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Scammers in my EVE Online?

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CCP Zymurgist
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1 - 2011-09-23 17:03:29 UTC
You bet your bottom ISK there are scammers in EVE Online. In fact scamming is a way of life for some pilots out there. When I came to EVE from one of those fantasy based MMOs out there I didn’t know the first thing about scams and found myself completely flabbergasted at the text flying by my screen in Jita local chat!

In the cold depths of space, scams are common and players will attempt to relieve you of ISK at any opportunity. In fact, I recently purchased a cruiser that had two extra zeros in the price tag! As a new player this can be devastating to your wallet and even your assets if you let someone walk away with them.

Some of us have learned the hard way what kind of scams are out there but hopefully we can help each other out by talking about them. So what are the most popular scams in EVE and how do you protect yourself from them, or maybe even, how did you fall for it? Keep in mind that not all forms of scamming are allowed, does everyone know what kind of scams are illegal?

Zymurgist Community Representative CCP NA, EVE Online Contact Us at http://support.eveonline.com/pages/petitions/createpetition.aspx

malaire
#2 - 2011-09-23 19:29:09 UTC  |  Edited by: malaire
Let's start with two common contract scams you see in trade hubs all the time.

Giving all my ISK away for single Tritanium


In this scam, you see message in local saying something like: "I'm leaving EVE. Giving all my ISK away for single tritanium. [Want To Buy]"

The catch is, that the contract is not buying tritanium but selling tritanium. If you accept the contract you will lose a lot of ISK and get single piece of tritanium which is not worth much.

If you read the contract, you see that it clearly says "You will pay (a lot of ISK)" and "You will get Tritanium x1". But the scammer is hoping that you do not read the contract but accept it in hurry since you want to get the ISK which scammer claims to be giving to you.

How to avoid this scam?

Read contract carefully. Especially whether you are giving or receiving ISK and whether you are giving or receiving items.

Fake buy order on market / Margin Trading scam


This is a bit more complicated. Someone is saying in local: "Hangar cleanout. I'm leaving to nullsec soon, selling rest of my items cheap [Multiple Items]"

Now you probably don't know all those items and what they are worth, so you go to market and check their price. You notice that most items are not worth much, but there is buy order for that Station Laboratory for 1400 million ISK. So it seems that you can accept the contract for 900 million ISK, and immediately sell that one item for 1400 million ISK, giving you 500 million ISK profit.

But there is catch. That buy order on market is "fake" and you can't sell to it. If you try to sell to it, it will disappear and you are left with items you bought with 900 million ISK but which are not worth even 100 million ISK.

Now why can't you sell to all buy orders you see on market, even when they are green?

Normally when player makes buy order, game takes all the ISK needed to fulfill that order into escrow, and when someone sells to that buy order he is paid from escrow regardless of whether buyer has any ISK in wallet or not.

But if player making the buy order has Margin Trading skill, game only takes some of the needed ISK into escrow. The rest is taken from buyers wallet when someone sells to that buy order. But if wallet happens to be empty (and in this scam, it is allways empty) then buy order just fails and seller can't sell the item since buyer doesn't have enough ISK to cover it.

How to avoid this scam?

This can be more difficult. There is no way to see if buy order is "fake" i.e. if buyer doesn't have enough ISK to actually cover it. My suggestion would be to check price of that item in other regions from website like Jitonomic to see what it really is worth.

New to EVE? Don't forget to read: The Manual * The Wiki * The Career Options * and everything else

malaire
#3 - 2011-09-23 21:18:58 UTC
More contract scams, fresh from Jita. Can you spot the scam without reading answers?

