So, I got scammed today
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In real life, not EVE. Actual dollars, not Space Barbie pretend money. I realized it was being done to me, I could see their bullshit tactics a mile away, and it happened anyway. At any moment, I could’ve gotten up from the chair and walked away, leaving them shouting insults at me as I left.

But I didn’t.

5290728_mI could afford to lose the money. Now, I would’ve preferred to give it to a charity or buy something actually cool with it or, failing that, light it on fire rather than give it to people who do this every day, and to a number of folks who seriously can’t afford it.

There’s a lesson in this. For me, and maybe for someone else. No matter how smart you think you are — and yes, I’m convinced I’m awfully goddamned smart — sometimes you get had. And for a while you may not be able to make sense of just how it happened.

For those of us who hear about EVE scams and say, “Oh, no, that’d never happen to me” or “He could’ve logged off at any time — there was nothing keeping him there” or whatever, don’t be so sure. I would’ve said this could never happen to me, either, and here I am looking at the undeniable reality of my Amex receipt. You can’t chalk it up to greed — in fact, I didn’t even want the shit they sold me, and I threw it away on the drive home.

Humbling, yes. But this’ll ultimately teach me something. About me, and how a tough cookie who absolutely wasn’t born yesterday or the day before that either could fall for this.

More importantly, I’ve already learned something about the people who do this stuff, and I sense more realizations on the way. There’s more than one victim in this situation. There’s the mark, and there’s the person who does it. And what this does to them, holy mother of God. That is some bad shit right there.

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About Suzariel Kel-Paten

Software developer by day, writer and EVE player by night. My three mains are Suzariel Kel-Paten, Ystvan Chang, and Weyland Zaslow. I live in the Southeastern US with my husband and our cats and dogs. I have a Twitter account (@suzariel), but I mostly just read and don't often post there.

Comments

So, I got scammed today — 4 Comments

  1. Sometimes it is hard to say no and walk away from the table when dealing with a good salesperson. Like you said, part of it comes down to not wanting to hear the insults, or some twisted since of courtesy that you don’t want to make it seem like you’ve wasted their time. However, realizing it can help make saying no the next time that much easier. Something that I myself still need to work on XD.

  2. I’m a Southerner, so it kind of goes with the territory that you don’t want to be — OMG — *rude*, but sometimes you have to run up to that line or even blow right past it to get invasive, creepy people to leave you alone.

    One thread in the back of my mind was wondering just how far they were willing to go — like, did they not GET how much they were contradicting themselves and how skeevy they were being? I knew they were scamming me, but at the same time, I just let the whole thing go down.

    Part of it was also assessing how dumb they are. They didn’t pick up on how unwise it was to answer some of my questions so unguardedly, either.

  3. As much as I feel empathy for anyone who gets scammed, whether in real life or in game, you haven’t really said much here. In an effort of keep the details of the situation vague, you’ve given absolutely no way for a reader to understand the situation.

    Was it a matter of someone taking advantage of your greed, ala “Need to sell Plex quick for 600mil”?
    Was it a matter of you being unaware of the dynamics of the situation, ala margin trading scams?
    Was it a matter of you naively trying to help someone out, only to get ganked by fleetmates?

    You’re trying to compare real life circumstances to the various in-game situations, and though a valid method of discourse, you haven’t explained yourself.

    The way I read it, it seems as though you had a real life situation where someone was trying to “sell you a Plex for cheap”, and you knew it was a scam; you read the contract and saw the scam clear as day, and, being fully aware, you still clicked “Accept Contract”. And then click “Yes” to the “Are you sure you wanna do this thing?” prompt.

    After all that, you say it didn’t make you feel good/better for knowing. In fact, you threw “it” away before you even reached home. You don’t indicate any sort of payoff, either real or perceived.

    So really, you’ve said nothing about the “why” of it. WHY would you do that? Did you want to give the money to the person anyway because they had put so much effort into it? Charity? Were you confused for just a moment? … Did you not understand how paying for something works?

    I’m sorry to sound flippant here, but I still can’t see the “why” of it. And without the “why”, there is no understanding. And without understanding, there is no sympathy. And without that, I will continue to think “people who get scammed by blatantly obvious scams deserve what they get”.

  4. Hiya, FP. Thanks for stopping by!

    You’re correct — I was deliberately vague about the circumstances, to some extent because they probably wouldn’t be that interesting to people.

    To be a little more specific but not to the point of tedious details, I got enmeshed in a social interaction that seemed to have no polite (again, Southern chick here) means of disengagement. The situation is intended to fuck with your head. The only winning move with those guys is not to engage, period.

    As for the why, I don’t fully understand it yet. My point in posting what I did was to say that a situation like that can seem incomprehensible to someone who hasn’t been in it. During the recent EVE-O forum flame wars about scams, it seemed like every third post was someone sneering at the marks as stupid, greedy, and beneath contempt. And I’m saying, as a person who’s none of these things, that it may not be that simple.

    When I in my usual “WTF was THAT shit?” way told some people I know about it, I heard a number of stories about coworkers and relatives who’d been scammed — at the same kiosk, in the same mall. One of them had been privately beating herself up about it and was so humiliated by the experience that she hadn’t told a soul. That’s me, usually the first person to say, “Is it just me or does it smell bad in here?” Someone’s gotta do it, I guess. 😉

    It’s important to me to understand why shit like this happens. And what besides money the perpetrators get out of it. There’s definitely more to it than money. Dismissing the marks as stupid, greedy fucks is counterproductive to my understanding it.

    Before this, I had a fair amount of sympathy for people who’d gotten scammed, but even I didn’t understand how it REALLY felt to be in that situation until I experienced it myself.

    Anyway. Once more pieces come together, I’m sure I’ll post about it again. If my findings contain any unflattering revelations about myself (and I’m assuming that’s likely), that’ll be in there, too. 😉

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