Only YOU hold the key to preventing scams...
Find the locks here!


Think you are immune to scammers? Think again! Everyday we hear of newer and more inventive ways that people use to steal from and hurt others. While you cannot control the actions of others, you can fight back. The greatest weapon in life is knowledge. If you can equip your mind to be alert, then you will have the key to lock away scammers. This is not a page to incite paranoia or distrust, it is to inform and hopefully protect. Before I start, and if you are unsure if someone is attempting to scam you, reading the T&Cs here is a good way to refresh yourself on the rules of the site. If that page does not offer the help you are looking for, choose your favorite search engine and type in "Neopian Times Editorial" and one or two keywords relating to your situation. Perhaps your question has been asked before. So sit back and relax as I explain the popular, and maybe not-so-popular scams that are going around Neopia. Later I will touch on CGers and ways to keep your account safe!

NOTE: In no situation should you verbally attack or harass a scammer. This could get YOU into trouble or get you frozen. Believe me, a scammer was attacking a friend of mine and I got frozen in the midst of trying to fight back. REPORT AND LET TNT DO THEIR JOB!



SCAMS

scam (v.)
To deprive of by deceit.

There are numerous scams circulating the site. It is not paranoia, it is real. Ranging from the basic, "lend me for free" scam to the lesser known "worthless item" scam, it is better to know about these types than to fall for one.

Secret word scam - Ok so to start out I am going to talk about one of the most ridiculous scams...I can't believe anyone has fallen for it but apparently they have. If someone tells you they know a cool trick involving your secret word, that should send up a red flag. If you type it backwards it will NOT show up as all ***s. No, it will show up as your secret word backwards. And then you can say bye bye to your account. There are NO TRICKS OR NEAT THINGS ON THIS SITE INVOLVING YOUR SECRET WORD--except that you get to do the neat thing of signing in.

Free Lending - Caviat commodor! Beware lender! Although there are some truly honest people on this site, are you willing to risk an item that you have spent time and neopoints on? I have no problem with lending to friends, but to lend to a total stranger is not always a good idea. A BD Chatter once said, "Never lend what you cannot afford to lose." This is truly sage advice! Now I am not trying to be a hypocrite, as I have borrowed things for free and from complete strangers, but those people knew the risk in lending to me. BUT, if you aim to keep your account and its contents completely safe then perhaps free lending is not for you.

Trades Aren't Working - Ok, so basically if trades aren't working, or the "lender's" computer is slow, then wait to borrow. It is that simple. DO NOT send your collateral to someone. You will end up losing your collateral. That is common sense.

Partial Collateral/Collateral on Pets - These are two completely different situations but they require little explaination. Partial collateral is quite like free lending. You must understand that you are running the risk of losing neopoints if the item is stolen. This is strictly for items! Collateral for borrowing/lending pets is NOT ALLOWED. TNT has stated that no collateral can be given as that is seen as selling pets. They also state in their T&Cs FAQs that you should "be careful lending out a pet!!! If your pet gets picked by someone else, you may lose your pet forever. And remember, it is against Neopets Terms and Conditions to sell a pet!!!

Low Collateral/Free Borrowing - Not only does the lender have to beware, but also the borrower. TNT has said before, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is." If someone is offering to lend an item for low collateral or for free, even if they can "prove" they have it, usually they are trying to get some neopoints/items out of unsuspecting users. Sometimes they will ask you to send items over for collateral and they'll send the item. Trades and auctions are the only safe way to trade items/neopoints. Other times, in rare moments of stupidity, the "lender" will ask for your account information, claiming that you cannot be trusted with the item and they will get the avatar for you. NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR ACCOUNT INFORMATION!