Since you dont have Market here, here are few prices to help analyse these contracts:

30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) = 385 million ISK
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher = 75 million ISK
Hulk = 194 million ISK
Isogen = 60 ISK
Medium Cargohold Optimization I = 3.5 million ISK
Modulated Strip Miner II = 3 million ISK
Raven = 78 million ISK
Raven Navy Issue = 340 million ISK

CONTRACTS

1) 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) x 3 990m
2) Isogen x 1050000 (Item Exchange) 49 each
3) URGENT!! WANT TO SELL 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) ONLY FOR 320 MILLIONS ISK!! NEED MONEY TO BUY SKILL BOOKS!!
4) [Want To Buy] PLEX x 10 - - - - 4.5 BIL
5) Raven Navy Issue (Auction) Cheap Navy Raven
6) [Multiple Items] cheap Hulk + fittings, only 190 mil
7) Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher x3 200m


ANSWERS (Try to figure it out yourself before checking answers.)

New to EVE? Don't forget to read: The Manual * The Wiki * The Career Options * and everything else

Peregrine Shae
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#4 - 2011-09-23 21:29:56 UTC
Another variation of the "Fake buy order on market / Margin Trading scam" involves setting a high quantity for the purchase or sale of items. As an example I've seen numerous times, someone will post a buy order above or even very high above regional average for an item you might want to sell. The buy order is going to be for a particular station only. You take your item to that station and when you go to sell it, you get a fraction of what the buy order was. How does it work? The person set the minimum quantity of that high buy order to a large number so that when you go to sell one or two of the item, you can't fill that minimum quantity and so roll over to the next highest buy order. If you're not paying attention when selling a bunch of salvage items at a station, you can end up getting far less ISK that you expected. (They can also use the Margin Trading Scam so that the order cannot be fulfilled even if you meet their minimum quantity.)


You will also see items for sale on the market where their price has a few extra zeros on it. The regional price for a ship might be 30 million, but that person is selling it for 300 million, most likely hoping that you will buy it without realizing you're paying ten, a hundred, or even a thousand times as much as you should be.

There are also buy orders that do this, but with fewer zeros instead of more.


Some items on the market seem haunted by people who post items at a really ludicrous prices. I've seen items that normally sell for 10 thousand ISK selling for 99 million or more. These folks are either hoping you blindly click on their auction or are trying to skew the market price data collected on the item. (Not all data analysis of market data is created equal after all.) They may also be hoping that you will try and buy cheaper items elsewhere (where they may be selling them) and move them to this location thinking if they can get 99 million, you can price it at 50 million and be sure to sell.
Malcom Dax
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2011-09-25 00:25:11 UTC
Lets not forget the lolfully obvious "send me some isk and I'll double it" scam.

This can go down one of two ways.

You give them isk and never see anything back

OR

You give them a small amount of isk to see if they're genuine and recieve 2x that back. Great you think, this guy is for real, and you give them a lot of isk, which you never see again.

Remember: If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

.

Mara Rinn
Cosmic Goo Convertor
#6 - 2011-09-25 03:45:23 UTC  |  Edited by: Mara Rinn
What about there Goonswarm Recruitment scam?

You'll be approached by a member of Goonswarm who will tell you that they're recruiting (Goonswarm don't recruit), and can get your ships ferried out to null sec for a small payment (only a few hundred million ISK). So you give them your ships and your money, and never see them again.

A variation of that scam is where someone claiming to represent Goonswarm will offer your alliance access to some area of null sec. "We're desperate for industrialists" they'll tell you, "rent this system off us, and we'll buy ships & ammo from you." They will of course require a downpayment to cover infrastructure costs, and then they'll meet you at the Torrinos gate in EC-P8R to escort you to your new home. Only they blow you up instead. You never see your ships or money again.
Nunchuck Norris
#7 - 2011-09-25 08:24:00 UTC

NAME SIMILARITY SCAM



Another type of scam is the one where people are claiming to sell something , and they sell something else with a similar name .

Example : "WTS Charon for 600m , i need isk now !" . A charon freighter worth ~800+ m isk , so they are hoping noobs will accept it fast without reading carefully .

The catch is this : they are giving a Carbon commodity , not a freighter .

Another example is Onyx Heavy interdictor , where they put instead an unit of Onyx Ochre , an ore type ...



T3 scam



Another type of scam is the one where you see people yelling in Jita "WTS cheap tengu / legion / loki / proteus with subs , 50m under market price , buy it now" .

