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One of the most widely accepted practices of EvE is scamming. Indeed, a common phrase among eve players is ‘Send me ISK and I’ll double it.’ Trade hubs are rife with scams, most of which are usually tolerated to some degree. Scammers however usually come up with interesting and unique ways to legitimize their scams. This includes the practice of providing falsified API information using websites.

The scammer starts by posting a message in local with either a link to a player bio or to what appears to be a site recording information from their wallet. For example, I will used a now defunct scamming characters bio:

EVE Online _ EVE Gate - Character information - Mozilla Firefox 12_10_2015 19_22_39

To add a layer of legitimacy to the whole process the scammer has put a link to an external site which, for all intents and purposes appears to be a live API feed of their wallet.

XNYPBD6707Mv.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

As you can see the API feed shows money not just going in, but money going out. But even then, you are invited by the scammer to donate 1 ISK to test the legitimacy of the feed, and of course, the single ISK will appear. So it appears to the curious tester that it is real. Of course, it’s not – the incoming transactions are correctly shown, but the payouts are fake.

While a number of EvE players accept these as clear scams, it appears there are a large number of people who do not. Even worse they cannot resist the temptation of a pay out particularly when they appear to be backed up with some sort of legitimizing evidence. It does appear that players who are being scammed in this way are approaching CCP in large enough numbers requesting validation for these fake API’s believing there is something wrong with the system itself. So much so, that CCP has published the following announcement:

A common scam in EVE relies on convincing a mark that upon donating a sum of ISK to the scammer, twice as much or more ISK will be returned to the victim. This is often referred to as the ISK doubling scam.

In order to lend added legitimacy/authenticity to the scam, the scammer links to a webpage containing partially fabricated wallet data supposedly pulled from the API. The wallet logs will show what appear to be successful ISK doubling transactions from the past. In some cases, the scammer will go even further by fabricating a transaction to the victim, implying that the ISK was sent but not properly delivered due to a bug in the EVE client.

Many victims of this scam end up contacting CCP customer support under the belief that either the EVE client or the EVE API is broken. The implication that a bug caused the ISK transfer to fail is a point of confusion which we will no longer tolerate. In light of this, all variations of this scam which reference fabricated API data are from today on considered illegitimate.

Do not perform scams which rely on fabricated API data from now on.

Keep in mind that only our stance towards this particular scam has changed, no other scams are being outlawed. This scam joins a short list of illegitimate scams:

  • Scams involving Character Transfers
  • Scams involving exploits
  • Scams involving PLEX for GOOD campaigns

Please see this helpcenter article for more information on scams.

The notice was also posted on reddit and has as at the time of posting this article received almost overwhelmingly positive responses.

[EVE News] Notice concerning scams citing the wallet API ~CCP Falcon _ Eve - Mozilla Firefox 12_10_2015 19_58_34

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