Scam Alert: Magic Money Scam
'Magic Money' Scam
( this is an older scam, but is seeing renewed activity.)
Affects: Newbies and the unwary, merchants, moneytree owners
Modus Operandi: The scammer rezes an object that looks like a $ sign near a known money tree, or in a store (or anywhere really, usually a popular loction) that has the following text above it (or something like it):
" Make up to L$900 or more! Passive Income! Its fast easy and fun! Was L$1000! Now only L$100! Right click and chose "pay..." To get started right away!"
There is a photo of the object here They then leave it there to collect money of the unwary.
How it goes down: A newbie or broke individual visits the moneytree or location in question. Seeing the promise of easy money they click and pay the $ shaped object. They are then releaved of whatever money they do have and get nothing in return.
Seeing through the Scam: This is a pretty cut and dried pyramid type scam, tricking the unwary into paying money for nothing. There are some sayings in RL that apply to SL as well, and one of them is "Beware of free money, especially if you have to pay for it up front." The logic of course being, that if you have to pay for it, it wasn't really free now was it? The best thing to do is avoid paying into items that promise 'easy money'. They are preying on greed and desperation for an income without work.
Damage control: There is a product on the market in SL to help with this problem. It is called "The Magic Money Glove" by Adriana Caligari. Land owners can use this to 'glove' or cover the magic money object as soon as it is rezed on their land. It also garbles the text that floats above it.
You can have a look at it at it on SLexchange.
People with moneytrees and other newbie aids should be the most wary of this particular scam as it seems to affect those type of areas the most. I believe this is generally because only the new or really unwary would fall for this particular scam.
Remember, if you have to pay for it, its not a free ride.