The catch is they will not give you subsystems (which worth 200m isk) , they will give you skillbooks who worth like 20m isk .
malaire
#8 - 2011-09-25 08:36:04 UTC  |  Edited by: malaire
This thread might be more usefull in "EVE New Citizens Q&A" section. While some scams are of interest to trial players, most scams requires victim to have something worth taking and trial players generally don't have much assets.

Canbaiting / Yellow container with free items

This is often used against new players. You see yellow container floating in space and it says "free items for new players" or something like that. When you go there and take the items you are immediately attacked and your ship is destroyed.

Taking from yellow containers is considered stealing. If you take items from yellow container, CONCORD police doesn't care, but the owner of the container (and his corporation if he is in player corporation) can attack you freely for 15 minutes.

If he attacks you, you can then attack back and defend yourself. But since he was prepared for this and you probably aren't, he will most likely win the fight.

Variations

There are some variations to this basic scheme.

Can flipping: While you are mining someone takes your ore from your container into his own. Thief is now red and hopes that you take your ore back (thereby stealing from him) or that you attack him. In either case he can attack you and will likely destroy your ship.

Arranged 1v1 fights: This mechanism is often used for making 1v1 fights in highsec without CONCORD interfering. Player A steals items from Player B which allows Player B to attack Player A. After Player B attacks, Player A can attack back and fight is on.

This is usefull when you want to try 1v1 fight with person you know. But offers of 1v1 fights in local-chat are often scams. Your opponent often has friends nearby who will come to help him, either by attacking you in group or by repairing his ship during fight.

Blue container with free items: Now this is not a scam. If you see blue container or wreck in space, it means that owner has abandoned it and it is now free for anyone to take.

New to EVE? Don't forget to read: The Manual * The Wiki * The Career Options * and everything else

Xercodo
Cruor Angelicus
#9 - 2011-09-25 08:45:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Xercodo
It Looks the Same Scam

Usually done from a direct, in-station trade the con man will take a non-valuable T1 ship and rename it to look like a faction ship. The victim doesn't know the difference cause the icon is small enough to not noticed the difference in paint job.

Examples include giving you a Raven when you were expecting a CNR (Caldari Navy Raven, actually Raven Navy issue but CNR stuck as the short hand every one knows) or giving you a primae instead of a noctis

To avoid this scam make sure to show info on the ship and read it's description and the easier way is to make sure that the ship has a number in a little black box on it to indicate a stack of one. This little black box being visible means that the ship is repackaged and has lost all of its individuality as compared to the base ship on the database. Loosing this individuality means that it also doesn't have a specific name for anyone to have given it so that you can trust that the name of the ship you see is its actual name. Another way to avoid the scam is to double check for the little green tag that indicates that it is a faction item. This method, however, won't save you in a primae/noctis scam

Note how small the ship icon was in that link.... try comparing it to this one of the normal raven...it's not that hard to see how you can get those mixed up when they are so small...

The Drake is a Lie

malaire
#10 - 2011-09-25 09:48:49 UTC
Most scams are allowed in EVE but few are not:
ILLEGAL scamming

Character Bazaar-channel is used for selling characters for ISK. Scams relating to this are not allowed.

Buddy invites and rewards from other players-topic has buddy-invite offers from paying players. Scams relating to this are not allowed.

To protect new players, canbaiting/canflipping is not allowed in 24 Rookie Systems. (Article only mentions canflipping but I understand that canbaiting is also not allowed.)

Buying or selling ISK/items/characters for real money is not allowed. (However you can buy PLEX with real money from official site and sell it for ISK in-game.)

Botting or client modification is not allowed. So while you can post your contract-scam to local-chat manually every 5 minutes, you are not allowed to use a bot to automatically paste that text to local-chat every 5 minutes.

Scamming is not allowed in some chat channels. I know that "Help" and "Rookie-Help" chat channels don't allow scamming.

Excessive spamming in local-chat is not allowed. I don't know exact rules for this, but if I remember correctly one scammer told me that you can repost once every minute or after 5 other posts (whichever happens first). But I have not confirmed this.

