Scam Force (in General)

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] October 14 2008 4:16 PM EDT

I have a proposal. I've offered in passing before, but I've never made an official post. So I shall ask again.

I have heard that the reason Admins do not refund loans and such is because it is simply not their job. I've heard they do not have time. I have heard that it is because that's the risk involved with loaning cash.

In the past there were efforts made to make central funds available for those who were scammed. These efforts, while commendable, always fell through for lack of participation and donations.

I propose instead that a "Scam Force" of sorts be implemented (thanks, Rizy for the name suggestion). I would be more than happy (as I know others would as well) to access the account of a multi/scammer/whoever before they were reset/deleted and transfer out whatever was available.

I am aware there are many variables to consider. Such as, a case where they sold the CBD for USD and have nothing to give back. Or perhaps they do not have enough to pay everyone back. Those types of problems would need reasonable solutions before this could become a reality.

I'd just like to get some feedback on this for right now. I would like to know how plausible this could really be...

th00p October 14 2008 4:18 PM EDT

As much as I love you Hakai =P (and this idea) I doubt this will happen.

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] October 14 2008 4:19 PM EDT

I think its very plausible i like the idea.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] October 14 2008 4:20 PM EDT

I know, th00p. But I wanted to at least make an attempt. I hate seeing people lose out just because they were trying to help a fellow CBer.

If I could, I'd make sure to pay everyone back personally from my own funds. Unfortunately, I just don't have that type of wealth *sigh*

th00p October 14 2008 4:22 PM EDT

/me tries his best to pay back the people who deserve it (Pixel in the past, Zog in this case, probably more I just don't remember...)

But yeah, there's nothing you can do without collateral... kinda sad

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] October 14 2008 4:22 PM EDT

I think the going into multi accounts is sadly not going to work, but maybe we could get a donation thing going. Take in spare cash and items and repay like maybe a percentage of the lost cash or something like that.

Hakai [Aye Phelta Thi] October 14 2008 4:25 PM EDT

Kefeck, so many people have tried that. It lasts for a bit, only to fall apart.

Which is why I made this post instead.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 14 2008 4:25 PM EDT

Giving loans of actual money is an extremely risky practice, with minimal chance of reward. It really should simply stop.

The likely hood that a situation would spin out of control, and that anyone tasked with solving the questions of who gets what would simply go insane and quit are high.

Don't loan money to people with nothing to lose. Buy the item they want for them and loan it to them. Giving loans for minion purchases and NCB BA is the same thing as just sending the cash to central bank, if you get paid back it's because you got lucky.

Little Anthony October 14 2008 4:28 PM EDT

i would like to send my thanks to a few lucky fellows:


for 'almost' lost money on this dude.

An a few others that would like to remained anonymous.

Wizard'sFirstRule October 14 2008 4:49 PM EDT

I would like to bring in a wet towel and tell everyone that no admins have commented on this.

8DEOTWP October 14 2008 4:53 PM EDT

Who wants to police CB loans?
..not the admins

three4thsforsaken October 14 2008 5:02 PM EDT

it'll be kinda odd for those who are in debt to contribute to this fund ><

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] October 14 2008 5:03 PM EDT

Only if they have no intention of getting out of debt.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] October 14 2008 5:09 PM EDT

the text in the link for public record forums really sums it all up quite well i think:

"If person A scams person B, we will reset A. We do not want to encourage scamming. BUT, it is your responsibility to make sure the person you are dealing with is trustworthy. We also do not want to encourage the thinking of, "so what if this guy offering me a cornuthaum for $100k is scamming me, all I have to is whine to the admins to get my money back." So no, we're not in the property recovery business. Same goes for loan installment payments. In other words: if you want truly scam proof trading, your only option is the auction system."

it doesn't sound to me like jon wants anyone involved in property recovery due to the issues inherent with that.

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] October 14 2008 5:12 PM EDT

So he does not want to deal with whining thats kind of sad.. What does he expect?

Cube October 14 2008 5:14 PM EDT

I think the problem is it's too much clerical work.. too hard to keep track of it all. And then when you screw up it just annoys people, better to keep hands off.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] October 14 2008 5:22 PM EDT

Wow, yeah this has administrator nightmare written all over it.

