More Noble Truths

I believe that one of the philosophies presented by Buddha was that desire for love, wealth, and all other manner of things leads to our own suffering (Dukkha). As a priest who wants only to find joy in the warmth of the Holy Light, I certainly follow this philosophy normally, particularly in regards to material things.

But even I'm a sucker for achievements. And collections often reward achievements. And now that the Spectral Tiger mount thingie is BoE, I've had my eye out for it... even if I know I could never afford the 20k gold I'm sure it would sell for.

Yesterday morning, while sitting in Dalaran organizing things I'd picked up while doing dailies, I saw someone advertising this TCG Spectral Tiger mount in trade. People in trade started offering joke amounts of gold for it ("1g!!" "I'll give you 2g!") and so forth. So I joined in on the fun and jokingly offered 2000g for it. The thing is, if you know anything about this mount, you know that is a ridiculously low price to pay for it - it's worth at least ten times that. So imagine my surprise when the guy sent me a tell and said "2000? Seriously?". Uhh, yeah. Are YOU serious?

That was the first red flag. The first sign that greed can easily blind common sense and intelligence.

What followed after that was a brief conversation with the seller (in very good English, I might add, for any naysayers) that moved too quickly for me to catch up with my own brain. He said he would give me the code and I had to plug it in to the website and the mount would be sent to me, which I believe is actually correct with TCG mounts, but since I've never had one, I'm not sure. I typed in the url he gave me, which required me to log in, and I'm sure you're all bright enough to know what happened then.

Before I start getting a bunch of comments about how obvious the scam was, about how naive I am, yada yada yada, let me tell you a story that might give you a little insight into my personality. Two years ago, I was frying shrimp in the kitchen, and the oil I was using caught on fire. In my panic (which essentially revolved around me jumping up and down shrieking "oh shit! oh shit! ZOMGZOMGZOMG") I forgot every single thing I know. Here's a pop quiz for you: How do you NOT put out a grease fire?

In my panic I remember thinking "wait, wait, there's something I'm NOT supposed to do with grease fires... whatisitwhatisitwhatisit OH WHO CARES i don't have time for this I NEED WATER". I then proceeded to throw the pan in the sink, and turn the faucet on full blast.

The giant column of fire that followed that moment was a surprise to me until i thought about it five minutes later when the entire kitchen was covered in soot and smoke.

I am engaged to a guy who is so strict about network and computer security that sometimes he even forgets how to fix something on his own computer because he has set up so many passwords and firewalls, etc. I am normally very very careful about scams and security and the like, believe it or not. So why, oh why, did I fall for such an obvious phishing scam?

Greed. Pure greed.

It all moved so quickly, that even though in the back of my head I thought "wait a second, this isn't right... why is he not telling me to come to Stormwind and give him his money, why is he only selling it for 2000 gold, why does this url look a little funny...", I have always had the blessing/curse of actually being capable of typing faster than I think.

Of course immediately after I logged in through this fake phishing website I knew what I had done, and it all came crashing around me. I was immediately disconnected. And then I immediately starting laughing about how stupid I am. And unfortunately, it was 9 in the morning EST - which meant that I had to wait another 2 hours to call Blizzard. Smart move on scammers part.

It's actually a pretty good scam, for the following reasons:
  • Done early in the morning, while Blizzard phone lines are still closed - this gives him more time to clear my toons out before getting disconnected.
  • Scammer was conversational, and spoke perfect English, so it was obviously not a bot.
  • Scammer used a high value item and trade channel, and an item that many may think requires a website login, to limit his victims to only those who he already knows have a large amount of gold.
When I got everything settled and was able to log back in a few hours later (with the authenticator my fiance purchased for me a year ago that I had never started using), I was surprised to see that even though the scammer had a couple of hours free reign with my characters, I still had all my gear, on all my toons. I had 11,000 less gold than before of course, but he hadn't even bothered to vendor my gear or anything from my nearly full bank. He didn't bother checking the mail on my toons, where I had gold. Each of my level 80 toons are in a different guild - he only tried to take gold from the guild banks. I do not have access to the gold in GB in one guild, but he cleaned out the 370g in another guild bank.

It reminds me of when my car was stolen a few years ago, and when I got it back, it was actually cleaner and in better condition than ever previous. The grand jury when I went to testify simply loved that story.

He left me with 600g on Jessabelle, which I will most likely be depositing back into the guild bank. I submitted my ticket to Blizz, and hopefully I will be able to recover all the gold lost - but I'm not too optimistic, and I have no intention of making a big fuss about it. After all, it is completely my fault, and I'm very lucky. I did a scan of my computer, and found no malware whatsoever. I use a mac, and I wonder if the phishing website would have downloaded malware on my computer had I been on my pc desktop? That was my primary concern.

So then, what is the moral of this story my friends? Don't let your greed blind you!!! And if you do make a stupid mistake, and get yourself hacked, laugh about it. Do everything you need to do to get the situation fixed, but don't be miserable. We all make mistakes, we all do stupid things from time to time, and much like setting one's kitchen on fire, they often become stories you can learn from and laugh about later.
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4 Responses
  1. Fuubaar Says:

    Holy Crap Lady!!!!!

    I'm glad you've still got your toons. I've heard of people getting hacked & then they delete their toons afterwards.

  2. Jessabelle Says:


    I knoooow, I was ridiculously lucky! We've had one of our guild members get hacked multiple times before, so I'm well aware of just how bad it could have been. My biggest concern was having a keylogger on my computer that could get a bunch of my financial information, which would be way worse IRL than some stolen fake gold from a computer game.

    See, this is why I follow the holy light! I definitely have a guardian angel somewhere!

  3. *vlad* Says:

    The whole thing stank from start to finish. Lucky you didn't get too burnt.

    Hacked accounts are getting so common-place that I think the Authenticator is almost mandatory these days.

  4. Jessabelle Says:


    Yeah, luckily Blizz is pretty cool about how they handle the hackings. They just restored all my gold yesterday, and they were very friendly and helpful about the whole thing.

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