For many reasons I've never felt compelled to buy gold or pay for leveling on World of Warcraft. So I had no idea how the process worked. We got a tip from Kyron of Andorhal about a friend whose account was hacked. In addition to having all of his gear and gold stripped from his characters, he had 2 emails in the inbox for cheap items that he'd purchased off the auction house that the hacker had purchased for 500 gold a piece.
They recorded the name of the seller from the auction house and confronted him when he next came online. It turns out that person wasn't a gold seller but a gold buyer. He'd been told to put Coarse Thread on the AH at the 500 gold rate and would receive his gold when the hacker purchased the ridiculously priced item.
There are legitimate ways to make money in the game. If you don't want to put the time and effort into raising funds for your epic flying skill, or other pricy purchases, full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.