Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friendly helpful ppl yay!

Playing EVE you often encounter nice people who offer you help or gifts or some kind of trade that is highly beneficial for you. These people are known as scammers. Check out a few:
You can find similars in endless numbers in the rookie help, the corporate chat of newbie companies, the Jita local and practically every non-moderated channel.

You obviously don't want to be scammed, and want to know how to separate scammers from honest people. I can tell the solution: you can't. If you think you have an idea how to find trustworthy people, you are already in the group of the victims. Like the guys in the 850B scam who trusted a guy who played nice for years.

Is the situation is hopeless? Absolutely not. You don't have to trust anyone, you have to trust in the trade itself. You can easily spot a scam: it's good for you and someone else offers it. I did not have to fully read the texts above. The "I have 30B ISK to give out", the "would like to offer you a tip", the "liquidating some stock" parts were completely enough for me to stop reading. If he wants to help me, he is a scammer.

How can you recognize a honest trade? At first it's publicly available and using simple UI. I mean why bother with something complicated if simple can do it: if he wants to liquidate his mexallon, he puts up a sell order on he market. The morons who fueled the 2 Trillion Scam were looking for trade contracts instead of sell orders on the marketplace. (Some modules can't be placed on the market, but no one forced anyone to pick those). If something is more complicated than it could be, it's probably a scam (or someone is just being dumb).

Secondly it involves trust. Any move that involves trust can be replaced by a bunch of moves that don't. For example my mining fleet idea involves several small-amount transactions after. Paying all at the end involves trusting the one who picks up the ore. I don't say that the guy who prefers the "trusting" method is a scammer. He can be just lazy. He can just be a social who finds it atrocious that someone doesn't trust his word. It's safer to just walk away, because even if he is not a scammer, his careless behavior opens the door for other scammers. Or simply he can just fail to deliver. For example the "lets mine duds together and i sell the ore and we divid eqully" guy can be honest and still end you up with a loss in the form of ores in a distant station as the guy couldn't calculate that transporting all with his T1 hauler will take 1000 jumps. If he'd pay you after every ore, it would be his problem to handle the transportation, not yours.

Thirdly a scam offers high returns. Why does anyone want to offer you high returns? Why don't he keep it for himself? The common answer is that "I don't have the capital". Well dude, then you are over your head and shouldn't play outside of your league! Especially with my money! There is one and only one acceptable proof that you are able to successfully manage a 100B operation: if you have 100B. But if you have 100B, you don't need my 1.5. So if he asks for your investment, he is either a scammer, or a honest moron. Please scroll up to the pictures again and look at the second, the one with the Mjolnir missiles. It's a very obvious margin trading scam. However I can't be sure that the guy is a scammer. He can easily be a honest idiot who really thinks it's a good deal. If I'd listen to him and lose about 300M, would I be any less in loss if he had nothing to do with it?!

Business report: Buy+Sell+Cash = 1.54B (0.49B gift)
The moron of the day is this guy. People kill even empty Iteron Mark IV Quafe Ultra Edition ships just for fun. But this was no empty ship. And look at his fitting, my Badger II has more EHP! Seriously, how could he get all that money with so little brain?


Caramael said...

Most scams in EVE are silly and people falling for them deserve it.
However, I don't like the ones which take advantage of the game's UI. Too many "hard" stuff in the game is only due to the crappy UI, and should really be fixed.

Carson 63000 said...

The first of those scams (give me money and I'll give it back double!) is hilariously pathetic. The last is pretty obvious (tax on people without calculators).

But it pains me that I can't spot the nature of the middle one (the 2,000,000 missiles). What am I missing here?

Péter Zoltán said...

The first time I opened local chat in Jita I had so much fun. Guy spamming this "I stop playing after 3 years and I'm giving away my money. Send me ISK and I'll return double the amount", another one spamming "SCAMMER, WHERE IS MY ISK???". Some people are so naive.
Also, this "3 years" account was 1 day old, this could be verified with 1 click. Yet people fall for him. Incredible. I hoped that such idiots aren't playing EVE, but I was wrong.

Gevlon said...

@Carson: it's a margin trading scam.

