Avoiding Scams

Avoiding Scams


(Issue 3/6)

What if you go online one day and then out of nowhere, people you dont even know start cursing you and keep saying that you should return the items that you scammed from them? How would that make you feel? Ashamed? Humiliated? Aggravated? Angry?

Let's look at the other side of the coin. What if you go online and someone you know scammed you of your hard-earned item. You remember it clearly because you don't forget any names. But now this someone denies taking your item. What would you feel? Ready to cry? Angry?

If you have experienced any of the above scenario, then you are a victim of character impersonation.

Impersonation

Impersonating a person for the purpose of scamming or tricking someone is an offense punishable in this game. Trade scams target individuals but impersonations can target many people at once and at the same time ruin someone's good name. They say a rose by any other name would still smell just as sweet. But what if the name precedes the rose? Meaning what if people recognize the name more than the avatar of the person? If the name is disgraced, the person might not be able to face the people anymore.

In this game, we are allowed to use ascii in our names. With this in mind, scammers make use of ascii to copy another person's name.

Be wary of these impersonations we have already encountered in game.

I'm a GM

impersonating GM Steelwing (image from pwboards)
stealwing.JPG
A Game Master or an Immortal is someone who can hold official in-game events. These in game events have prizes which can be attractive to most players. But most of the time these prizes take days to process too. This is the information that scammers use to impersonate the gamemasters/immortals.

Example:
(Scammer) KaiShen : We have a surprise event. The first 20 people to send me a leopard will get 30 pcs of Perfect Egg after 15 minutes.
(Victim) Toto: Wow Perfect Eggs! I can upgrade my weapon safely if i get dragonballs.
(Victim sends his leopard thru mail. After 15 minutes..Victim shouts)
(Victim) Toto: GM Where are my Perfect Eggs?
(After 30 minutes..)
(Victim) Toto: GM 30 minutes na po

Even if the victim shouts all day, he will never get his leopard back. Official events are announced at the pwboards and on the main site of level up. Look for the "GM" in the game. You might be surprise to see that he is just a level 5 character. Official GMs have rank equipment and they are mostly above level 100+.

I am [insert-name-here]

impersonating Ramar (image from pwboards)
ramar.jpg

Just like impersonating game masters, scammers also impersonate players. Most of the time these copied names are from players who are famous in the server. A scammer makes use of the name to trick people into trusting him.

Example:
(Scammer) JyubiIee: Shiela, may i borrow your fairy dress? I just want to see how it will look on my character.
(Victim1) Sheila: Ok. Here.
(Scammer disconnects. Real Jyubilee logs in.)
(Victim1) Sheila: Hey Jyubilee. Where's the fairy dress you borrowed from me 10 minutes ago?
(Victim2) Jyubilee: What fairy dress? I just logged in. I didn't borrow it.

Victim1 soon realizes that she was scammed by someone who impersonated her friend. Victim2 is now aware that someone copied her name and is ruining her good reputation. To be safe, make sure to send a message to your friend by typing your friend's name directly. Don't just click on the name to automatically reply to a message. One trick i learned in my previous game: If someone asks to borrow one of my items presumably to try it out, I ask for his item with a higher value as sort of insurance. Once he returns my item, I will also return his.

This is my alternate character

Yes many people have already been victimized by this trick. There are many variations of this trick so I will just show you two scenarios.

Example:
Scammer: Shiela, this is Jyubilee. This is my 2nd character. I'm at a computer shop and i don't want to login my main character here. May i borrow 2m? I'll pay you when i get home.
Sheila: Ok. If i'm not online later, just mail it to me.

Example:
Scammer: Sheila, this is Jyubilee. This is my 2nd character. I'm at a computer shop and i left Jyubilee vending at home. I don't want to login my char for 5 minutes just to get 2m. My shop would be closed if I do that. May i borrow 2m? I'll pay you when i get home.
Sheila: Ok. If i'm not online later, just mail it to me.

Looking at the two scenarios, Sheila lends the money unfortunately that would be the last time she will see that 2m. The first scenario is when the impersonated person is offline while the 2nd scenario is when the person is online. Sometimes answers to the questions that you think only he knows is not proof enough. To avoid this kind of scam, ask the person to login his main character as proof that it is him. Prevention is better than cure. The best way i guess is not lending anything.

I'm a female

Familiar with the song Chixilog bt Kamikaze? Unfortunately for the beastkind, Yao Jings are automatically females while Yao Shous are automatically males. This leads to guy players having female characters. Some take it in stride but some go further and pretend to be real females. These chixilogs then attracts guys who want to have "in-game girlfriends". These chixilogs get gifts and other rare items then disappears.

Although this is not really impersonating an established person, it is still impersonating a gender and i don't mean in-game gender.

According to the level up Mandate of Heaven

Users are prohibited to impersonate a Game Moderator, any Level Up! Employee, or any other Level Up! affiliate. Players are not allowed to impersonate other players as well.

Play well! Play Fair!

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