Symantec's Internet and Security report has predicted that WoW and other on-line games will soon become a favourite for money launderers and fraudsters, seeking to move money between countries.
An article on m-net says that:
Many persistent virtual worlds (PVWs), such as Second Life, and massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), such as World of Warcraft, allow players to conduct real-money transactions in virtual worlds. Players can use credit cards or other payment methods to purchase virtual credits and then exchange those credits with players in other countries, where they may be withdrawn back into local currencies. These transactions have evolved into a de facto international monetary system with exchanges for trading (virtual) currency across virtual worlds or different games.
The report goes on to say:
...a criminal enterprise could open several thousand MMOG accounts. Each could be used to trade with other players in the purchase or sale of in-game assets, the funds from which would ultimately be withdrawn from the accounts. Since thousands of accounts may engage in millions of transactions, each with small profits or losses, it would be difficult to trace the true source of the funds when they are withdrawn. These transactions can be conducted worldwide without the oversight that typically accompanies international bank remittances. In fact, in February 2007, China\'s central bank and finance ministries called upon companies to stop trading QQ coins and virtual currencies, presumably to curb the unregulated exchange of currency.
Read the full article http://www.gmbar.com/wownews/wow-launder.php