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Posts with tag scam

Watch out for Warlords of Draenor phishing scams

With another expansion looming on the horizon, there's another round of phishing scams and emails designed to trick you into giving up your account information. With this kind of scam, you get an email or visit a website that's so much like Blizzard's that you wind up typing in your login information, which the scammers then use to pick your account clean. Though you may think this is the sort of thing people only fall pray to when they aren't paying attention, phishing scams get more sophisticated -- and harder to recognize -- every day, so you need to keep your guard up.

Take this Warlords of Draenor phishing scam reported by Malwarebytes as an example. It starts off with an email that's formatted like a message from Blizzard saying you've won a free copy of Warlords -- which is really where you should get suspicious. Once you click on the link in the email, you're sent to a perfect copy of the Battle.net login screen where you're asked to enter your login information as well as your secret question and answer before you can redeem your free copy... but of course the scammers just run off with your info without giving you a thing.

To avoid being had, always check the header to see where an email has come from -- Blizzard emails will only come from an @blizzard.com address -- and if an offer sounds too good to be true, contact Blizzard directly to ask about it. For more tips on avoiding phishing, check out the support page on phishing scams.

Filed under: Account Security, Warlords of Draenor

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.

Greetings,

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)

The Queue: The one with goombas

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is a very special treat. We have your standard-length Queue, plus I answer a very exciting bonus trivia question that has nothing at all to do with World of Warcraft! But you will love it, my gamer pals. You will.

Camero asked:

In the past week, I've recieved four emails from "Blizzard" all asking me to do something in order to get a Winged Guardian License. I just wanted to confirm that's not true.

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Filed under: The Queue

Drama Mamas: The case of the underage scammer

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

It's always more interesting when Lisa and I disagree. This week is very interesting. Let's get right to it.
So... Here's my story. The first part is probably pretty typical, but it's what I did in response that I'm conflicted about. I feel I could use the advice of someone who understands WoW.

I saw somebody advertising in trade that he was selling the ruby shades for 500g. I'm not sure why I thought even for a second that it might be real; even on a low-pop server, that's two orders of magnitude low. But I did, so I arranged to meet with the "seller". He expressed some hesitation about the 500g price and we negotiated a higher price - none of which turned out to matter, since it quickly became clear that he did not have the shades at all. At one point he put an item with the same icon as the shades (yes, I have seen the real ones) into the trade box.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Gold Capped: Take the Mysterious Fortune Card house advantage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house, and Insider Trader, which is all about professions. For Gold Capped's inside line on making money in game, check in here every Thursday, and email Basil with your comments, questions or hate mail! This week's gold blogosphere post is Anaalius's Darkmoon deck report.

There's a craze in /trade. People are advertising Mysterious Fortune Cards that can be flipped to rarely turn into a Fortune Card that vendors for 5,000g. Like lambs to the slaughter, enough people head to the AH and buy a few that it's become a serious moneymaker for scribes. I use the expression "lambs to the slaughter" mostly in jest.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

New scam tries to give you a free Celestial Steed

One of the sadder parts of this job is reporting on the numerous scams that sweep across the World of Warcraft landscape. It's no secret that your WoW account is valuable to thieves -- the entire gold-selling industry is built on a foundation of hacked accounts and stolen items.

Their latest scam vehicle? Our inherent desire for sparkle ponies. Let's get two things straight off the bat:
  1. You did not just win a free Celestial Steed mount. That in-game tell is an attempt to steal your account.
  2. No one just bought you a Celestial Steed mount. That email you got is an attempt to steal your account
If it sneaks by your spam filter, the latest scam email can be quite convincing. The message, which appears to be from sales@mail.blizzard.com, masquerades as a receipt for the purchase of the $25 Celestial Steed mount. Of course, the email is not actually from Blizzard (the "from" email is spoofed), and the links to Battle.net and Worldofwarcraft.com inside send you to a phishing website designed to steal your password or infect your computer with a keylogger.

Attempt to collect your sparkle pony, and within a few short hours, your entire account will be under someone else's control. If you haven't put an authenticator on your account, the scammers will do it for you, locking you out of your own account and severely hampering your ability to get it back.

More information on the latest scam, what you can do to protect yourself and what to do if you're a victim, all after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

Insider Trader: Selling arrows in singles for the price of a stack scam


Got trade skills? Want money? Insider Trader is the column to read. Whenever they let Basil write it, he'll do his best to fill your head full of ideas and your bags full of valuables and gold.

I'm going to come right out and say it: Don't do this. I recently wrote about ways engineers can make money, mentioning (among other things) selling epic ammo to hunters. The problem with making the best raiding and PvP ammo in the game only available from players is that it forces hunters to either find an engineer with the recipe who is willing to do all the crafting by mail, or buy it off the auction house.

What do I have against the auction house, you ask? Well, overall it's an excellent tool and far superior to the much nastier alternative of being forced to actually use trade chat for, you know, trade. It's not perfect, however. In fact, there's one massive glaring inadequacy that can be found.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Economy, Insider Trader (Professions)

Help! My account has been hacked!

