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daddi0
Posted - 2011.08.27 17:41:00 - [1]
 

Crying or Very sadI recently fell prey to a scam that I contend is greatly facilitated by flawed game mechanics. While everyone knows that an order can be cancelled by the player at any time, does everyone know that it is possible to create an unfillable order that has no risk whatsoever of being fulfilled?? Yes you can. Just create a large order that you have enough ISK to escrow, but with a minimum quantity that you CANNOT afford to pay, using an alt here is beneficial. Price it at a reasonable amount above the market, then offer a significant portion of that quantity at an advantageous price between the market and the buy price. When the seller arrives and attempts to fill the order, EVE recognizes that there are insufficient funds, and AUTOMATICALLY cancels the order, giving the usual "no such order found" message, not a more useful "insufficient funds, you've been scammed" message. The buyer loses the transcation fee, but not the escrow or any other penalty. I contend that this is more than a scam, and closer to an exploit, that the mechanics are flawed, and the buyer should at least have to filfill the order to the extent of the escrow. The GM's do not agree, contending that it is a simple scam and that there is nothing wrong with the mechanics. I realize that EVE is not RL, but I also feel that the mechanics shouldn't make it quite so easy to create a riskless scam. People can create fraudulent contracts in RL, but simple buy/sell orders in an open market usually have some protection from outright fraud. Isn't that the entire point of an escrow in RL, otherwise why bother with it? I've been playing for over two years and have been scammed through my own neglgence and accept that; but I feel this one is different. Although this order was for over 1B ISK, the ISK isn't the issue, its the nature of the market and the buy/sell mechanics. I feel that a change should be made, and enforcing the escrow to be paid would be a simple and sufficient fix. I welcome some discussion on both sides of this so I know if I'm being unreasonable. Thanks in advance

Othran
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.27 17:49:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Othran on 27/08/2011 17:51:28
Ancient scam. Perfectly legal in game terms.

All your points have been done to death years ago and if you really have been playing for two years then how the hell have you not seen the scam?

Edit - there are loads of variations on this, like "Clearing Hangar" where there's a few capital components in the contract as well as a BC (Drake usually). Its obvious to anyone who has been playing for more than a few months whats happening.

Feligast
Minmatar
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2011.08.27 18:38:00 - [3]
 

It's a greed tax. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, yes?

KaarBaak
Minmatar
Seatec Astronomy
Posted - 2011.08.27 18:40:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: Feligast
It's a greed tax.


OP: Don't let your greed blind you next time.


Jovan Geldon
Gallente
Lead Farmers
Kill It With Fire
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:02:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: daddi0
Isn't that the entire point of an escrow


Yes. Which is why the order was cancelled and all money and items were returned to the original owners. In this particular transaction, you lost nothing.

How you acquired the items in the first place is irrelevant.

Kesshisan
Minmatar
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:04:00 - [6]
 

Marketplace PvP.

Ed Sullivan
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:11:00 - [7]
 

I don't get it. You mean the scam is to induce someone to buy overpriced items in the hopes of selling them to an unfulfillable but profitable looking buy order? Something else entirely? Could someone explain it a bit more clearly?

Kesshisan
Minmatar
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:18:00 - [8]
 

Edited by: Kesshisan on 27/08/2011 19:20:00
Originally by: Ed Sullivan
I don't get it. You mean the scam is to induce someone to buy overpriced items in the hopes of selling them to an unfulfillable but profitable looking buy order? Something else entirely? Could someone explain it a bit more clearly?


There is a skill called Margin Trading which permits you to setup a buy order without you needing to have 100% of the isk immediately. This has a legitimate purpose for a trader who moves a lot of product and is setting up a 90 day buy order for an item.

However, it also has a nice side affect to "scam" people.

On alt #1 Setup a sell order for an item that you are looking to work with.
On alt #2 Setup a buy order for an item WAY overpriced with a minimum quantity of like 100 or 200.
Once you setup the buy order, quickly transfer all of your isk off of alt #2.

Now you have a buy order you cannot fill. The idea here is to lure someone into buying all of your items and then when your victim tries to sell the items to your buy order to make a quick profit they suddenly find themselves unable to get rid of the product.

