We’ve seen in the recent past that scams have been on the rise. Please take a few minutes to read the following in order to better understand what is and is not a scam, how to recognize potential scams and thus avoid them.
What is a Scam?
A scam is an act of deception, generally when a person promises a service or reward in exchange for money, but the promise is not fulfilled after the money is exchanged.
In the case of Lineage II, a scam is a player-made agreement based on good faith but that often leads to the victim losing Adena or items. Because it is a player-made arrangement and the exchange of Adena or items was voluntarily and does not bypass and in-game systems, NCsoft cannot assume responsibility. For better or worse, players are real people with their own agendas, responsibilities, and opinions. NCsoft cannot police morals, and as such cannot replace the lost Adena or items, nor action the player that did not keep their promise.
What is Not a Scam?
Some scams, though few, are caused by using game bugs, exploits, or hacks. Players that are found doing this may be banned. Players that are victimized by these kinds of scams may be able to receive assistance from NCsoft. Each case is different so the outcome or resolution of the scam is not guaranteed. If you know of a player that is exploiting a game bug or using a hack, notify the GMs directly and immediately.
A popular exploit scam involves Private Shops. For obvious reasons, the full details cannot be written here, but we can warn you of it. If you see a Buy and Sell shop next to each other, buying and selling the same item, with the Buy price being much higher than the Sell price, it may be a scam related to a game bug. In that case, do not purchase the item, but do report the player for possible exploiting by using the in-game petition client or the website support form.
Protecting Yourself from Scams
The best defense is abstinence: never engage in a player-made agreement that is not protected by established in-game mechanics. If you decide to do it anyways, it is entirely your decision and your responsibility.
Be well informed, understand the risks, and use your judgment before giving anything to another player. Before engaging in a player-made agreement, think of the following:
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to look carefully at the items and the conditions of the trade or agreement, and do not accept unless you’re certain of what you’re seeing, doing, and risking.
- Don’t be hasty. Some scammers create an illusion that suggests you can get something awesome for almost nothing if you hurry and make the trade before someone else does. This is a hard-sell fast-and-easy-profit illusion, and it causes many players to be victimized simply because they did not closely examine the agreement. Again, take a few minutes to carefully look at the items and conditions of the agreement or trade, and do not accept unless you’re certain of what you’re seeing, doing, and risking.
- Nothing is necessarily what it seems. This is a difficult guideline to follow in a MMORPG, as players are encouraged to interact or become friends (an establishment of trust), but ultimately players generally do not really know who the other people are. Trust is a good thing, but it is often given too easily. A player-made agreement is based on trust, so be careful who you decide to trust.
- Protection through game mechanics. The game is designed to provide players with everything they need via established game mechanics and systems. Player-made agreements, while not prohibited, are not part of the game’s design. Remember that no player should feed forced to create, nor agree to, player-made agreements, despite whatever the popular trend seems to be.
Common Scams in Lineage II
Mentoring Agreements: A player will offer to enter a Mentoring contract with another player in exchange for Adena. Because Mentoring is a long-term agreement, the scam could be long-term and therefore the risk continues throughout. The Mentoring System in-game gives involved players automatic benefits as is, and payment from one player to another is not one of them. Overall, it is highly discouraged to charge or pay someone for their partnership in a Mentoring contract. Its known that it can be difficult to find a Mentor, especially, and many times mid-level players have lost nearly all their money by giving their Mentor an “advance payment.” If you can’t find anyone that will Mentor for free—as the system is designed—it is recommended that you keep looking. At all times, remember that there is a risk, and ask yourself if it’s worth it to find out or not.
“Renting” Items: This is a common but important one because trust comes into play in a seemingly low-risk way, but may end up in you saying goodbye to your best armor or weapon. A friend wants to borrow your superior stuff for whatever reason? Ideally, say no. If you want to go ahead with it anyway, decide on something of equal value that they can trade with you in return, but also decide right away if you’re prepared to lose your item forever, even after an equal trade. It has happened before that two friends traded equipment for a raid, for example, and then one of them suddenly stops playing the game. No matter what happens, be careful and understand the risks before loaning, borrowing, or trading items.
Borrowing or Loaning Accounts: Never do this. Other than being an obvious and total facepalm, it is against the EULA and it can result in the ban of all involved players. It has happened in the past that a player made a friend (or so they thought), agreed to lend them their account (gave them the login info) for whatever reason, and returned to the game later to find their characters stripped and items gone. You are the only person that is responsible for your account and what you do with it, so be wise and guard it well. Never give our your account or login information, and be weary when someone asks for it or asks to use your account for any reason.
Private Shop Icon Sneakiness: As you know there are a few rare items in Lineage II that share the same icon. A simple but sadly common scam is that a player will open a Sell shop to sell a low-value item that has the same icon as a high-value item. The private shop’s message and the item’s sell price both reflect the high-value item. If the victim is too hasty, they buy the item without reading the item name or tooltip. This is very easy to avoid: simply take the time—a few extra seconds even—to mouseover the item and read its name and description.
Trade Window viewing + "Free Enchant Scroll" : Player will ask to see an item via trade window, then agrees on trade terms but before finalizing they adds an "Enchant Scroll" to trade window and tells player to "take it free of charge". Often times players click accept before realizing they never removed their item from the window and just traded away their item for a single enchant scroll. Remember to always double check your trade window before accepting a trade.