Item Lending and Junk Trades - Lets say a user makes a board, "Lending MSPP (TCG) for low collateral!" This would make most Neopians really excited! Please know the details of the lend before you borrow. The lender might require that you bid your collateral on a junk trade or auction, so that they can "see that you are not lying about your collateral" and then they will send the item. Seconds later they have accepted the trade or the auction will end and the "lender" has disappeared with your collateral. If a lender is seriously lending for lower collateral, they can see and control what you bid on the real item. Junk trades are scams...don't fall for them!

Overcollateral - Be sure to know the proper collateral on an item before you bid on something to borrow. There are those who will claim that the collateral is more than it is in order to run off with your collateral. This is not such a common scam but that doesn't mean it cannot happen to you!

Side Account Lending/Account Look-Alikes - A popular scam tactic as of late, a so called "popular" user will come on their side account and ask to be lent items for their side. Before you lend, ask yourself...do I know that this person is really who he or she says they are? A great way to find this out is to neomail the main. A lot of people were about to lend stuff to my "side" and when they neomailed me here, I assured them it was not me. It is better to ask than to lose. Some will actually go onto their side to steal stuff, thinking that their main will not get caught in a freeze. Another similar scam is when people make an account that LOOKS like someone you know. Make sure it is the account you are thinking of before you lend! Watch out for these scammers too!

Split Trades - Whether you are buying or borrowing an item, split trades are an unsafe way to complete a transaction. A split trade is when you offer part of the price on the trade with the item and the other half on a junk trade. Many people do this if they are too impatient to wait for an auction, or if they have a higher amount of pure + items than that which can be bid. If you do not trust or know the person, never get involved in a split trade. If you do know or trust the person, then please be aware that you still run the risk of losing something. Again, I cannot make you stay away, but at least you can be informed.

I will only accept THIS item - What a long title for a scam, you say! Well, I can't think of another name for it. This is a lesser known scam, but it is just as nasty. For this, I will tell you of my personal experience. About a year ago, when Svyx was just a wee lab rat, I was zapping him to turn grey (to save neopoints). Three species changes and a million omitted words streaming from my mouth later, I decided to buy the paint brush. I went to the trading post to get a brush. LO AND BEHOLD! I see a grey paint brush and better yet, it is cheaper than the rest. The wishlist was for a Hand Carved Draik Slingshot...at the time about 1.4 million and 1.6 million cheaper than the brush. I neomail the user and say that I can pay more in pure so that she can not only buy the weapon, but have plenty left over (was going to offer 2.5). She replied saying that she only wanted the slingshot because she doesn't have enough time online to go looking for one. Meanwhile, the red warning light in my head should have been going off, but for some reason I needed replacement parts that day. :p So I go and buy one...it was quite a stroke of luck that a seller was on to sell me the item! I offer the slingshot on the paint brush and the offer is rejected. The slingshot seller was in fact the paint brush seller on a side account. I know this because minutes later the paint brush ended up on the slingshot account and a new HTS junk item appeared on the paint brush account. TNT states that you can only sell items on one account. Amazingly, this account was never frozen...I ended up selling the slingshot for 400,000 neopoints because it deflated and lost a total of 1 million. I was angry, but it taught me a lesson. Beware the seller who doesn't want pure! xD

Pet Catchers - I once knew a user who involved me in a scam, without my knowledge. One day he asked me if I would like to have a grey krawk. I was excited! He said it was a friend's and they were quitting. So I said ok and prepared to catch it. Of course I caught it...being the mistress of the adoption link! A few minutes later, I got a frantic neomail from a girl. She said that the owner of my new krawk promised to lend to her...and if she lost it he said she had to replace the krawk. I was appalled! My "friend" set it up so she would lose the krawk (to me) and get neopoints from her. I had to decide how to handle this. I told her to NOT pay anything to the owner. She wanted the krawk avatar so I lent her my plushie krawk, not trusting the grey krawk to go back in the pound so soon. After I got him back, the original owner (who was supposed to be quitting) asked for his krawk back. I informed him that I knew what him and my friend had done, and that the pound was fair game. The grey krawk was later adopted out to a friend who lost his krawk while trying to transfer it to his main. If a pet lender EVER tries to tell you that you have to replace a pet if it is lost, DON'T FALL FOR IT! They know the risks of the pound and you cannot charge people like that. I am good friends with that girl now. :)

