Accused sexual predator used 'Fortnite' to target victims, authorities say

A Florida man has been accused of having sex with an underage girl he met through the popular online video game “Fortnite,” authorities have said.

On Thursday, the Florida Attorney General’s Office announced it had arrested 41-year-old Anthony Gene Thomas on charges including unlawful sex with a minor and child pornography. Perhaps as many 20 other victims could be affected, investigators believe.

Officials say the 17-year-old victim initially had contact with a 23-year-old woman, who then introduced the victim to Thomas. Thomas and the woman arranged in August to pick up the teen in Brevard County and bring her back to Broward County.

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Law enforcement served a search warrant in October. Authorities say Thomas had pornographic images and videos of the victim on his phone.

No charges were immediately filed against the woman.

Jail records didn’t list an attorney for Thomas.

Criminals are using Fortnite's popularity 

The game, which has an online audience of more than 200 million players and monthly revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, is also fueling a burgeoning criminal ecosystem, according to research from cybersecurity firm Sixgill.

Fraudsters use stolen credit cards to purchase Fortnite-related goods and then unload those goods to unsuspecting buyers, receiving clean money in return.

'Fortnite's' maker, Epic Games, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

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The Associated Press and Fox News' Brooke Crothers contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia