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Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed

Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed – 21st August 01
GM Carbon contacted me the other day, and wanted to offer some suggestions to our customers on how to avoid being scammed. His comments are very useful, and I suggest that everyone take them to heart. Carbon, thanks for providing this information. – Canyon

At some point in time in UO someone is going to try and scam you. I’m willing to guarantee it. Here are a few tips that might just help prevent that scammer from being successful.

One thing that applies to all types of deals, and might make the difference in them succeeding is their name. Write down their name exactly as it is spelled and capitalized. Also note guild titles, notoriety titles, clothing etc etc. Anything that identifies them as an individual. “His name was Steve something!” doesn’t really give you much hope. Don’t rely too much on journals as they scroll off pretty fast.

House Transfers.
Your best friend when buying a house is the sextant. When the house deed appears in the trade window it is going to have sextant coordinates on it. These coordinates are for the very center of the house. So before you trade, stand in the center of the house and write down these coords for comparison. There is no reason why you can’t get inside the house if they are the real owner. While standing in front of the house ready to trade have the house owner change the house sign to a name you pick. If you’re confident of your sextant coords this isn’t vital, but never hurts.

Pet Transfers.
Ok, so JoeScammer is selling you a mare. Have the seller rename the mare to a name you pick, lets say Mary. Then standing in a clear area right before the trade have him say “Mary follow me”. This should clarify that the mare you have in sight is the only pet he is transferring to you. Please feed your new pet right away. Did you write down JoeScammer’s name first?

Ground Trades.
You spent a month mining up 10k ingots and now that you’re about to sell them you’re going to save 60 seconds by just dropping them on the ground instead of trading them in a few smaller trades. As soon as your half the trade involves setting something on the ground you are essentially throwing your items away. It’ll take you 1 extra minute to do 3 smaller trades for those ingots, but don’t you think that minute is worth actually getting the gold? The secure trade window is there for this very reason, use it.

Blacksmith repairs
This one is a matter of good judgement in picking a smith. Watch for smiths that are already repairing other players armour, or that has tagged items with their name on them, or titles. Really though there is no sure way to avoid picking a scammer to repair your items. Luckily though you wrote down their name, right?

Paging tips
Ok, so after all your precautions you still got scammed. Page for a GM right away, not later. Do not tell the scammer you paged. Include the scammers name in the page and that it was a “such and such” scam. Use your message space wisely. Things like, “he suxxors” might be better used conveying info on the scam.

Out of Guard Zone
If someone opens a gate to take you to a house they are giving you for free, and they actually do, you are the first I’ve heard of. Do not carry rare items to trade, or valuables other than checks or newbified/blessed items, out of guard protection. If you are trading rares for a house agree on a gold amount and trade the rares for a check for that amount, then carry that check to the house.

Secure Trade Windows
Take the time in the window to make sure you’re getting what you expect. Use an ID wand or the item ID skill, look at what you’re getting. Most the time there is no reason why an item needs to be in a bag. Many scams can be alleviated by looking at how the item highlights under the cursor.

Detect hidden skill, not the spell, works 100% of the time in your house, or a house you are co-owned/friended to. This is regardless of skill. If you are unlocking an item, or stocking vendors or something similar use detect hidden. Make a macro for it so it is nice and easy to do. Let me restate this: Detect hidden SKILL works 100% of the time in your house or a house you are co-owned/friended to, even at 0.0 skill.

If the other trader is not willing to do simple things such as rename the pet, or let you in the house: drop the deal. There are a million houses and pets and this person is probably hoping to scam you.

ICQ logs, screenshots and similar out of game evidence will not help with your scam. These things are too easily falsified or inaccurate. Don’t rely on them to be your saving evidence if the deal turns out to be a scam.

Most websites that are used for buying/selling UO items have a system in place for reporting scammers. Make use of that if you intend to be even a somewhat active trader.
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