There are so many scams going around like the Catclysm Alpha invite and the WoW Armory phishing site, that people's accounts are getting stolen more than ever. With all of the work that Blizzard has to do to keep up with the problem, it's no wonder they are offering the fast solution of care packages. We've talked about how to avoid scams as well as how to protect yourself. Here is a guide as to what to do if your account gets stolen.

Important note: The following guide assumes that you have not put an Authenticator on your account. There are no confirmed cases of accounts being stolen if they are protected by an Authenticator.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Account Security

Beware of WoW Armory phishing scams [Updated]

First things first: the correct address for the WoW Armory is wowarmory.com. Bookmark it. Memorize it. But don't ever, ever search for it again. We've talked before about how misspelling searches can get you into trouble. But even if you spell WoW Armory correctly when Googling, the first sponsored site that shows up is a phishing site -- and it's a really good one.

Update 1:10pm: Google seems to have removed the site from their sponsored listing in the short time since I wrote this post. Kudos! Nonetheless, there are and will be more sites using the same technique, so the warning remains valid.

Do not go to the following site: armory-worldofwarcnaft.com/wowarmory/, it is evil. Notice the n in warcnaft? You may not when you are clicking on it in your search page or when it shows up in your address bar. And that's what they are counting on. Because the rest of the site looks authentic. When you type in what you want to search for, you get asked for your Battle.net info. Then, no matter what you type in, it gives you a password error. (I typed in profanity. It was fun.) They have stolen all of the elements of the actual Blizzard pages, so that if you want your login page in other languages, just a click of the button will get you there. But don't. It's evil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

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

Officers' Quarters: Partners in crime


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Patch 3.2 brought a welcome change for both raid leaders and game masters: BOP loot no longer binds to a character immediately. We now have a convenient two-hour window to make sure the item goes to the right player. It's a change that saves both time and hassle, and I applaud it.

However, now that items aren't bound as soon as they're looted, I've noticed some shenanigans going on in my guild's partially pugged 25-player ToC runs. Sometimes, when a player wins an item with a roll, a few people who really want that item have been offering the winner gold in exchange for trading the still-unbound item to them.

I've made it clear that we're not running a GDKP raid and that I don't want to hear about any such transactions. It's a slippery slope. Pretty soon you'll have everyone who's eligible for an item rolling on it whether they want it or not, solely in hopes of banking a tidy profit.

It seems this two-hour window has also brought back a classic cheat. Click through to read about it in this week's e-mail!

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

PSA: Don't get scammed by Cataclysm phishing


No, what you see above is not the logo of the (probably) upcoming World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. It's the graphic being used by a phishing site that's been making the rounds lately and we've received a number of emails about. To make sure everybody is completely clear, if you see the logo above, the website you're visiting is absolutely not legit. There are no Cataclysm Alpha invites going out to the public, and certainly not Beta invites. When Blizzard kicks off a beta, we'll be sure to tell you. And even better, Blizzard will be sure to tell you. Until that happens, please be careful about what you click on. The pre-expansion period is prime time for phishing attempts.

Naturally, even if that's not the graphic you see, you should be wary of Cataclysm-related phishing sites. There are quite a few right now, and they will even grow more numerous after BlizzCon. Be mindful of the sites you're linked, be careful where you enter your WoW account information, as well as your personal information. I know we've said it many times before, but we really can't say it enough. Don't do anything silly, and if you want to be absolutely sure that you don't do anything silly, grab yourself an authenticator if you can. If you can't get the physical authenticator, there's always one of the mobile authenticators.

Filed under: Account Security, Cataclysm

Popular scams and how to avoid them


We have a lot of reports of scams coming in to our tip line and many of us are receiving the same phishing emails you are. Even Scott Kurtz from PvPOnline was tweeting about getting one the other day. These scams can be initiated via email to any one of your email addresses. Or they may start in game. Regardless of where they attack you, most of the scams require some form of social engineering to get your info and therefore access to your in-game valuables.

What is social engineering? Social engineering is manipulating victims to volunteer personal information about themselves in order to perpetrate a con, scam, fraud, etc. If you have seen the movie Groundhog Day, then you have seen a very good example of it. Phil, a television weatherman, is living the same day over and over. One iteration of his morning, he asks an attractive woman her name, where she went to highschool and her English teacher. The next iteration of his morning, he "accidentally" runs into her and pretends to know her from highschool, resulting in her going to bed with him.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

An interview with a scammer

Recently, I wrote about a scam involving selling Spectral Tiger Mounts, but I never thought I would be able to actually interview the guy responsible. Luckily, this particular scammer was willing to discuss the scam candidly with my husband and I. He ended being very like a Ferengi in his attitude toward what he calls "business". Here is the story.

Late last night, The Spousal Unit saw someone spamming Trade Chat, supposedly offering a Spectral Tiger Mount for sale. Since he knew two people that had been scammed by this, he called the seller a scammer in Trade Chat. The scammer sent him a tell and they proceeded to debate the issue in whispers. TSU called me over to show me the conversation, so of course I had to log on and pursue the interview further. Following are both interviews, copied over from in-game whispers.

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Filed under: Economy, Mounts, Interviews, Account Security

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