You get isk from the buy order. They get a bunch of stuff they can't sell without taking a loss.

Ovella
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:35:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Kesshisan
On alt #1 Setup a sell order for an item that you are looking to work with.
On alt #2 Setup a buy order for an item WAY overpriced with a minimum quantity of like 100 or 200.
Once you setup the buy order, quickly transfer all of your isk off of alt #2.

You get isk from the buy order. They get a bunch of stuff they can't sell without taking a loss.
There's also a tiny possibility to get a "donation" to alt #1 from people who think they can outsmart system and actually get your money Rolling Eyes

daddi0
Posted - 2011.08.27 19:36:00 - [10]
 

I guess I've been lucky to have not seen this before. Kesshisan has it exactly right. Except that the prices and quanities don't have to be way out of line; just enough so that the scammer makes more on the sale than loses on the buy order fees. And isn't the idea of trading to sell to a buyer higher than you bought it for? Does the game have to protect the buyer to the point that not even the escrow is at risk? Wouldn't that at least be more reasonable/realistic? JMHO, but it seems that most accept the way it is, so be it.Crying or Very sad

Taedrin
Gallente
Kushan Industrial
Posted - 2011.08.28 01:44:00 - [11]
 

I would just like to mention that the only real way to protect yourself from this scam is to understand the actual value of the items that you are trading. This is frequently done with certain rare, but worthless tags. The people who fall for these scams don't take the effort to investigate what these tags are actually worth - not even checking the price history on the market.

Doctor Ungabungas
Caldari
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2011.08.28 02:28:00 - [12]
 

Some advice that I've picked up that has served me well: 'Don't buy anything for resale unless you know why people need to buy this item.'

If you think that you're getting an incredible deal, you have to add 'at the price listed' to it.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.08.28 02:40:00 - [13]
 

Edited by: Akita T on 28/08/2011 02:42:49
Originally by: daddi0
[...]it is possible to create an unfillable order that has no risk whatsoever of being fulfilled?[...]

See, this is where you're wrong. It's NOT at "no risk whatsoever".
You actually CAN get that order processed, but it's risky as heck and you probably don't stand to gain a lot of ISK from it.
Here's a hint - the order gets canceled if the one placing that order does not have enough ISK.
So, just MAKE him have enough ISK. Twisted EvilTwisted EvilTwisted Evil
Obviously, only worth doing if the real value of the items in question (or at least the price YOU paid for them) is lower than whatever amount the order placer had to put into escrow initially.
Risks ? Plenty. The guy could actually be online and drain himself of ISK before you could fill it, or another "victim" could try to sell before you have a chance to.

Mixne
Posted - 2011.08.28 03:28:00 - [14]
 

I haven't been around long enough to learn the ins and outs of scams, although I have yet to fall prey to one. However, I have to agree with OP here. Everyone's wallets are electronic, they are all hooked into the "system". When you place a buy order on the market, one would think that the market would then automatically monitor the buyer's electronic wallet and automatically cancel the order at any point in which it could not be fulfilled. It's the buyer's responsibility to keep adequate funds to cancel the buy order this way. You can take advantage of the margin trading skill, but there is some risk attached to it in the form of lost broker fees if they lose track of their ISK and ability to cover an escrowed order. Seems the most logical from a game lore perspective and game design perspective, in my opinion at least.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.08.28 04:41:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: Mixne
and automatically cancel the order at any point in which it could not be fulfilled

That's pretty much what happens - the order is canceled and the broker fees are lost when the order attempts to get processed and there's not enough ISK in escrow + wallet combined at that exact moment.
Checking the condition before somebody attempts to process the order would render the skill "margin trading" useless.

Mixne
Posted - 2011.08.29 16:38:00 - [16]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Originally by: Mixne
and automatically cancel the order at any point in which it could not be fulfilled

That's pretty much what happens - the order is canceled and the broker fees are lost when the order attempts to get processed and there's not enough ISK in escrow + wallet combined at that exact moment.
Checking the condition before somebody attempts to process the order would render the skill "margin trading" useless.