BadFish October 14 2008 5:23 PM EDT

I SERIOUSLY doubt Jon would actually step in and prevent something like this from becoming a reality. He just doesn't want to deal with it. If the CB community wants Scam Force and we take it upon ourselves to make it happen, Jon won't be anything but pleased.

8DEOTWP October 14 2008 5:31 PM EDT

I have heard that the reason Admins do not refund loans and such is because it is simply not their job. I've heard they do not have time. I have heard that it is because that's the risk involved with loaning cash.
I've always been under the impression that admins as well as Jon do not want to get involved with playing debt police. I believe this is still the ideal of most admins.

BootyGod October 14 2008 5:34 PM EDT

Player run systems won't work for this problem. Trust me.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 14 2008 5:39 PM EDT

I think having a set of guidelines for the loan sharks would be good.
The merchant class of CB has lost it cohesiveness, there was a point where they talked enough with each other that this sort of silliness was less likely...

Friends don't let friends give bad loans!

Little Anthony October 14 2008 5:43 PM EDT

I vote for a bail out package for all the loan sharks and friends out there :D. The cost of the actual bail out package can be paid back by reducing monetary rewards of every players in cb :D

Solare October 14 2008 6:04 PM EDT

Not necessarily a solution, but, what if there was a program installed that allowed a player to loan money just as they would loan a tattoo, etc. That particular player could set a date to which the money was due back, interest rate, etc. And if the money wasn't paid back by a certain date then money would automatically be deducted from that players battle earnings. And if a character were to be reset, the money owed back to a certain player (that is, the money on the character about to be reset) would be given back to the person whom loaned money to said character.
I think this would be a reasonable addition, but, as I said previously, it doesn't solve everything.

Lord Bob October 14 2008 6:08 PM EDT

You know, we have private loaners here on CB. I would rather see someone step up to the plate and start an insurance service. Say, 100k insures you up to 10 million in lost cash due to a borrower's failure to pay.

Now, if only someone would step up to the plate and provide this service. I'd do it, but I don't know the rules surrounding this kind of thing, and I don't have the start up cash to begin with.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 14 2008 6:10 PM EDT

Who is going to do insurance for the insurers?

AdminLamuness October 14 2008 6:22 PM EDT


Lord Bob October 14 2008 6:23 PM EDT

Nobody. But they can't get ripped off because the loaner pays first. They can only lose money by providing the very services they are advertising, but that's called risk.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] October 14 2008 6:42 PM EDT

Lord Bob, one word. Awesome. If I had the money I would totally go into the insurance business right here on CB.

Colonel Custard October 14 2008 6:59 PM EDT

I like the idea of loan insurance. However, I think 100k for $10 million of insurance seems a bit low. I mean, how many loaning services are there? 4? So the insurer receives 400k per month, or something, to insure $40 million in potential losses. If one loaner gets scammed for 10mil, it would take the insurer 2 years just to build his funds back up. Please don't take this as criticism, but rather as trouble-shooting. I think something like 500k/month to be insured for 10mil is much more reasonable.

As for the original post, I'm curious about something. Mainly, how do you intend to access these other accounts before they are reset? Would the account be made inaccessible except to admins, and Hakai (or whoever else) is made "Scam Admin," whose only admin powers are access to authorized blocked accounts or something, and the ability to transfer things out of those accounts for free?

AdminG Beee October 14 2008 7:00 PM EDT

Users have the ability to use existing game mechanics to avoid being scammed out of $CB's.

If users choose to invest RL cash into their characters then that is their choice and the risk is almost always 100% borne by said user.
If users choose to work outside of the game mechanics, e.g. with $CB player to player loans, or sales outwith auctions then 100% of the risk is almost always borne by said user.
Remember - even sales carried out in FS/WTB and with a PR thread will not entitle the "scammed" user to a refund. It will however ensure the "scammer" is appropriately penalised.

Admins will almost always keep well clear of any deals that go sour outwith the cut and dried scams where PR records are available.
Fortunately these are few and far between.

Pretty clear?

Solare October 14 2008 7:03 PM EDT

I think the programming suggestion I made earlier may aid in the transactions of loans, but not necessarily the repayment of the entire loan (especially if the character is reset), though it would certainly encourage it.
I suppose people who read through this thread may have skipped over my post earlier, but I still think its worthy to point out that it is certainly an option thats viable and fair.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] October 14 2008 7:16 PM EDT

Hey I know I got burned and I also know I made a mistake.
Yes there's a PR but I should have insisted on something as at least a minor failsafe (although current prices, it would take a fair few item slots for 25mill).
I honestly agree that nobody should have to clean up the mess.

th00p October 14 2008 9:20 PM EDT

I always have my mini-mop ready to go.

