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Posts with tag fraud

Blizzard wins victory in legal battle over security breach

Blizzard has emerged (mostly) victorious in the case of Bell v. Blizzard Entertainment, which was filed in response to the security breach last sumer. Though no financial data was taken, the lawsuit claimed the data breach harmed customers and targeted authenticators, which it said were required for players to have "even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data." From the beginning, Blizzard has said that the suit was without merit, and the court has dismissed 6 of the lawsuit's 8 claims, saying that the plaintiffs failed to to prove that they were harmed by the data breach and that Blizzard did not misrepresent its security practices.

The part of the lawsuit that moves forward relates to Blizzard failing to fully disclose the importance of an authenticator to users, though Blizzard is certain to continue the fight. As in most legal battles, the situation is more complicated than can be explained in a couple of paragraphs: if you're interested in digging further, you can read the full text of the complaint or legal analysis by Mayer-Brown.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Officers' Quarters: Five ways to spot scam guilds

Griftah hawks his fraudulent wares in Shattrath
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Internet scams are nothing new. They're as old as the Web itself. MMOs have opened up new channels for scammers to operate, and WoW is no exception. As we approach the launch of Mists, unscrupulous players may try to take advantage of the influx of players by setting up fake guilds.

This week, one reader wants to share a scam story from her server in the hope that it won't happen to others. Let's take a look, and then examine how you can spot one of these scam guilds before it's too late.


The following was posted to our server forums. I was hoping that maybe, with names redacted, you might address this in a future officer's quarters:

Edited by [name] on 9/6/12 4:22 PM (PDT)

[Player 1], [Player 2] and how to scam Guildies and Maximize Profit.

We all know by now the sad story of what happened to . According to legend, [Player 2], booted everyone from the guild, took everything out of the guild bank, leaving a lot of members confused and wondering about what happened to their guild and their friends. Blizzard did nothing. Fast forward to the present day, we have [Player 2] bragging about his exploits and his mount in general chat / trade, flaunting the results of his ill gotten wealth and guess what? Blizzard still does nothing.

was a guild created by [Player 1], promising members fast progression and offering PVP, raiding and a stable community. Recruiting was fast and furious, with [Player 1] and his alts spamming general/trade all hours of the day, and baiting players of all levels to join what would be a huge guild with progression in every aspect of the game. Under that promise, the guild expanded fast, never quite achieving the kind of raiding success that would make it noteworthy in that category (3/8 HDS), but still sucessful enough to garner a sizable amount of members. All seemed well for a while.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Man imprisoned on fraud and theft charges over account selling scam

According to The Associated Press, 23 year old Christopher H. Bouffard accepted $760 in 2008 from at least two people in exchange for WoW accounts. Bouffard then failed to turn over the agreed upon accounts, leading to a police investigation. He has now been charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of scheming to defraud. Bouffard is currently being held in jail until he is able to post a $20,000 bail.

While defrauding people and taking their money isn't anything new, getting busted over it while selling WoW accounts is. From what we understand, the arrest is not for the actual trading and selling of accounts, but for the fraud that went on in the process. The fraud in this case is a criminal matter with very real implications for Mr. Bouffard, whereas the buying and selling of WoW accounts is against the agreed upon Terms of Service, but not against any criminal code.

We've been hearing a lot about misbehaving WoWers lately, from the cougar who ran off with a fifteen year old boy, to Blizzard helping international authorities track fugitives online. This appears to be just the latest in a string of cases for Jack "Hang 'em High" McCoy to lay some law and order down on.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Forum Post of the Day: Player tries to scam GM for epic flight training, gets shut down

I actually considered asking my boss if this post could be the first in a new series called "Stupid WoW Criminals," but honestly, I'd prefer to think that this guy is one of kind.

So, here's the deal: A young Warlock named Kiranth of the Aman'thul server (Who has since deleted his post, but you find it quoted a couple posts down from the top in the thread) came to the customer service forums, and in this thread here, claimed that he somehow lost his epic flying skill after buying it on a Monday and playing until Tuesday morning maintenance. He claimed that he'd been trying to contact the GMs for months in order to get the skill back, and that he was incredibly frustrated and about to cancel his 3 accounts if he didn't get the skill.

Luckily, the ever vigilant GMs are always willing to please, and Auryk soon chimed in with an answer to his problem.

I'll summarize what he said after the break, but you really should read it for yourself. It's amazing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, Humor, Making money, Mounts, Forums

Another blow in the keylogging experience

Thank you all for the encouragement I received in response to my recent keylogging experience. As a whole the experience was just dreadful. As I mentioned on last week's WoW Insider Show podcast, I am still afraid every time I log in that I will get the "The information you have entered is not valid" error. For the most part things have settled down, but the fear remains.

The worst part of the keylogging episode was that my Shaman was transferred from a PvP to PvE server. After about a week in limbo my beloved Tauren was returned to her proper place. I was extremely relieved. Unfortunately that's the only thing on my account that Blizzard was kind enough to restore. They refused to return any of my gear or gold and did nothing about the items ninjaed from the guild bank. I appealed their decision with several emails. Those appeals were ubiquitously denied despite logical arguments and heart-filled plights. I thought it was all over, for better or for worse.

I got more bad news in my email box the other day:

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

Bank declines Blizzard charges

It seems that keyloggers and phishers are not the only fraudsters infiltrating World of Warcraft. Halifax, a bank in the United Kingdom has ceased processing most transactions with Blizzard Entertainment. This measure was taken in response to increasing numbers of reports fraudulent transactions for WoW services. I had a similar issue with another bank based in the United States. That institution saw my recurring Blizzard charge as suspicious. Once I contacted them to verify my subscriptions my credit card was quickly returned to an active status.

In this case, the only fault on Blizzard's is making an astoundingly popular, subscription-based RPG. Do be on the lookout for unexpected transactions from Blizzard Entertainment and be sure to report them to your bank as soon as possible. Representatives from Blizzard Entertainment declined interviews with the Register, which investigated this phenomenon.

Do not be surprised if the transaction for your WoW subscription is refused in the near future. Halifax customers can use their credit cards to pay for their WoW subscriptions by making special arrangements with their account services department. If you would like to continue to use your Halifx Visa or Master card, be sure to contact customer support for authentication.

Filed under: News items

In-Game Spam Takes Players for 35g

Well we've all seen the gold ads, and Blizzard has warned before about spammers trying to nab your account, but I'm pretty sure this is the first instance of in-game mail fraud we've ever seen. Forumgand from Emerald Dream is reporting on the forums about a piece of in-game mail that showed up in his mailbox from a player named "Blizzard." Inside was an urgent note from Scarlet Commander "Mormon" (?) and an item called Symbol of Kings, offered COD for 35g. The note says that if the Symbol of Kings is brought to LHC, a nice quest reward will be given.

What's the problem with that? As any high-level Pally will tell you, Symbol of Kings is a simple level 60 reagent, available from any reagent vendor for the kingly sum of 30s. But, as Forumgand points out, a lot of Horde may never have heard of this thing, and may think the in-game mail is legit.

Community MVP Palehoof has replied to the post as well, and reminds everyone that Blizzard mail never comes from in-game characters named "Blizzard." It's all special and stuff, and comes on its own custom stationery. Any in-game mail that looks normal but comes from someone named "Blizzard" or "Viviendi," or, as Palehoof points out, level one rogues named "Caydiem," probably isn't legit at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Items, Blizzard

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