Scam Bidders - This is quite an easy scam to spot and prevent if you just slow down and take a moment to look. Have you ever had a user bid 300 nps on a trade that you had a wishlist price of 300k, or 300,000 nps? Sometimes users are in a rush and if they see the first part of their abbreviation, they will blindly accept. Be careful! Sometimes the bidder is sincerely new and they have no idea that 300k is 300,000 nps. Other times they are purposely trying to get you to accept. Always check a bid before you accept. If a user constantly does this, you can either block them (block list accessible here) or ask them to quit by neomail. This can happen with item bids too. However, here the scammers expect you to click the wrong button since the reject and accept buttons are so close together. Again, look what you are clicking before you click!

Inflated Bids - This is similar to scam bidding in many ways. You may recieve an item bid on a trade and it might look like a great offer if you check the Trading Post. However, there are many inflated items circulating. This page is a good place to check to see if it is a recently inflated item. When checking on prices I also like to consult friends and boards...the BD chat is a great place to check, as many restockers and resellers chat there. Be sure to always check the Shop Wiz, if they bidder claims that the item is Unbuyable (100,000 neopoints or more) to make sure that is really is. Sometimes even, a user will put up a trade with the inflated item and warn others that it is inflated in their wishlist. It is a good idea to heed any warnings.

False Deflation - This is the complete opposite of inflation...kinda. You are pretty much at the other end of the deal in this situation. Sometimes a scammer and their friends will buy one or two of an item, put them on the trades for a low price, and then the friend without the item will go and find other sellers of the same item. They will try to get a discounted rate since "others" are selling for that low...when that is not the actual price. Again, the best way to combat this is to ask before you accept. There has to be someone on the site that knows the actual price. And if you know that there was a significant drop recently, that might be the reason.

Selling Pets - TNT states that, "it is against Neopets Terms and Conditions to sell a pet!!!" End of story, thank you come again! I know, know...you want to know why. Why can I not sell my hard earned pets for cold hard cash-- erm *cough*--neopoints? Because, you cannot guarantee that a pet will go to the new owner! The pound is a dangerous place and once you place a pet there, it can go to any nefarious character that may be lurking the dark places. *makes spooky noises* Seriously though, TNT is trying to prevent you from losing neopoints because you weren't able to "catch" the pet you paid for...so it is not allowed--pure and simple.

Account Giveaways - Most people know that it is against the T&Cs to give or accept an account from another user. But, you will be surprised to find that a small percentage know why TNT made it so. Normally, when a person creates a new account, they assign it a special word that only they know that allows them access to the account. Now ask yourself, how many different accounts do I have (on the whole of the internet) that have the same special word? Most people like to keep one word so that they don't have to worry about keeping up with multiple words. If you accept an account from another user, what are the odds that you will change the word to your main account word? Odds are pretty high if you haven't read this page before, had it happen to you, or if you haven't heard it elsewhere. All the scammer has to do is request the word to be sent to his email and voila! He or she has access to both your new account and your main. You may think that you can change the email quickly but if the scammer has already changed it, you cannot change it until the next day. This is why TNT doesn't allow you to give away an account.

Neofriend/Gift Scam - Hopefully, this is a scam that doesn't happen too often. Money can't buy you love, and neopoints can't buy you friends or exciting gifts. If someone says that they will be your neofriend or send you an expensive gift if you buy from their shop--that is a scam. They are just trying to get you to buy their overpriced junk. Some even try and sweeten the deal by putting up nice 1 np auctions so you'll fall for it. In the end they won't accept your request. Don't fall for it!

