Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm A Lost Cause To Humanity

The other day I flew my alt to a nearby trade hub to purchase a new ship. While I was there, I noticed that my wallet was below a threshold that I am happy with and decided to try something that I had not tried in a while and never had huge success with in the past anyhow. I was going to try something that many people did but most people didn't admit to. Something that could be more profitable than any mission, asteroid or ransom. I was going to try my hand at scamming.

The original intent wasn't to make a big deal of it. See if I could make a few ISK and then fly home with my new ship a few minutes later. It was so addicting so quickly that I wound up staying and continuing to grow my business for the next few days. The method that I used was one that Lanissum taught me and has already outlined in his own blog but I will elaborate on it here as well for clarity:

A Simple And Effective Way To Scam:

The idea here is to trick people into thinking that a ship you are selling them is in fact it's faction counterpart. Personally, I attempt to sell Megathrons and Vexors as Megathron Navy Issues and Vexor Navy Issues. All you really need to be able to pull this off is the capital to buy a few of each ship and the ability to "make active" or sit in the ship so that you can rename it. You can use any character to do this but most prefer using an anonymous alt.

The steps:

(1) Go to a busy trade hub and enter the main station where everyone usually goes to do business (ie: Planet 4, Moon 4 in Jita).

(2) Select the "Guests" in the station window. Go down the entire list, selecting 10 pilots at a time using Ctrl or Shift. Right click once they are all selected and select the "Send Message" option.

(3) Send an Eve-Mail that states you are selling Navy Megathrons and Navy Vexors. It is best to list a price and give some sort of reason as to why you are selling them on the cheap but it is really up to your personal style. Go down the list and do as many people as you want but realize that if you do too many, too fast, you may wind up with more conversations going at once then you can handle.

(4) Sit and wait for responses. When people do respond, act normal and act like you're selling legitimate ships. Most people will not fall for it but when you are contacting hundreds of people in a short period, a few are bound to bite. When you do suck someone into your scam, make sure the trade is done via the trade window and not contracts. This makes it difficult for someone that isn't paying attention to notice that your Megathron Navy Issue is really just a Megathron named "Megathron Navy Issue".

(5) Bask in the ISK and the hatemail because believe me, you will get a lot of both if you're doing it right.

How I Fared Trying This Over The Past Week:

A picture is worth a thousand words so I'll just tell you that last week I had a little under a billion ISK and today my wallet looks like this:

Some of the money was spent and some was given away to my corp-mates. Had I not spent or given any away, the number would probably be closer to five-billion ISK. I estimate in total that I moved over fifteen Megathrons and around the same number in Vexors. Most of my work was done in a single trade hub but I moved around between three and made some sales in all of them. It was surprisingly effective and several members of my corp noticed my success and jumped in on the action as well. As an entire corp we probably had an income of nearly 10 billion ISK scamming using the above method in the past five days.

The Types Of Responses You Get To Doing This:

Response Type #1: No response at all. Most people fall into this category and don't bother to reply, probably because they don't care about your offer or they know it's a scam right off the bat.

Response Type #2: You get blown off immediately. They send you a mail saying "No Thanks", "No Thanks Scammer" or "Fuck Off You Fucking Cocksucker".

2009.10.27 23:26
nice scam bro

Response Type #3: You get mild, cautious interest but they bail out once they realize that the ships in the trade window are not actually faction or that you're not willing to make the deal via contracts.

[04:45:18 ] BeeShuu > can u make a contract for me? to bayer22 thats my money dude
[04:45:30 ] ScamAlt> all my slots are used up on other contracts
[04:46:20 ] BeeShuu > ahh damn alright let me log him on
[04:46:22 ] ScamAlt> can trade in station though
[04:46:23 ] ScamAlt> k
[04:48:53 ] BeeShuu > ok i got the money on this account but i'll only buy through a buy contract. so if you really not scamming, which is a rare possibility ill put up a buy contract and u can accept it or else good try :)
[04:49:12 ] ScamAlt> i have no contract slots open and i am not scamming
[04:49:15 ] ScamAlt> its just a navy mega
[04:49:30 ] ScamAlt> Megathron Navy Issue
[04:49:32 ] ScamAlt> thats the ship
[04:49:37 ] BeeShuu > u don't have to have a contract slot open to accept one
[04:49:53 ] BeeShuu > there
[04:50:03 ] ScamAlt> theyre not free :/
[04:50:43 ] BeeShuu > i'll only buy through contract

