After seeing corp mail, I think this could be useful. I'll update with screenshots later.
Scams are common in EVE, from alts spamming contracts in local chat, to people spending months building up trust and making deals before running off with billions. This is all within the rules of the game, but you have all the tools you need to avoid being scammed as long as you pay attention and use your common sense. I'll try and outline some common scams and how to spot them.
Seems too good to be true? It probably is!
Obvious one, but it will serve you well. If someone's selling an item super cheap, be on your guard. Check everything twice, don't get scammed in your haste to finish the deal before someone else can get it.
Don't hand over money!
Another obvious one. Don't pay for items up front, and don't hand out "deposits", and don't give money to anyone offering 10x back. The contract system allows you to safely trade items. If someone is asking for money, don't give it to them unless you're 100% sure they are who they say they are, and you trust them.
Ask a corp mate
If you're not sure about a contract, ask the corp to look over it for you. If it's public you can drag it into chat to link, if it's private you'll need to take a screenshot.
The sales pitch
If someone is posting a long sales pitch in local, it's probably a scam. Legitimate sellers will usually link a contract with a brief description if necessary. [url=http://imgur.com/Oftjt.jpg]Example[/url].
1. Mislabelled contracts
Probably the most common scam right now. Contracts can be dragged into chat to create a link, which can then be edited to show a different item to the one in the contract. Contracts will always show the true items for sale in the "Offered Items" box at the bottom. Money or items you are giving to the issuer will be highlighted red, while money or items you are receiving will be highlighted green . Examples:
- A Raven being sold with the link edited to say "Raven Navy Issue". [url=http://imgur.com/l9PjK.jpg]Example[/url].
- A [Want to Buy] contract relabelled to look like a standard item exchange contract, i.e. instead of giving the issuer an item for money, you are actually buying that item. Identify these by the colour coding and wording. A true WTB contract will display "Money offered" in green and "Items required" in red. [url=http://imgur.com/KGvFg.jpg]Example[/url].
2. Trade window
A common tactic is for scammers to offer a faction ship cheaply, then claim they have no free contract slots and offer to sell it by the station trade window. Be extra careful if anyone requests to trade. It is possible to rename ships, e.g. a standard Raven named "Raven Navy Issue". You can identify the genuine item by right clicking it and selecting show info. The description box will give you the true name, and faction ships have different skins which are visible in the picture.
The example in my screenshot is one of the harder ones to spot (although legitimate sales of that ship are very rare), most faction ships will have more obvious differences. If in doubt, use the variations tab to bring up the info on different ships and compare the stats. [url=http://imgur.com/prO2D.jpg]Example[/url].
3. Misadvertised prices
If you're tired, it can be easy to let a few extra zeroes slip by you, and people will take advantage of this. Make sure an item being sold for 1 million ISK says 1,000,000 and not 1,000,000,000 (1 billion). This is commonly done as an auction for a valuable item with a "1 million" starting bid. Luckily CCP have recently made this easier to spot by including the price in words too. An alternative is people offering to buy items for 100 million, but only entering 100 thousand into the contract. [url=http://imgur.com/YcpVL.jpg]Example[/url].
4. Misadvertised quantities
Same idea as the above. Expect to see people advertising 2 PLEXes when there's only one in the contract, or 500,000 zydrine when it's only 50k. [url=http://imgur.com/DvlxG.jpg]Example[/url].
5. Courier contracts
If you see a courier contract with high collateral and high reward, check it carefully. The destination may be an alliance-owned station you will be unable to dock at. Even if it is not, set a route to the destination and check it for 0.0 or low sec systems it forces you to go through. People will set up camps in these systems to prevent you from completing the contract, meaning you have to pay the collateral. [url=http://imgur.com/Ro9Lo.jpg]Example[/url].
EVE Online: Letava
Formerly known as White Thrall
Last edited by Kelron; 10-14-2010 at 02:43 PM.