Unappreciated Misnomer October 14 2008 9:35 PM EDT

yay a new cb feature to replace mentoring. the laywer wanna b program, 'lets liquidate those assets!'

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] October 14 2008 9:38 PM EDT

many of us just think that the little time jon has to put into the game should be used for things that add to the game, items, skills, etc. rather than protecting those who are trying to turn their cb monies into more cb monies.

someone clever above me made some parallels to the financial crisis. it is actually a pretty good parallel, if the game or anyone else bails people out, what motivation do they have for protecting themselves and making good fiscal decisions?

th00p October 14 2008 9:46 PM EDT

"many of us just think that the little time jon has to put into the game should be used for things that add to the game, items, skills, etc."

LITTLE time?!?!?

I hope that was sarcasm... and yes, it shouldn't be his problem, people need to be more sure of what they are doing... it's not their (admins) job to fix it.

Responsibility. What's your policy?

DrAcO5676 [The Knighthood III] October 14 2008 10:02 PM EDT

Th00p I think Dude meant the little time Jon has available atm.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] October 14 2008 10:36 PM EDT

Didnt read anything except for Hakai's post, which i do agree with. But an alternative could be, instead of money, for characters getting unretired, being sent to CB, have it get sent to a loan default fund.

lostling October 14 2008 10:56 PM EDT

ok simple bottom line...


be it for collateral or whatever reason... so a perfectly SIMPLE way to make it easier for all of us is to
1. increase number of character slots...
2. remove the cap on items...(seriously who hoards these days now that supporter items can be bought)

however... i feel bad for zoglog who loaned money to a person he didnt know was a multi... and when an admin just comes along and resets him and says tough luck... in these cases could we have at least SOME recovery?

yes i do know u can arrange to have someone else to keep it for you... but thats a logistic nightmare to manage...

Tylan October 14 2008 11:27 PM EDT

A 20 mil loss for anyone is a harsh pill to swallow, and you have my sympathy.

Tylan (Tylan) Zoglog[T] (ElvenKings) $100000 11:23 PM EDT-my little contribution

Back on the point, loaning another player has always been, and in my opinion should always be a player-player deal. It's not the admins' jobs to monitor these trades, nor should it be. This isn't a service that in any way, shape, or form is offered as part of the game, nor is it necessary. That being said, I am all for loans, as I myself have partaken, and in some cases loaned others cash. However I knew the risks, and i've always made sure either I knew who I was loaning to, or that I had some form of collateral.

Plain and simple, if you are loaning to someone you don't know that well, or someone that doesn't have a proven track record of being trustworthy, get collateral, or tell them to find a co-signer on the loan that you know is trustworthy.

Simple answer to a seemingly growing problem.

Goodfish October 15 2008 12:00 AM EDT

I can see an "insurance firm" with a couple of devoted players working quite well. I have already approached Hakai about this. I would think that as few as ten players could reliably make enough money to make it rather safe. I've already told Hakai that I'm comfortable forwarding all my CBD rewards to insurance.

Also, if even 50 players threw in 100k into the insurance pot to get things started, that'd keep the firm good for most smaller, early loans. Perhaps there could be a caveat that we can only insure up to 80% of the current money possessed by the firm.

I don't know. There are a million reasons why this would be a good idea. So I'm in. :)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] October 15 2008 12:38 AM EDT

"LITTLE time?!?!?"

jon has young uns at home as well as a new job soon i am sure. with that being said, yes he spends little time on the game. a handful of hours making changes every 3 months with bug fixes and maintenance along the way.

i wasn't being negative, just stating the facts as i see them and he definitely spends less time on here than most of us heavy-duty players.

if he had infinite time then a full-featured bank would be ideal. as well as many other changes that we have brought up over time and have been labelled as nice to have, but don't hold your breath.

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] October 15 2008 12:43 AM EDT

ill donate 100k to start or since im on all the time ill be apart of the ins. agency. whatever the case it sounds like a good deal and i hope that we( the players) can start something and get it going to where its not just going to die out. I just started but i know how it feels to get ripped in rl and it sucks.