Response Type #4: They fall for the trap and then realize afterward that you scammed them. Sometimes they're amazed. Sometimes they're amused. Most of the time they are ANGRY:

[22:31:50 ] Antiochus Soter > nice scamming scammer
[22:31:53 ] Antiochus Soter > learn to sux less
[22:32:12 ] ScamAlt> im just trying to put food on the table
[22:32:14 ] ScamAlt> just like any other businessman
[22:32:19 ] Antiochus Soter > false
[22:32:28 ] Antiochus Soter > run missions
[22:32:35 ] Antiochus Soter > go mine
[22:33:05 ] ScamAlt> you could never understand the hardships i must endure

2009.10.26 04:49
i cant believe i fell for that and i kno im not getting money back but i guess i deserve it for being so careless lol. good luck with other people

2009.10.26 23:48
Hey I want my money back man. C'mon thats friggin low. I'd never do that to somebody. I could have used that to buy a PLEX, instead I give it to you and you friggin scam me. At least have the respect to honour your deal. Why would you do such a thing? I spent time training for the ship you supposedly sold me and it was a scam. Please, that was a lot of money for me.

2009.10.27 01:52
You're a lost cause to humanity. That's fucking low, I again trusted you, but checked through the contract carefully this time. Which you sadly taught me I have to do every time now. ANyhow, I've met thousands of people in my lifetime and I'm very VERY glad I don't know you. From how you are in this game tells me a lot about how you are as a person. And obviously you know that I trust easily. Because people where I'm from don't treat others that way. It's fucking wrong, it would have just been funny if you really would have paid me back. So goodluck in life, someday you'll realize there's more to EVE than scamming people in stations. And oh yeah, watch your back, I know Im covered because I treat others with respect and they'll pay me back, but people like you will end up on the wrong end of things. Mark my words.....................take a long look at yourself.

[05:29:23] MasterParty > wow you piece of shit
[05:29:25] MasterParty > you got me
[05:29:29] MasterParty > wow im fucking amazed
[05:29:35] ScamAlt> enjoy
[05:29:43] MasterParty > wow
[05:30:04] MasterParty > wow and noob corp
[05:30:08] MasterParty > nicely done
[05:30:09] ScamAlt> yes
[05:30:10] ScamAlt> thanks friend
[05:30:28] MasterParty > i dont even know what to say tbh
[05:30:50] MasterParty > well you had your laugh want to return it?
[05:30:58] ScamAlt> hahah i hadnt laughed yet
[05:31:02] ScamAlt> but i did now that you asked for your money back
[05:31:52] MasterParty > well your a fucking asshole thats about all i have to say

Response Type #5: They fall for it and don't even realize it. They might actually fly the ship around thinking that it's a navy ship and thank you days later for the awesome deal you gave them. In some cases they might even tell their friends who also buy four more ships and wind up handing you 1.4 billion ISK for five Megathrons.

