Thursday, November 23, 2006

Scam Alert: New Pyramid scam (literally!)

Affects: Anyone

Modus Operandi: The scammer places a 'how to make money' pyramid on someone's land in a high (or even moderate traffic place) and scams money out of of the gullible or niaeve, thereby perpetuating the scam.

How it goes down: The scammer places a pyramid object, as seen in this screenshot, on the ground somewhere in a trafficed location. The pyramid is designed to give out a notecard, that says as follows:

Pyramid Instructions
Description: How to get rich
Dear Moneymaker,

So, you want to make money, and lots of it.

You have come to the right place.

It is really simple :

1) Right click on the pryamid and choose "pay".
2) Pyramid will appear in your inventory.
IMPORTANT: The Pyramidt you get has not been validated, and will not work yet!!!

3) Drag and drop the Pyramid on the ground near the original and touch your copy .
4) Click yes to the money question which will activate the Pyamid. (If you do not press yes, the object will not work,
this is needed to distribute the money that will be payed to the object).

5) If everything has been done correctly, the following text will apear above your object:

"How to make money (touch me)."

This means you now have a working version of The Pyramid.

6) Delete the copy of the Pyramid in your inventory while the actual Pyramid is on the ground. (not nescecary, but the one in your inventory is useless, unless you validate it).

Take the validated Pyramid with you and place is somewhere where a lot of people will come.

Here is how it works:

After you have validated it, people can pay your pyramid L$20.
Everytime someone does that, YOU get L$5 and they get a copy of the pyramid and have to go through the same steps as you have.

If that person also places their pyramid somewhere and another person pays L$20, he/she gets L$5 and YOU get L$10.

Just sit back, relax and make money.

DisQ Hern

Seeing through the Scam: Again we have the basics of a pyramid scam. Pay an initial investment for an object, perpetuate the scam, get a small return. Recruit more people to perpetuate the scam.. well you get the idea. Although its slightly more clever as it isn't quite exactly a pyramid but functions in basically the same way. If you are a merchant with a high traffic store, watch for these buggers around. Same with mall owners and anyone with trafficed land, including clubs and casinos. It says specifcally in the instructions to put it in highly trafficed areas, so if you are responsible, watch for them. This sort of thing is bad juju all around. As a side note, I noticed that the object is locked and not copyable. This suggests to me that if you lose your copy of the pyramid if you are a user and you followed the instructions of deleting the original from your inventory (if it actually works this way), you have to 'reinvest' to get a new one, since owners can delete stuff off their land. So these people can continue to rip YOU off and others. Don't fall for it. There are better ways of making money in game that doesn't involve scamming people for it.

Damage control: I do not know if this item actually works as billed. I didn't risk taking one myself, and if it steals your money or not once you grant it debit permission ( according to the note, you do.) Generally speaking, though, these sort of things can't be trusted. To even create one in the first place puts a person's moral character into serious question. These types of money making schemes are SCAMS, pure and simple. Paying money for nothing really, just for the chance to rip someone else off. To even make back you initial investment you'd have to dupe at least 4 other people. Thats not good karma folks.

Avatars implicated in this scam:
These were the avatars listed as the owner and creator of the item on my land.

Owner: Milton Chestnut
Creator: DisQ Hern

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Scam Alert: "Linden Hack" Phishing Scam

If you don't know what "Phishing" is, click this.

This was taken from the linden blog, but I thought it should be posted to as many places as possible. To see the original, click here.

Affects: Everyone with a secondlife account

Modus Operandi: The scammer spams chat with the following message:
Hot new LINDEN HACK/CHEAT!! Will give anyone 1 month or older to the game 10,000 L$ FOR EVERY 30 MINUTES SPENT OFFLINE!!! hteeteepee:\\\! Limited time hack! Register and start recieveing now! ( URL munged)


How it goes down: The scammer gets you to go to the above website and enter your SL information into the form, promising you information on how to get free L$ through an exploit. The truth is, they take the L$ in your account and then turn your account into a spam bot to perpetuate the scam.

Seeing through the Scam: This should be common sense, but unfortunately people are greedy and gullable. DO NOT GIVE YOUR SL INFORMATION, ESPECIALLY YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYONE! Anyone asking you for your password is likely up to no good. No one should know your password but you, period. I don't care how much you 'trust' that person. Even LL employees shouldn't ask, or need to ask for your password. You also should rotate and change your password regularly and never use the same password for all your accounts ( such as messageboards, chats, email, banking, etc.) No legit organization would ask you for the account information and password you use on another service to give you something. If you encounter a site that asks for that sort of information, you should be immediately suspicious and just walk away. The most common forms of phishing tend to be sites that pose as banks, paypal, or ebay sites, but if you pay attention, the URLs are normally wrong. You should never click a link that looks fishy like that, and remember, if its too good to be true, it probably is.

Damage control: If you have fallen victim to this, it is recommended you change your password right away, provided you still have access to your account. You should also contact immediately so they can run damage control as well.