Not really. It would still allow for many simultaneous buy orders without the ISK to cover all of them. However, when some of those buy orders were fulfilled, the remaining would be cancelled out due to insufficient funds. It would reduce the value of using it to scam, but besides scamming, what is the real value of margin trading? You still need to come up with the ISK to actually fulfill the order. It would still allow you to place a ton of buy orders on a set amount of ISK, you would simply need enough ISK to be able to cover each single order (not all of the orders).

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.08.29 16:44:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Mixne
besides scamming, what is the real value of margin trading? You still need to come up with the ISK to actually fulfill the order.

There's this amazing new technology, it's called getting ISK when somebody purchases stuff from your sell order. Plenty of traders usually have at least a buy and a sell order active at the same time on the same item, quite often one buy/sell pair in the exact same location.
Margin trading lets you better leverage the ISK you have without having to keep on putting up minuscule volume orders.

Vincent Athena
Posted - 2011.08.29 18:13:00 - [18]
 

Edited by: Vincent Athena on 29/08/2011 18:22:23
If CCP wanted this scam to go away they could make it go away. For example, a legitimate trader has sufficient isk in wallet to cover some margin orders, but not all. He assumes that his sell orders will produce sufficient extra isk to keep up with the buy order fills. But CCP could make it so that if the buy order fills run the wallet out, then some remaining buys go into "limbo", dropping off the market until more isk shows up in the wallet. Then they would automatically pop back into the market.

Every time there is a change your the wallet, the game would evaluate all your buy orders, one by one, to see if there is sufficient isk in escrow and the wallet to cover that order. If yes, the order is on the market. If no, its in limbo.

Result: traders still get the benefit of margin trading, but this scam goes away.

Another result would be increased market lag, so this may not be the best solution.


Dane El
Posted - 2011.08.29 18:21:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Vincent Athena
I

Every time there is a change in the wallet, the game would evaluate all buy orders...




I think you'd make the database servers explode. That's a whole lot of processing every time a wallet balance changes.


Mixne
Posted - 2011.08.29 18:21:00 - [20]
 

Edited by: Mixne on 29/08/2011 18:22:27
Originally by: Vincent Athena
If CCP wanted this scam to go away they could make it go away. For example, a legitimate trader has sufficient isk in wallet to cover some margin orders, but not all. He assumes that his sell orders will produce sufficient extra isk to keep up with the buy order fills. But CCP could make so that if the buy order fills run the wallet out, then some remaining buys go into "limbo", dropping off the market until more isk shows up in the wallet. Then they would automatically pop back into the market.

Every time there is a change in the wallet, the game would evaluate all buy orders to see if there is sufficient isk in escrow and the wallet to cover that order. If yes, the order is on the market. If no, its in limbo.

Result: traders still get the benefit of margin trading, but this scam goes away.

Another result would be increased market lag, so this may not be the best solution.




This is along the lines of what I was thinking, but an even better idea. Rather than the order simply auto-cancelling, make it "vanish" until there is sufficient funds to cover the order available. I like this idea, as the buy order is rather worthless at any point in which the funds are not available. Maybe CarbonIO will help with market lag too? At the very least, it should open up more server side CPU resources for the current market infrastructure to utilize.

Originally by: Dane El
Originally by: Vincent Athena
I

Every time there is a change in the wallet, the game would evaluate all buy orders...




I think you'd make the database servers explode. That's a whole lot of processing every time a wallet balance changes.




Not necessarily. It can just set the threshold at the highest outstanding buy order and only do more than a simple check if the wallet goes below that threshold. But yeah, it would definitely increase the need for CPU to some degree.

Tippia
Caldari
Sunshine and Lollipops
Posted - 2011.08.29 18:24:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Vincent Athena
Result: traders still get the benefit of margin trading, but this scam goes away.
So that disqualifies that solution then… Twisted Evil

Vincent Athena
Posted - 2011.08.29 18:32:00 - [22]
 

Edited by: Vincent Athena on 29/08/2011 18:36:28
There are things that could be done to keep from killing the server hamsters. For example, there is no need to do the tests at all for people without the skill Margin Trading. Also, if the wallet has a balance big enough to cover all the orders, which requires just one check, there is no need to go through the orders one by one.

