Saturday, February 22, 2014

Scam'd

This past week I was "victim" of a scam, and I figured I'd post about it, how I dealt with it, and the results.

How it Started
So I was going about my daily AH business collecting expired auctions from the mail to repost on my main, as I notice a guy selling "everything in his bags" for 1.7k. "Meh" I thought, "Probably a bunch of junk anyway." I keep emptying my mail, do a post scan, the daily to try to get my Love Rocket and he's still hawking the package in trade for 1.7k, so I bite. What's 1.7k anyway? I whisper him and ask what he's selling and he lists a couple Malevolent pieces, a stack of Infinite Dust, some Monk glyphs, and 3 epics, the notable one being a ilvl 502 Reborn weapon. Now there are going to be many points throughout this story that red flags should have popped up (and did), but keep in mind that 1.7k is 0.05% of my gold total.

So this is the first flag but honestly to spend 1.7k at a chance to get a Reborn weapon, even if I only thought I had a 10% chance of getting it, is fairly good.

The Exchange
Now this is where the second red flag should have popped up, and I probably should have requested the epics first, but nonetheless, he opened the trade window put in 6 of the items he listed, a couple Malevolent pieces and a stack of Infinite dust, all of which I could have recouped a good chunk of the 1.7k for so I put it in and hit trade. Feeling a bit weary at this point, I was surprised when he opened up the trade window and gave me even more of the items he promised, epics still not included. Unfortunately this was the end of our exchange. I whispered him about the epics and he had already put me on ignore. Perhaps what he did not know is that I had him dead to rights. Our entire exchange took place in whispers and according to Blizzard's Scam policy:

"A scam is the act of acquiring items or any other possession from another player through misinformation, confusion, or fraud. If you are unsure if your particular case fits the criteria of a scam, contact a GM in-game."

Which is basically a description of what this guy did. I first opened the ticket noting times and what I did not receive, then logged on an alt to converse with him.


Hilarious Excuses
Now at this point I had to be strategic and political, because I knew Blizzard would inevitably be looking at the chat logs. I switched over to my alt and whispered him very politely "Hey I just wanted to let you know that I opened a ticket for scamming since you did not provide me all the items you told me you'd give me in our PMs," followed by the quote from Blizz's scam policy above. I then logged off my alt and back on my main. Of course the second I log back in I get a PM from the guy, "What do you mean I scammed you" "You did not provide me with the 3 epics you told me you'd trade me, particularly [Epic1] [Epic] and that constitutes a scam." Now I won't get into the gritty details but his talking in circles entertained me for the next few minutes as I continued my crafting routine. First he said ignored me by accident. Well that was convenient. Second, which I found most amusing, is he said that he "vendored the epics". Oh sure I vendor Reborn weapons all the time!

I told him that he should buy them back from the vendor to which he said he did not have enough gold to do, which I found very interesting because he had 1.7k of my gold plus all the gold he got from vendoring the items. I told him that Blizzard had an item restoration service which he could access from battle.net to get the 3 epics back and not have to go through "all the other stuff" he vendored, and he said he'd buy it from the AH. At the time there was 1 on the AH for 13k. Good luck buying that if you don't have the cash to buyback your vendored items! I ended this hilarious exchange when logging out with "My ticket says it's going to take about 24 hours to get serviced, if you send me my epics before then I'll take it down" and logged off.

Blizzard Responds
Now I have to say right now, that in the many interactions I've had with Blizzard CS, I've never had an overall interaction that has been negative or where I've found Blizzard to be at fault. Some GMs yes, but my issues have always gotten resolved within 2 tickets, although I know quite a few people in gold making circles that have not had such positive interactions.

Anyway, the next day while checking what was on the BMAH, I got a whisper from the scammer claiming that GMs were "up his ass" and that it was all my fault for not taking the 1700g back and that it was all my fault. First of all the fact that he could not even admit to himself that he was trying to scam me out of gold was laughable, but I didn't really believe he was getting looked into, I thought he was trolling me. Not hearing from a GM for a few hours thereafter I thought this was all but confirmed. About 2 hrs later though I received a response to my ticket, confirming that he was probably actually being looked into:


As addressed in the ticket response, I did get my 1,700g back, and I did have quite a few of the items I received from the trade still in my possession, so I did actually turn a profit on this little endeavor, which I by no means expected. I'm also happy to report that the scammer most likely got (at least) a 3 day ban as he has not logged since he last PMed me according to his armory.



Cheers,

Phat Lewts

5 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a much better outcome than I would have expected from that type of ticket. The quick turnaround time is particularly impressive. I suspect the chat logs that you intentionally generated subsequent to the initial transaction were a key factor in speeding up Blizzard's action. Those logs would have provided solid evidence of the scammer's deception without which the transaction might have appeared more ambiguous. Warning the scammer about your ticket and offering to remove it if he remedied the situation really clinched it. You handled your end of the situation perfectly, which made it easier for Blizz to provide you with a favorable outcome.

    On a slightly different but related note, I hope they nail the prick's account to the Internet wall of shame.

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  2. I'm glad you posted this. I got scammed out of 25k this week on something fairly similar but the GM to whom I filed ticket said, "Sorry we don't support this kind of transaction. Tough luck buddy."

    I'm gonna re-file ticket and change my approach slightly (including that quote from the Scam policy) and see if I have any better luck this time...

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    1. Loans, gambling, and Guild Exchanges (maybe more) are what Blizzard calls "unsupported transactions". Things that Blizz will absolutely refuse to work with you on. If it's not one of those things, be courteous and thorough. I'm considering doing a follow up post to this just because of the response I've gotten including my initial ticket, but the TL;DR is be polite and concise.

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  3. This is great. I mean, 1.7k isn't a huge dent to someone with some Phat Lewt layin around, but just letting a guy like that know that there are repercussions is wonderful. Way to clean up the streets from crime.

    You've earned a new title! < , the Masked Avenger>

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