5 Greatest MMO tricks and scams

written by Ashling

We’ve all been there, as with any social game we must sometimes put our trust in others, many times people we have never met in person…most of the time things go just fine. However, there are those out there that aren’t so honest, and anyone not paying attention can find themselves out some big time gold or items! Today I have compiled a list of some of the most “epic” scams of all time in MMO history.

*Disclaimer* I am writing this for entertainment only. Anyone who tries a scam is at great risk for being banned, so don’t try these things at home, kiddies 😀

Identical Icon Scams

This is scam that comes up in a lot of games in various different incarnations probably first common in Diablo 2, but Lineage 2 is the first time I saw it in action. Lineage 2 Players may remember the “similar item” scam. It was ridiculously simple and preyed, as most scams do, on the person who didn’t read what they were buying carefully. There was a bow shaft in the game that was worth millions of Lineage 2 Adena (Lineage 2 currency).

However the graphic icon for this incredibly valuable item was the same as the icon for another item a worthless “stem”. So, the scammer would just open a trade, and usually put the real item (the bow shaft) into the trading box. After their potential victim had a chance to see it, they would pretend to “accidentally” close the trade box, and quickly open it again. This time, they would put in the fake item, the worthless stem… and the victim, not paying attention since he assumes the real thing is there since it was there the first time, clicks trade and pays millions for a worthless twig! You’d think by this time devs would be more careful and less lazy about the in-game items, but I suppose with thousands upon thousands of items it’s easy for 2 items to end up with placeholder icons.

Phishing Scam Epidemic

Most people are well aware of phishing scams…. but it seems to have just exploded in recent months. I personally now get hundreds of emails a week funneled into my personal “catch all” email, the email I use around the web for just this reason. It started off with just Wow account warning type of phishing, now I get all sorts of things, from win Spectral Tiger mounts, account instructions, account management, it’s just ridiculous. Even Aion scammers are in on the action now with “NCsoft Support Warnings”!

Darwoth, the repository rip-off artist of Darkfall

Regardless of whether or not you have ever played Darkfall you can appreciate this scam, and how it is so simple yet exceptionally effective.

The mastermind of this scam looked up a list of officer names on an enemy clan’s guild roster, and found an officer with a name that could possibly be in violation of the naming policy. His goal was to find a name that could theoretically cause a GM to  force a name change, in this case it was the name of country singer “Jon Anderson”.

After making sure the real “Jon Anderson” player was offline, he creates a character and logs in immediately PMing one of the Guild Officers. He says he is really “Jon Anderson”, but was forced to change his name to “Jon Anders”. He then asks if he can please be re-invited to the guild. The Officer believes this little story and recruits him to high rank so he can access the clan vault. He then steals the entire savings of the entire 150+ person guild causing confusion and anarchy within the ranks!

World of Warcraft Mount Scam

This is another “so simple it can’t work” scam that has apparently taken in quite a few people.

The scammer simply messages that they have a mount code for sale from the WoW TCG, for a spectral tiger for instance. Then, using a bit of charm, they  get people to pay gold up front for a fake code… usually saying something like they are reselling the gold for cash, or that they work for EB games and can get access to many codes. They further make themselves sound legit by saying they will wait online until the mount is redeemed, of course as soon as they have the gold they disappear and delete their character.

Blizzard is great for banning these scammers but it still surprises me how many will fall for this!

Eve Online Great Bank Heist

Probably the most valuable one time scam in MMO history, the Cally Bank Heist was worth over $170,000 in real money.

In Eve online you can run player-operated banks, just like in real life. You can provide loans, interest and insurance just like a real bank. A Player named Cally started one of these banks, and over the course of 4 months he took in-game money from bank customers adding up to over 790 Billion ISK (ISK is the Eve online form of currency) then one day just closed up shop and disappeared with everyone’s deposited money , to the tune of $170,000 in real money valued currency! To add insult to injury, he made a rather grainy video explaining his exploits and mocking the Eve Community.

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