New to EVE? Don't forget to read: The Manual * The Wiki * The Career Options * and everything else

Josefius
13th Tribe of Kobol Expeditionary
#11 - 2011-09-26 15:34:12 UTC
CCP Zymurgist wrote:
You bet your bottom ISK there are scammers in EVE Online. In fact scamming is a way of life for some pilots out there. When I came to EVE from one of those fantasy based MMOs out there I didn’t know the first thing about scams and found myself completely flabbergasted at the text flying by my screen in Jita local chat!

In the cold depths of space, scams are common and players will attempt to relieve you of ISK at any opportunity. In fact, I recently purchased a cruiser that had two extra zeros in the price tag! As a new player this can be devastating to your wallet and even your assets if you let someone walk away with them.

Some of us have learned the hard way what kind of scams are out there but hopefully we can help each other out by talking about them. So what are the most popular scams in EVE and how do you protect yourself from them, or maybe even, how did you fall for it? Keep in mind that not all forms of scamming are allowed, does everyone know what kind of scams are illegal?


Before you lovely devs changed the colors to differentiate between BPO and BPC, I lost quite a bit of isk thinking I was buying a researched BPO on contract. Yes, I was in a hurry. :(

You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something, sometime in your life.

-Winston Churchill

Manc
department of Long life
#12 - 2011-09-26 15:45:00 UTC
Chump change.
Aelana Anais
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2011-09-26 15:45:12 UTC
Another one I have seen is the "cheatcode" scam.

So lets say this now and definitively

There are no cheatcodes in eve.

Selecting give money and holding down keys while pressing a lot of 1s will just end up with you loosing a lot of isk.

There are other variations of this but this is the one I have seen recently.
Scorpionidae
#14 - 2011-09-26 15:55:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Scorpionidae
CCP Zymurgist wrote:
In fact, I recently purchased a cruiser that had two extra zeros in the price tag!



Was that from me?!?!? (or one of my alts?) If so that be great! Lol

malaire wrote:
Scamming is not allowed in some chat channels. I know that "Help" and "Rookie-Help" chat channels don't allow scamming.


And now the Recruitment channel! <-- I did not like this as it was where I made alot of iskys. (And the only one I know doing it so I guess its my fult)

Scorpionidae Big smile

Every Day I be Trolling

Marc W2048
Clan 86
Antesignani Alliance
#15 - 2011-09-26 16:48:42 UTC
Honestly in all my years of playing Eve I have never been taken by any type of scam. I have always been smart enough to look at the details of anything being offered. It's pretty simple to tell if something is a scam. Put in simple terms if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Back in the old days of contracts (escrow as it was called back then) I know it was alot easier to post things and get away with scamming. These days you mearly have to look close at what you are about to do and it's obvious that it's a scam.

The sad part of scams in Eve is they tend to screw the newer players over much harder than people like myself. Newer players don't have ISK yet and it's very hard to make alot of ISK as a newer player with low skills. Not to mention they feel it's just a game and that they are safe from scams. Most other MMO's give you things back if you get scammed, not here and that is one aspect of Eve I love. Just like in the real world if you don't pay attention, it's your loss. File a petition in Eve for your own lack of attention and get a nice reply from a Dev saying sorry. What they should say is, " You were an idiot, not our problem."

Trimutius III
Foundation 053
#16 - 2011-09-26 16:52:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Trimutius III
There were times when I lived solely of trading.

First of all if I give money to somebody then I don't expect something in return (I may give 100-200k ISK to some newbie if he asks politely in local).