[15:24:52] Djavo > Hi
[15:24:57] ScamAlt> hey there!
[15:25:07] ScamAlt> they are not fitted
[15:25:08] ScamAlt> just empty ships
[15:25:47] Djavo > kk hm i got not enough for both just got 285 mio atm because i lost my five +5 imps this week^^
[15:25:56 ] ScamAlt> ouch man that stucks :/
[15:25:59 ] ScamAlt> sucks i mean
[15:26:09 ] ScamAlt> i guess i could make a deal, i do just want to get rid of these
[15:26:13 ] ScamAlt> would you do 275 for a navy mega?
[15:27:08 ] Djavo > kk 275 is a good price
[15:27:57 ] ScamAlt> i dont have any contract slots atm, can you dock at dodixie 9-20 and ill trade?
[15:28:14 ] Djavo > kk i am in dodie in 5 mins
[15:28:19 ] ScamAlt> ok no prob :) ill be here
[15:30:31 ] Djavo > i am at dodiexie 20
[15:30:58 ] ScamAlt> Dodixie IX - Moon 20
[15:31:02 ] ScamAlt> the main station in dodixie :)
[15:31:09 ] Djavo > jep
[15:31:11 ] ScamAlt> hehe
[15:31:45 ] Djavo > kk trade me on^^
[15:32:31 ] ScamAlt> enjoy :)
[15:32:35 ] Djavo > k ty^^
[15:33:15 ] Djavo > hm i should ask you from a friend how much mega navy you got again?
[15:33:27 ] ScamAlt> ive got a few more
[15:33:36] ScamAlt> he wants one?
[15:34:13] Djavo > hm yes he said but he send me even the money
[15:34:18] ScamAlt> ok no prob
[15:34:25] ScamAlt> 350 mil or is he looking for the special price too...? :P
[15:34:39] Djavo > i think he is looking for the special price^^
[15:35:06] ScamAlt> lol
[15:35:11] ScamAlt> you guys are going to bankrupt me
[15:35:13] ScamAlt> but fine
[15:36:48] Djavo > hehe^^
[15:37:12] Djavo > the whole corp want buy for that price but i said them just one more for this price^^
[15:37:22] ScamAlt> 350 mil is my normal price
[15:37:28] ScamAlt> i am really just trying to clear out stock though
[15:37:31] ScamAlt> i am moving out of dodixie
[15:37:42] ScamAlt> i have a few more megas if people want them and id be willing to do 275mil for them all for your corp
[15:38:23] ScamAlt> how many people wanted ships?
[15:38:41] Djavo > i ask even ^^^
[15:40:29] Djavo > k how much megas you got again?
[15:40:36] ScamAlt> 4 left
[15:40:42] Djavo > k i buy all
[15:40:45] ScamAlt> wow ok
[15:40:50] Djavo > each for 275
[15:40:54] ScamAlt> one sec
[15:40:56] Djavo > = 1,1 billion
[15:42:12] ScamAlt> grabbing last one
[15:42:17] Djavo > kk i wait^^
[15:42:29] ScamAlt> ok there we go
[15:43:24] Djavo > wait
[15:43:34] Djavo > need new price in^^
[15:43:39] ScamAlt> k
[15:43:50] Djavo > was just 110 mio^^
[15:43:57] ScamAlt> yea its tough when you cant see the ,
[15:44:04] ScamAlt> bad interface by ccp XD
[15:44:44] Djavo > so ty for trade^^
[15:44:47] ScamAlt> enjoy man
[15:44:48] ScamAlt> :)
[15:44:52] ScamAlt> tell your corpmates to have fun
[15:45:00] Djavo > ty so much^^

[01:36:01] Djavo > its all ok with you? ty for our deal before 2 days;)


The conclusion is that I made so much money that I couldn't even keep track of how much money I made. It was a small amount of effort compared to what it would take via other means to make this much ISK. It is one of the most morally unaccepted methods of making ISK in a game that is chock-ful of morally questionable acts and I assume that I am going to probably get at least a few scalding comments to this very post. I will be most unpleased if I do not get at least one arrogant and self-righteous comment from Leon VanUber.

Related Links:

- Hallan Turrek noticed a chatlog I posted in one of my recent posts about the very first scam I did in this group of scams over the past week. I scammed a guy for two Megathrons and Hallan assumed this meant I had lied to him during our CSM interview when I said that I had never scammed for more than a few hundred million. He felt compelled to write a blog post about this on his blog before contacting me in which case I could have cleared things up.

- Andrea Skye joined in on the scamming as well for a short period. He made over a billion ISK which was enough to buy and fit his dream ship, a Macherial. Only a few minutes after he was done setting it up and the first time he ever undocked it, it was surprise buttraped by a large gang of battleships that were cyno'd in via a Pilgrim. I have never, ever in my days playing Eve seen this happen. I am told it can be done somehow with a jump-bridge. On his blog he states that it was karma for the scamming but I simply think it was a case of having an attention grabbing faction ship undocked in the wrong place at the wrong time.

- Xiphos83 won the chance to interview CCP Hammerhead a few months back and the interview is finally up on CrazyKinux's blog. I get a nice shout-out during one of the questions not to mention that there are a lot of good questions asked about lowsec and piracy. Thanks Xiphos!