3D October 15 2008 1:07 AM EDT

Impose taxes on the people of CB ^.^
But really, like a 25k a week for anyone who wants protection
Seems legit

BadFish October 15 2008 2:29 AM EDT

"The Fish Twins Insurance Agency"

I like it. What do you think, DJ?

QBJohnnywas October 15 2008 2:38 AM EDT

Nice idea, but wait for the enterprising multi to loan himself some money, take out insurance on that loan and let his multi disappear, claim scam and make some money for nothing....

BadFish October 15 2008 2:42 AM EDT

Just don't allow people to insure their money for more than it's worth, and there will be no way for any money to be made in a situation like that.


AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] October 15 2008 2:42 AM EDT

we definitely need a better way to prevent multis

Goodfish October 15 2008 3:08 AM EDT

>>Just don't allow people to insure their money for more than it's worth, and there will be no way for any money to be made in a situation like that.

Exactly. I'd say have "insurance" cost the loaner AND loanee each 3% of the total loan to be paid up front. If either one tries to scam, then they're only making a very slim profit. And if someone tries to insure 200mil, we know something's up.

We do a background check, too. ;) There are definitely some users I'd be on the fence about insuring money anyways (players ought to build up credit history in some manner to allow them to insure larger and larger sums of money).

I'm down for the Fish Twins Insurance Agency. :D

Adminedyit [Superheros] October 15 2008 5:17 AM EDT

"we definitely need a better way to prevent multis"

everyone's a critic 8(

Wizard'sFirstRule October 15 2008 8:14 AM EDT

Nice idea, but wait for the enterprising multi to loan himself some money, take out insurance on that loan and let his multi disappear, claim scam and make some money for nothing....

I am sure you can track transfers. If the money in the multi ever leaves the account, then its obviously a scam in itself (easy to identify), if the money never leaves the account, then its no good to the multi-er.

Wizard'sFirstRule October 15 2008 8:16 AM EDT

also, if you charge 3% on the loaner AND loanee, that's 6% of principle. Most interest payment are about 10% or so only. If people aren't making money loaning, then they won't do it.

th00p October 15 2008 8:27 AM EDT

edyit: I solely place the blame for all multis on your shoulders.

It's only fair considering you're mine ;-)

Goodfish October 15 2008 9:41 AM EDT

>>also, if you charge 3% on the loaner AND loanee, that's 6% of principle. Most interest payment are about 10% or so only. If people aren't making money loaning, then they won't do it.

Which is why we'll likely do loans as well as loan insurance.

Maybe 2%.

And there are plenty of people who loan to others without interest- I myself got a 2 million CBD loan payable in up to two months and was not charged interest. The people who typically get charged interest are the people you want loan insurance with, anyways.

Also, that is the price you have to pay for being an unfamiliar user. Once somebody is known better and has been "insured" a few times, the % rate they are charged can always be reduced, because it's that much less likely they will try to pull a scam.

Goodfish October 15 2008 9:42 AM EDT

Also, regarding people "making money" off loans:

One scam, and all the money you've made off them is gone. Would you rather take a chance on 10% or take a guaranteed... 4%? 6%?

Wasp [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] October 15 2008 10:13 AM EDT

I didn't read all the posts but a more plausible idea would be to make a kind of insurance company for loans: Quick idea.

Player A wants a large loan, 30m. Player B will loan player A the money but he has to pay back 35m. And x amount goes to insurance company who will insure the full amount of 30 million if the deal goes bust. If enough loaners join this then if anything goes bust then the funds are there to insure that loaner. This would be good for those non-collateral loans and other loans that have a higher risk. Instead of not giving they can just boost the price and pay the insurance.

I wouldn't mind running this service if there was enough interest. If there is only 1 person paying the insurance then if anything were to happen there wouldn't be any money left to pay. It would be a non profit kinda thing... Does that make sense?

Either way it would work out well for everyone who is loaning out money, from 1 million to 40 million to get it. Of course, the higher the risk the higher the fees!

Just came back from work so a bit tired so this might sound like meaningless dribble.

AdminLamuness October 15 2008 2:22 PM EDT

Hm...all of this sure sounds awfully similar.. Housing crisis anyone?
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