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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 11th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 78 > Articles > Scamming In Neopia: How To Spot It, Avoid It, And What To Do After

Scamming In Neopia: How To Spot It, Avoid It, And What To Do After

by jbutton

Untitled Document NEOPIA CENTRAL - As a frequent wanderer of the Trading Post on Mystery Island, I once thought it would be amusing to write down the names of all those people running scams that I saw as I idly browsed the lots. I quickly discovered that the task was much less than amusing; in fact, after only about fifteen minutes and an already daunting list of names, it was becoming downright depressing. While the majority of most Neopians know better than to fall for most scams, it's still a little distressing to see the sheer number of people who seem to be skulking around Neopia for the sole reason of ruining the experience for the rest of us. Come on, folks, even Dr Sloth wouldn't stoop that low! ...Uh, okay, bad example.

It's honestly beyond me why people stoop to such lows, even if they are low on Neopoints or anything else. They can't possibly be oblivious to the fact that they're making the experience less than grand for everyone else, but they don't really seem to care either. Sure you can ignore the numerous scams you come across, but it's still annoying to see, and even more worrisome to think that somewhere out there, someone probably is falling for it... or, even worse, thinking it isn't a bad idea and joining in. What's worse is that their numbers seem to increase every day; they're much like neomites, only less than half as amusing, and more than doubly irritating. Having them reported and then their account frozen is often of little consequence to them as they likely have more than several others ready and raring to snitch your items away. For every one stomped out, three more seem to pop up. You'll have better luck trying to rid your NeoHome of cockroaches with a floppy old slipper and a can of hairspray than you will ridding the world entirely of scammers.

I'm not saying Neopets is made horrible by these scammers. Neopets itself is still great fun to play, and you can meet a lot of great people on it; I have, and still do most every day. It's merely a matter of learning how to effectively weed out the ne'er-do-wells from the honest players. It's not as hard as you might think. For example:

The Fake Log-In Page Scam: Ever been idly browsing a shop, click on an item to buy, and then been redirected to the Neopets Login page, where you've apparently been logged out? Strange, isn't it? That's because it isn't the Neopets Login page. These people have actually gone to the trouble of copying every single graphic on the Login page, uploading them to another website, and copy and pasting the exact same html to recreate that page. If you look at the URL in the address bar, you'll see it isn't http://www.neopets.com/loginpage.phtml, but something else entirely. Filling in the form on this page and clicking the Login button will send these scammers your username and password, enabling them to steal your account and everything you have. To avoid this, always, always check the URL for any Login page you're sent to and make sure it's http://www.neopets.com/loginpage.phtml. The Fake Log-In Page Scam doesn't just appear in shops, but in user lookups too, so always make sure you pay close attention to where you're sent.

The "Turns Your Pet Starry" Scam: Not just starry, of course, but any colour. You're browsing the trades when you come across (most commonly) a person selling a Starry Berry. They claim that eating this item will cause your pet to become starry in colour; why pay upwards of 100,000 Neopoints when you can just pay them 10,000 (said the spider to the fly) and get the item from them? Sounds great, doesn't it? But wait a minute! Why, then, is this same item for sale for less than 1,000 Neopoints on the Shop Wizard? You'd think there'd be Starry pets everywhere! Ladies, gentlemen, and Neopets, the only items that change the colour of your pet are Morphing Potions, Transmogrification Potions, Paintbrushes (and NOT "glitter blue/green/red/yellow paint"), Magic Plushies, and, in the case of Chias, certain Chia pops. If the item's description (which pops up when you hold your cursor over the icon for a few seconds) doesn't tell you that your neopet is going to change by playing with/eating it, then it's just ordinary food, available at cheap, affordable prices from your handy-dandy food shop. Always check both the shop wizard and the item's description before buying anything.

The Account For Sale With 152,121,331,192 Neopoints And 200 Paint Brushes Scam: So you're browsing around the Trading Post when you see a message in a trade consisting of sand, dung, rotten berries, or useless items that this person is willing to sell you their account to the highest bidder on this junk lot because they are leaving Neopets. But wait! It gets even better! (Oh, doesn't it always?) Their account has millions of Neopoints in the bank and hundreds of rare items in their Safety Deposit Box for you to have! It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?? And guess what? It is! Think for a moment; if this person was well and truly quitting, why would you have to give them items to get their account? Moreover, how come they have several trades up with the same message? And how come they're not having you bid on one of these incredible, fantabulous rare items they have instead of dung? The answer, my friends, is, as they say, blowin' in the wind; they're scammers, and need to be avoided.

The Website That Gives You Millions Of Neopoints And Items Scam: You've just seen a message. Someone has set up a site that can make you fantabulousy and incredibly rich. You follow the link eagerly to find a form that usually has areas to fill out such as "Username and Password", "Neopoints Owned and How Many You Want", and "Rare Items Owned And What You Want" ...Do I really need to tell you what these people are trying to do? You look like a smart person. What's more, there is usually a note on the site telling you to "wait 24 hours to receive your items and Neopoints". The better to steal your account with, my dear. Never, ever fill out a form like this, or, for that matter, send anyone your password.

The "Bid A Codestone On This Lot And Get A Baby Paintbrush" Scam: You've just found an incredibly generous soul on the trading post. How generous, you ask? Why, they just won/bought/found a ton of baby paintbrushes or other paintbrushes that they're willing to give you if you bid a rare item on the junk lot. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge over in Faerieland I want to sell you. Look at it this way; why wouldn't they simply have you bid on the item itself? Or, if they're obviously so rich-to-burtsing, give it to you? Because they're scammers, and they're out for your hard-earned Neopoints and items.

The sad thing is, that is but a lonely few of the numerous scams running about Neopia. Although they can be found most prominently in the Trading Post, they dot the shops, look ups, and more. However, I hope that in reading this you've picked up a few tips to recognize scammers at work. Whenever you run across one, don't forget the most important steps:

1).Report them to abuse@neopets.com

2). Go back to having fun.

The second is, in my opinion, the most important. Don't let the threat of scammers prevent you from making friends and using Neopets as it was meant to be used; to have fun. And to all you scammers out there, give it up; start earning Neopoints and items like the rest of us do; through hard work, perseverance... and the maddeningly elusive yet insanely profitable ("Some messy person has spilled ten Neopoints on the floor! You hastily pick them up!" Uh, usually insanely profitable random event.


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