Lanissum said...


Hallan Turrek said...

Am I wrong in assuming that in publicizing the method is likely to make it work... less? Regardless, very nice take.

Sable Blitzmann said...

Poopsmith, huh? I'll have to remember that character next time I'm at Rens.


Spectre said...

Hallan: I did consider that but frankly I am fine with it. If giving scamming more publicity makes it less likely to work or encourages CCP to make simple changes to help fix it (ie: Add a colored "F" icon to faction ships just like T2 and T3 ships have) then I have no problem publicizing my methods and results.

Sable: I noticed that the name was visible in the screenshot right before I posted this but I am way too lazy to go and crop/modify the screenshot so I just left it as is. It wasn't much of a secret that was my alt already anyhow :)

Misaniovent said...

Star Fraction does this a lot; they have a Titan (in Kamela, I believe) and they use it specifically for this purpose.

We've engaged numerous neutral battleships only to have it immediately light a cyno and bring in a truckload of battleships.

Spectre said...

Misa: Check the KM. It was Star Fraction who did it :) They have a couple Pilgrims with cyno's just flying around ready to blob anything they see and they were doing it again tonight. It's an extremely lame tactic but I'd probably think different if I had a Titan on my side to do it with.

Bernard M. said...

This is some great work from the Python Cartel, its brings a tear to my eye, keep up the good work guys.

6pac said...

heh, it is so tempting compared to other methods of making isk..

But in reality, i could not pull it off, and i dont really need that kind of cash anyhow..

if I were to get a freighter i´d consider it, but likely they would see through my poor acting skills.

GJ tho.

savatar mei said...

i like this, but would disagree in principle with it if share ur iskies with your main....if u do that, then use ur main for this sort of thing.

Kirith Kodachi said...

Part of me is slackjawed at how much isk you made. Another part of me is not surprised at all because, overall, people are really stupid.

Casiella Truza said...

I keep thinking about doing this myself, but assumed that nobody falls for it anymore. Clearly I was wrong... Hrm.

Latrodanes said...

There will be no judgement on your humanity from me. More like a judgement on the humanity of the scammees. No matter how many times these sorts of scams get advertised, there are suckers continuously born out there in InternetSpaceshipLand. The first thing I do on gettng to a trade hub is right click and Block all "CNR" sales contracts, "trade with me" comms, and ISK sellers. Obviously people are still falling for these scams or they wouldn't be posting.

Letrange said...

"There's a sucker born every minute" - mis-attributed to P.T. Barnum

I'm always amused at the number of contracts up that feature this scam.

Anonymous said...

"It's an extremely lame tactic but I'd probably think different if I had a Titan on my side to do it with."

thats one issue i have with you, you think its fair if you do something, but anything u cant do is a "lame" tactic. Its all fair in the game u play mr pirate.

Anonymous said...

I did'nt reply cause i dont fly those ship :P

In Amar, Kerblamo of Python Cartel

2009.10.26 02:49

Just a quick mail to see if your intrested in buying a couple of things. I prefer not to spam local :P

Anyway, I'm a trader and im currently moving my base of operations away from Amarr. And a have a couple of faction ships that need to go, as i cant be bothered to jump my freighter 30 jumps just to carry a couple of ships.

Anywho current stock is:

Raven Navy Issue x 1 - 400mil
Omen Navy Issue x 2 - 70 mil EACH
Stabber Fleet Issue x 1 - 60 mil.

Thats currently all i got left. Please reply if your intrested :P

Helicity Boson said...

to the anonymous that complained about spectre's dislike for certain tactics:

you fucking suck at reading, read that sentence you quoted again, and try to understand it this time.


Anonymous said...

bison, i understand what he said but the fact he started it off with that just goes to show if its not in his favor its "lame"

a better way to say it is

I hate it when its used against me, but if i had a titan id do the same.

Andrea skye said...

thats pretty much what he said mr.anon :P

Leon vanUber said...