Margin trading skill allows you to set up buy order when you have less money than needed. The rest of the money is paid when the transaction takes place. If you don't have money for that, the transaction will fall.

So the scam is to set up a sell order for high price and a buy order for even higher. The victim buys the first order and goes to sell the item for profit, but the buy order fails and he ends up with an overpriced item he can't sell.

Babar said...

A good rule of thumb: Any trade advertised in Jita is a scam. No exceptions.

Anonymous said...

I recommend to read the whole story about that very recent 2 trillion scam. It was abusing a sorting bug in the contracting interface, and it's a really good read. The amount of ponzi-schemes in EVE is mindboggling, and yet people still fall for them in the droves.

I will offer a reason when to trust someone with your ore: When the trust you gain through that is more important than the money. I've just started EVE (your fault, Gevlon), and joined a medium-sized Corp (mainly to get access to their infrastructure and cheaper prices for manufacturing), and I need them to trust me. I can easily risk a few hours worth of ore mining, if that allows me to buy a few ships at production cost later on. They're all carebear socials (we just got wardecced, and they are total pussies about it), so the chance of them screwing me is really tiny.

Bobbins said...

I wouldn't be surprised if someone who donated money to you tries to scam you. Scammers are willing to make investments for a bigger return. By 'investing' money they try to gain 'trust'.

Anonymous said...

Those scams are pretty mild compared to what all goes on in EVE. I just scammed a fully fitted proteus from a dude (and sold it for just over 1 bil) a few days ago. The beautiful thing about EVE, is that this is a completely acceptable way to fund your accounts. Nowhere near the amount of effort that it would take to trade or play the market. Also, it's fun, and it takes advantage of socials. Most goblinish way to play, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have sold several times implants worth 600-700 millions a piece. The demand for those is very small and there is no other way but to advertise your contract in Jita.

So Babar - yes, if you are afraid of wolves, don't go into the forest. But I prefer to make profit instead of being afraid.

As for the wardecced corp this is even more fun. You see, there is such business in EvE - you wardec a corp, harass them for a while and then ask them to pay you to stop. The price is 10-100 million per member based on account age or other factors. So expect soon to get a proposal :).

Energybomb said...

I read the 2 trillion "scum".

Now, I don't play eve, but it doesn't look like a scum at all to me. Sure, it is extremely exploitive but "scum" would imply he lied to exploit. He simply used a faulty interface to make money off morons by legit sales.

But it was an interesting read none the less. The most interesting part is that this guy sounds A LOT like you, including the "flashy crap" ms bashing. What he did also screams "Gevlon".

Can't wait to hear about your first scum!

Steel said...

My favorite scam of all time has got to be the mining protection racket goons ran during the ice interdiction. They would blow up a miner's ship, then sell them 'mining licences' for the modest sum of 250mil. Incredibly, there were tons of people that payed (and then went back to mining ice, refitting from tank to yeld). And then payed again. Then blown up again. Then payed again... The main finance operators made a disgusting ammount money just by taking it from idiots, plus generated some truly hillarious chatlogs. Here are some choice samples:

I'd recommend you read the whole thread for the ice campaign (if you can endure the badposting). There's a lot of stuff you can learn about eve mechanics, metagame, stupidity, etc. It's basically eve lore.

Lupius said...

I'd like to remind you that your readership is mostly WoW-based, so make sure you explain EVE-specific terms such as "margin trading scam".

I mean, sure I could google that myself, but only because I thought it was a real-world term, and now I feel like I wasted my time.

Andrei said...

"Seriously, how could he get all that money with so little brain?"

Gevlon your insistence to tie in-game performance to intelligence is really baffling. Let's say I can afford to blow $2k on buying PLEX and selling it in game for equivalent of 50B ISK. Just because I earn enough in RL so $2k is a pocket change for me. So I use my RL skills and personal success to become instarich in EVE game and afford expensive silly mistakes for fun. Does it qualify me as a moron and person with "so little brain"?

Gevlon said...

@Andrei: yes, because you still suck in an activity you do with passion, so you are motivated. Failure can come from idiocy or lazyness. $2K shows you are not lazy about it.