Second, if I click some contracts in local chat (like Jita or Amarr or Rens locals), then it may be only for this reasons:
- to learn about new scamming techniques (or see old ones)
- to laugh about some hilarious scamming techniques
- to acknowledge some good scamming technique (though I personally never scam but still i acknoledge some interesting stuff)
- to see some rare items for sale
Note: if I found rare items in local and want to buy it I will still look through the contract search and Jita market (if applicable) to compare prices (maybe there are more then 1 item for sale)

Third, if I buy, sell something i check the price 3 times, and if I'm not in Jita then i compare prices to Jita prices (i have four accounts and there are usually no problem for me to login an alt that is located in The Forge)

Fourth, if you buy something through contracts never use contracts from chat. Even if you found something good in chat double check and find the same contract through contract search, if you type in Charon in the search you will never get Carbon instead of it... =)

Fifth, Try to avoid courier contracts that ask you to go to low secs and zero secs (even NPC stations) if you are not 100% sure that you will be able to run from the ones who created the contract when they will try to catch and destroy your ship...

That is what most important. And I want to share some experience. Remember that there is skill called Margin trading that allows you to create orders that will cost more than you have on hand (if only part is sold to you there would be no problem but otherwise your purchase will fail)
I ones have seen a market order in Jita, somebody wanted to buy a lot of meta 4 medium shield booster for pretty high price. The volume for order was 2349, but nobody could have sold it to him because minimum volume was also 2349. So I actually bought 2349 Meta 4 medium shield boosters all over the empire. For pretty cheap prices I should say (I'm a trader afterall) And when I came to Jita to sell this stuff to that guy my trade failed and his order desappeared. I suppose he didn't have enough money to buy so many shield boosters and I got stuck with 2k+ shield boosters (which I couldn't have sold back fast of course)
But I'm thankful a bit, it taught me a lesson that I should never fall for such high minimum volume orders. And actually because of that i started t2 invention, which is pretty profittable (though it still a lot of work to do 2349 invents of Medium Shield Booster II)
hmskrecik
TransMine Group
Gluten Free Cartel
#17 - 2011-09-26 17:42:36 UTC
Marc W2048 wrote:
Just like in the real world if you don't pay attention, it's your loss. File a petition in Eve for your own lack of attention and get a nice reply from a Dev saying sorry. What they should say is, " You were an idiot, not our problem."


Well... Unlike in EVE, if you scam in real world you are hunted down and if you're lucky enough that police find you before lynching mob does you are sent to the federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Show me actual society or non-cult religion which endorses scamming everyone around.
Torus Nunn
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#18 - 2011-09-26 18:01:47 UTC
hmskrecik wrote:
Marc W2048 wrote:
Just like in the real world if you don't pay attention, it's your loss. File a petition in Eve for your own lack of attention and get a nice reply from a Dev saying sorry. What they should say is, " You were an idiot, not our problem."


Well... Unlike in EVE, if you scam in real world you are hunted down and if you're lucky enough that police find you before lynching mob does you are sent to the federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Show me actual society or non-cult religion which endorses scamming everyone around.



No one endorses scamming. But no one endorses the stupidity to fall victim to a scam either. It's your own doing that got you scammed, no one forced you to do it, and that's what CCP endorses, your own choices.
spookydonut
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#19 - 2011-09-26 18:11:39 UTC
Mara Rinn wrote:
What about there Goonswarm Recruitment scam?

You'll be approached by a member of Goonswarm who will tell you that they're recruiting (Goonswarm don't recruit), and can get your ships ferried out to null sec for a small payment (only a few hundred million ISK). So you give them your ships and your money, and never see them again.

A variation of that scam is where someone claiming to represent Goonswarm will offer your alliance access to some area of null sec. "We're desperate for industrialists" they'll tell you, "rent this system off us, and we'll buy ships & ammo from you." They will of course require a downpayment to cover infrastructure costs, and then they'll meet you at the Torrinos gate in EC-P8R to escort you to your new home. Only they blow you up instead. You never see your ships or money again.


You insult my space-honor, good sir. Take that slander to CAOD where it belongs.
Anna Lynne Larson
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#20 - 2011-09-26 19:09:29 UTC
I've never been caught by a scam due to being a scam-savvy little bastard myself (Runescape scamming was the best back in the day, even if they would permaban you for doing it. Pussies.). My first one was more of a corporate theft than a scam, tl;dr version I joined a corp for 3 days and made off with 1.6 bil, give or take.

This is the full story if anyone cares.
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