters. Incidentally, a recent investigation now adds further to Twitch's problems as a group of streamers on the platform were found involved in a money-laundering scam.
While it's true that streaming platforms have seen declining growth since last year, Twitch, in particular, has had a noticeable decline in recent times. One big reason for this is due to the platform's handling of a number of issues ranging from compensation matters to how it treats streamers. The situation was so problematic that a number of major Twitch departures kicked off in late 2021, prompting the company to bring in changes, including a notable shift in its monetization approach. Now, news of a police raid pertaining to a Twitch money laundering scam puts the spotlight on one of the platform's more problematic areas.
On May 17, Istanbul-based police cybercrime units conducted a wave of raids, arresting 18 suspects allegedly connected to a Turkish money laundering scheme on Twitch. The suspects are accused of collaborating with Twitch streamers with a high number of followers where they would endorse the streamers with money from stolen credit and deb cards via Titwitch's virtual currency called bits. Once these are sent, the suspects would receive the cash in return from the streamers.
Details of this scam first came to light back in 2021 when Twitch's entire source code was dumped online, where it also included streamer payout details. The leak revealed that certain streamers were earning far beyond what they would typically earn compared to viewer numbers. Users had since been calling for the Amazon company to take better measures in preventing these types of frauds from happening on the platform. So far, Twitch has reportedly taken action against 150 streamers for abusing its monetization tools which have amounted to $9.8 million in laundered money.
This isn't the first time Turkish authorities have conducted operations related to the scam. In January, Turkish authorities detained 40 suspects across 11 provinces allegedly connected with the incident. While it's unclear how far this fraud extends, the new wave of raids makes it 58 total arrests, along with another suspect still wanted by the police. Time will tell how Twitch responds to the situation amid a host of other issues on the streaming giant's platform.
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