How to spot a scam

Torn isn’t the safest place, whether you are “inside” the game or not. Recently I have experienced some very interesting attempts to scam me out of my hard earned money. I post them here with the aim to educate avoidance, rather than to teach you how to scam.

Trade scams

Quite simply to avoid scams you should only sell using the Trade function, item market, auction market or through your bazaar.

But some scams revolve around mis-selling items and was one of the very earliest scams Torn was introduced to. Always check your trade before accepting, make sure the things you are buying are the things they have put in the trade.

Somethings sound or look similar:

  • Can of Munster instead of Can of Taurine
  • Scimitars instead of Dual Scimitars
  • Snowboard instead of Skateboard
  • Twin tiger hooks instead of Dual Axes

Other times they may use something else like an item instead of a company, or a stock instead of an item:

fhc_share_trade

Watch out for those using comments to try and hide what they have done

fhc_comment_scam

 

Special items have also been used as a scam. My favorite is ‘the invisible cloak’, which of course only shows in your items after the trade.

IRC impersonation

Another of the most basic scams around. This one normally ends up with the scammer in fed, but the damage done if you fall for it can be massive.

The scammers usually try to pretend to be faction leaders or other well known players. Normally a player who has also been offline for sometime.

Normally it starts with a chat/mail on torn from someone you don’t know. The scammer will say something like ‘XXX is trying to contact you on IRC as they can’t get on to the site, s/he told me to tell you’. If you don’t use IRC, or tell them that, they will send you links and instructions on how to get on.

At this point they are watching the #lobby for your name to join

(If you are already in IRC they may skip this step)

Once you are on IRC they will message you using a username similar to (or the same as) the person they claim to be. Now at this point they will ask you to do something on torn for them. If you are lucky it will be loaning someone money for them as they’ve just joined and they are IP blocked (or some similar story to get you sending money/items to their own account). If you aren’t they will ask you to change either your password or email address.

DO NOT EVER CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD OR EMAIL IN TORN IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO.

If you change your email they will use the password reset feature, so it is the same as changing your password for them. They will log in as you, change password and email, then start selling off items, transferring them, maybe create some mischief in your name (sometimes scamming your friends)

More basically someone may just mail you, or mail you anonymously, asking you to tell them your password. Again NEVER GIVE ANYONE YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYTHING, EVER.

 Property/Company/Faction upgrades

There are benefits in the game that can make it cheaper to upgrade properties or companies, and some may claim they can do the same for factions. I have also seen some players claim to do ‘free’ upgrades as well.

To do the upgrades though they have to be the owner/director, and of course if you do send them (or trade them) one of these things they will of course just not give it back.

*If* you want to take advantage of such an offer insist on being given collateral during the upgrade, and trade back for the collateral and the cost of those upgrades. Ensure collateral is of same, or better, value to the thing you want upgraded.

Investment schemes/Bank interest/Lotteries/Loans

I can’t speak for all players, but there are some who will say they are providing an investment services, banking for others, holding a lottery or in need of a short term loan (with interest repaid, usually from a bank coming out). Unless you really know this player treat it as a potential scam. The only players not capable of scamming are staff. I myself do some of these things, but only for old friends who trust me.

Mug lists, trade lists, stat spies

Some of the harder ones to prove as scams are lists that people sell.

A ‘mug’ list is pretty useless, you will likely find better mugs just searching for players yourself.

A ‘trade’ list.. well if you are too lazy to work out prices to buy and sell at then go ahead and pay someone to tell you what to trade in. Just be aware that if 5 players start trading because of that list the price of that item will temporarily be inflated, then go back to normal, and likely you will just end up with a bunch of those items you can only sell at a loss.

‘Stat spies’ are hard to prove. If you asked me to get the stats of someone I could just make up numbers, or give you old numbers rather than spy again. If you need stat spies it’s best to start by asking them for stats of 5-6 players, with one of those players stats being known to you 100%. That way you can check they are giving you real results.

One you may see me post as a joke in trade is the ‘scammer’ list. No one has ever paid me the 50m I ask for my scammer list, but just for you reading this it is posted here:

L4suicide[15699]

I hope this all helps. Feel free to comment below with your own experiences of scammers

58 thoughts on “How to spot a scam”

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