Scamming... been there done that. In fact I made my very first few bil that got my eve career started from scamming. I still have most of the (hate)mail I got in that period of time. Every time I start cleaning my inbox, I find & read mails from back then, laugh and remember why I did not delete them.
The good 'ole days. I have since moved on to other sources of income.

Should I ever again need quick and easy money, scamming will always be an option I am going to consider.

I don't think of me to have high moral standards.
I do however honour ransoms and keep my word.

E-honour is a difficult topic as it means different things to different people.

Leon vanUber said...

In my last paragraph I actually mean " 'a discussion about high morale vs low morale' or 'right or wrong discussion' is a difficult topic [...]".
Don't know why I typed e-honour. Shouldn't post when I'm tired and should be sleeping.

Spectre said...

@Anon: Maybe some of my blog posts imply that but there are truly some things that I consider lame, regardless of whether or not I do them and/or benefit from them. Most notably being:

(1) ECM

(2) Cap ships playing station games in lowsec

(3) Blobbing

I partake in or benefit from all of these things sometimes but I would run out into the streets in joyful tears if they were somehow removed/reduced in effectiveness.

@Leon: You have disappointed me :( I know what you mean about the eve-mails though. I have so many mails on both my main and my alt with tears from people I have killed or scammed. They are far too precious to ever delete.

Htrag said...

thats fucking funny dude

Mynxee said...

Awesome story, bro. *checks empty slots on account and ponders...*

Anonymous said...

Thats a nice bit of income there, with all that money I don't suppose you fancy buying a navy issue raven do you? ;)

Bourreau said...


Scopique said...

Ok, this is already a bit old, but I'll reply anyway. I just found a random corp forum (that for some odd reason isn't private) and I was looking for information like wormhole ops or container passwords when I found an interesting post that fits spot on. It's a small world, isn't it?

His post is like this (I have to translate it from german):

"Woah, I went to Dodixie today and bought a NAVY MEGA for 295mil only! PROFIT!! I got this mail:

2009.10.25 14:01
I am looking to sell off a Navy Megathron and a Navy Vexor CHEAP!

Moving out of Dodixie to Amarr space today and trying to clean out so I don't have to move them. Please reply if you are interested in purchasing any ships so I can get out of here :D

I'll sell the vexor for 60 million and the mega for 300 million


2009.10.25 14:07

Maybe I am interested in buying a ship if you still have one.

2009.10.25 14:08

I still have both, I must warn you, I have to do a trade in station cos all my contract slots are full of modules I bought with LP

2009.10.25 14:10
welll, but that is cheaper, isnt it - a contract is 10k ISK. Where is that ship and where are you?
I must be in the same station for it to work, right?

2009.10.25 14:11
I'm in the same station as you :)

Which one are you interested in?

2009.10.25 14:15
I just have to check the ships, one moment please...
I have just sold my PLEX and I thought about buying a new ship.

2009.10.25 14:17
Sure no problem, I'll hold on to them for you

Megathron Navy Issue
Vexor Navy Issue

2009.10.25 14:27
Are you still interested mate?

I kinda want to get going, its a loooong trip to shuria in my slowass freighter :(

2009.10.25 14:29
Pls pls wait
asked a friend he says its a good price.
I might want the battleship, can you contact me?
Pleas answer fast I gtg
must leave in a few minutes

2009.10.25 14:29
I cant contract like I said at the start, but I can trade it to you right now if you like

I was all excited because the price is awesome but I had to go catch my train in like 3 minutes. So he opened the trade window with the NAVY MEGA and I wanted to put in my money when I realized I only had 275 from a PLEX I just sold. I then sold everything I had and even asked a corpmate for money.
I asked the nice vendor guy to sell it to me for 295 and OMG he agreed. So I put the money in and we traded.

2009.10.25 14:34

ahaha you got me ;D

This is when he noticed I only put in 295000 instead of 295000000. He tricked me into buying a normal MEGA but I only paid 295000 for it. He must have been in a hurry, too."

Although there might be more people trying this scam, this one has Spectre written all over it. AmIrite?

Spectre said...

Scop: There are a lot of other people doing that scam now. I haven't fallen for the counter scam of putting three less zero's yet but I know a few people who have. It was probably one of them.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

It's easy to make that kind of ISK in a week or two without scamming anyway.