Posted on 26 May 2016
Some scattered reports have recently reached us concerning an old-as-the-world scam that’s been gaining popularity. Players message their clan mates asking for loans and disappear after getting what they asked for. The problem is that these malicious players aren’t really your clan mates. They are scammers, who created characters with similar looking names, trying to take advantage of your inattention and weasel some gold out of you. When you keep in mind that “SInnEr” looks quite similar to “SlnnEr”, it’s not hard to believe that some people fall for it.
When you think about, a question immediately pops up – how do these people know whom to impersonate? Off the top of our head and without diving into crazy conspiracy theories, it’s most likely that the scammers are guesting clan chats of prominent clans, looking for high-ranking players with names that are prone for impersonation. It’s also possible that they are trolling websites like runeclan.com to find names of they could spoof. Once they get a name, they create an alt with a similar looking name and cast their metaphoric fishing rods. All they have to do then is wait for someone to bite.
While it is very simple to carry out this scam, it’s quite tricky to protect yourself from getting conned. This difficulty comes not from any fancy tools or techniques that would be needed; it just requires constant attention to detail, which makes it easier to spot irregularities between the scammer’s name and the real name of your friend or clan mate.
It may seem easy to just pay attention to simple details like the nickname of a player who’s asking you for money, the reality isn’t as easy. The fact is that the brain has a tendency to not pay attention to things it sees all the time. The brain recognizes words from the first general “look” of the word, not the details. This is exacerbated by it’s tendency to go into “auto-pilot”. As a result, you can’t coast through these situation, you must consciously pay attention to everything that’s happening, especially when there’s something that could have detrimental effects on your account going on.