Edit: or a wallet balance big enough to cover the biggest buy order. Missed that one. Good idea.

BlondeJamesBlonde
Posted - 2011.08.30 00:21:00 - [23]
 

Again, I believe the simplest solution requires no extra processing either. Since every margin order has a specific amount of ISK escrowed for that particular order, there is ALWAYS ISK available to partially fulfill the purchase (at least 24%). That amount alone would eliminate most of the benefit of the scam without affecting the average trader. No special processing need be done until the order is filled. Then the only determination is whether to completely or partially execute the order. Since every order has to be processed for completion or cancellaation now anyway, that doesn't seem like a big jump. Giving the seller a choice in the matter might be nice, but I tend to think that sellers generally will want to sell as much as they can at that price, so that isn't really a necessity.

Sentient Blade
Posted - 2011.08.30 02:21:00 - [24]
 

What's not mentioned (that I saw) was the way this is made perfectly secure is they put a large minimum number of items on it, so as you can never meet the entire order you can never sell the 24% regardless.

Easiest way of solving the problem is to properly enforce the cash-on-hand check which is done while setting one up and make dodging it for the purposes of falsifying market orders and exploit.

But I don't see it happening. CCP seemingly likes the market orders to be full of bull.

Renan Ruivo
Hipernova
Vera Cruz Alliance
Posted - 2011.08.30 02:45:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Jovan Geldon
Originally by: daddi0
How you acquired the items in the first place is irrelevant.


Now you're stuck with good that you can resell. Will only lose some profit but thats fine.

Astrid Raholan
Posted - 2011.08.30 03:02:00 - [26]
 

Originally by: Sentient Blade
What's not mentioned (that I saw) was the way this is made perfectly secure is they put a large minimum number of items on it, so as you can never meet the entire order you can never sell the 24% regardless.



Can't you put an immediate sell order up for the minimum number at the 24% price?

Bklyn 1
Posted - 2011.08.30 03:28:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: Kesshisan
Edited by: Kesshisan on 27/08/2011 19:20:00
Originally by: Ed Sullivan
I don't get it. You mean the scam is to induce someone to buy overpriced items in the hopes of selling them to an unfulfillable but profitable looking buy order? Something else entirely? Could someone explain it a bit more clearly?


There is a skill called Margin Trading which permits you to setup a buy order without you needing to have 100% of the isk immediately. This has a legitimate purpose for a trader who moves a lot of product and is setting up a 90 day buy order for an item.

However, it also has a nice side affect to "scam" people.

On alt #1 Setup a sell order for an item that you are looking to work with.
On alt #2 Setup a buy order for an item WAY overpriced with a minimum quantity of like 100 or 200.
Once you setup the buy order, quickly transfer all of your isk off of alt #2.

Now you have a buy order you cannot fill. The idea here is to lure someone into buying all of your items and then when your victim tries to sell the items to your buy order to make a quick profit they suddenly find themselves unable to get rid of the product.

You get isk from the buy order. They get a bunch of stuff they can't sell without taking a loss.


Thanks for the explanation. That does sound more like an exploit based upon a broken game mechanic than anything else. But if CCP is ok with it, then that's that, I guess.

Herping yourDerp
Posted - 2011.08.30 04:27:00 - [28]
 

here is simple example of scam
the jita price of scourge heavy missiles are about 45 isk each.

i have alt 1 make a sell order in some random system ( few mission runners ect) and i say, sell 20,000 scourge missiles for 70 isk each, its cheapest in station

on alt 2 i go 1 system over and make a buy order with 400 minimum for 100 isk each, then i send the rest of my isk to alt 1.

some guy sees, LOL 70 isk each he is crazy... then he sees he can get 100 for them thinking thats almost 50% profit, he buys them all. then the scam is complete.

u see, if he knew scourge were only worth about 45 isk each, he wouldnt have bought them for 70, of course he wouldnt have lost alot in my example but its the basic idea.


 

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