Spend any amount of time in Jita (as I do on my trading alt) and you can’t help but notice the massive amount of spam offers in the local channel. Every few seconds someone will link some contract for rare items, usually because you can’t sell them in the market. This goes for stuff like faction items, rigged ships or officer modules.
Unfortunately I would have to say that it seems that 90% of these offers are “scams”. I include the double inverted commas because they are, quite frankly, scams that would only work on a blind drunk chimpanzee. Even more unfortunately, it seems that half the population of the world, even in a relatively more mature (and therefore ideally smarter) game like EVE, makes a blind drunk chimpanzee look like Albert Einstein. Sigh.
Scam 1: WTB PLEX becos i r dum
This seems to be a very common scam in Jita. They will link an item exchange contract and say that they WTB PLEX for 340 million ISK. Click on the contract, and you get this:
Now first of all, that’s a hell of a lot of zeros missing from 340 million. Secondly, in no possible shape or form or state of inebriety can the word “thousand” ever look remotely like the word “million”. And lastly, this is in Jita local. Jita, where you can find hundreds of sell orders for PLEX for less than 310 million ISK.
Sadly, this must actually work once in a while or there would not be so many people trying this scam all the time. There is another variation of this with WTB contracts, where they say they want to buy a Caldari Navy Issue Raven for 500 million (usually around 450?), and the contract is for 500,000 ISK.
Scam 2: Faction items for cheap!
This scam basically revolves around saying they are selling some faction item, for example a Caldari Navy Issue Raven, for cheaper than usual and substituting the regular Raven battleship in the contract. The picture for the faction items is often identical, although the names are obviously different.
We can see that Drake Omar is a real winner here. This particular guy has been trying this scam for days, by having 2 contracts up. One is a genuine contract for a CN Raven, which has been bought out (probably by his alt). The second one is the contract shown in the screenshot, which is for a regular Raven at the same price. I didn’t think anyone would fall for it, but once again I am proven wrong.
There are many variations of this, with some story like they are moving to 0.0 space and need to get rid of their ships for cheap. Just be careful whenever you buy a faction item, i.e. make sure you are getting a Gallente Navy Vexor instead of a regular Vexor for 50 million ISK. Also always use a contract. If they want to trade at a station, just say no immediately. This is because they can sell you a regular Vexor renamed as “Gallente Navy Vexor” through the trade window. On a contract they cannot modify any item’s name, they can only modify the linked text in the chat window.
Scam 3: Why hello there Ponzi
It’s one of the oldest scams in the book, but people still fall for it. You can’t cure greed, apparently. In EVE, the textbook Ponzi scheme revolves around claiming that they will double whatever amount of ISK you send them. There will inevitably be a few dumb people who try their luck with small sums like a couple of million (because, hey, they’re rich big boys and a couple of million is chump change lol m i rite???). The scammer will pay out the money to these idiots (or the scammer can just use alts on other accounts) who will then proclaim that this is The Real Deal ™. Eventually some sucker (hopefully not you) sends a few hundred million or so. After which you know what happens.
Scam 4: Hulk with all the extras
This is something that’s pretty recent. Scammers offer a Hulk for sale, complete with T2 fittings, for about 130 million. I have no idea if this is cheap, because I don’t look at mining barge prices. You open the contract, and golly there does appear to be a lot of fittings. There are strip miners, mining crystals, mining drones, some combat drones, some expanded cargoholds…
Wait where’s the Hulk? >.< As scams go this is probably one of the harder to detect ones, but all I can say is "always check the receipt"?
In short, the best way to not be scammed is : Don’t be a greedy idiot. If it’s too good to be true, it is. If someone’s giving you free money, it’s not.