Item/Neopoint Pools - Dear Destiny, I have friends who have some great stuff that will help me borrow an item and they can borrow too. Can we pull our resources together and borrow? The Answer? NO! Why? Geez you people cannot just take my word for it can you? Just so you know I am not lying, here is a similar question in the Neopian Times. And the reason WHY it is not allowed, is because there are some people that would pool the items/neopoints and then run off with them. Yes, unfortunately pixels are that high in demand that they would stoop that low.

Avatar #6 - One, two, three, four, five
Everybody on the board now come on lets try
To get the...
We interrupt this horrible Mambo #5 spoof to actually tell you about the next scam running rampant. This one happens to anger me greatly because the "victims" really shouldn't fall for this. A wise user named Josh said that their "own sense of greed pushes the scam through." This is especially true here. All too often you see boards with a title like "I only need 743,920 to get the Adam Avatar." Inside, they entice you claiming that they will lend you afterwards if you help them with the remaining neopoints. I am here to say, that is they were TRULY that close to over 11 million neopoints, a measley 743,920 is not that hard to make up...they can wait. They may whine and beg and say they have played all the games they could for the day or that it is their birthday--don't fall for it. It is a 99.9% probability that they are just trying to make neopoints off of you. Say bye bye to your 743,920 neopoints if you choose to fall for it!

Game Avatars - To start this section out, consider this...if you were in a tournament for a sport, would the judges or referees allow someone from the stands to take your place as if it were still you? Odds are the answer is no. The same applies to game avatars. Now I know what you are thinking...people have allowed others onto their account to get game avatars. And further more, there are people that have gotten away with it. However, this page is to inform you on how to keep your account safe! Letting people onto your account is not a very safe action. TNT states that you are not allowed to do this, and as we are their guest, it is best to abide by their rules.

Item Lookalikes - It happens all the time, a user puts up a baby paint brush plushie on the trades and asks for 550,000 neopoints. OMG! WHAT A DEAL! Some poor bidder bids their neolife savings and when the trade is accepted, they realize that there was a "plushie" at the end of the item name. And try as they might, as hard as they squeeze, the derned paint just won't come out! ALWAYS BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE BIDDING ON! There are other common lookalikes other than plushies...rubber ducks are often passed off as battle ducks, regular plushies and toys might be passed as magical ones, furniture pinatas are passed off as toy ones, and certain petpets can even mislead users to think they are buying a more expensive petpet. Check before you buy!

Malicious Scam - This next situation is not a scam of profit...but if you look at the definition at the beginning, a scam does not always imply profit. This is a scam that is just a malicious attack on the victim and may be the only scam that is truly not the fault of the victim. There have been users that set up cheap auctions on very popular items--many times avatar items. These are not the same as so-called "fun auctions" for the most part, but be wary of any "to good to be true" offer. After they get some nice bids, the user self-freezes their account. In this instance, the user loses the item of course, but the victim also loses their bid and never receives the item. Unfortunately there is no way to tell these apart from honest auctioneers. But I believe that you should be aware of the situation at any rate.

Turnip Tonic - Have you ever received a gift from a stranger and you didn't understand why? Know your items! A recent trend that stemmed from some "lovely" users, is that they will send out turnip tonics to unsuspecting people. They will tell them that they should use it on their expensively painted pet cause they will "like the results." Turnip Tonics change any pet to a basic color--i.e. red, blue, green, or yellow. NEVER use an item on your pet or someone else's pet without knowing what it does.

Duped Items - If you are sent an expensive item from a stranger, you might want to be wary. Every so often a user seems to pop up with the ability to duplicate expensive (especially hidden tower items) items and they try to sell at low prices or pass them off to people. DO NOT ACCEPT ITEMS IF YOU ARE SUSPICIOUS! Notify TNT through this page that it might be a duped item and put it in trades with the message "TNT I think this might be duped--delete if so!".

Neopian Secrets - Have you ever been on a board where a user claims to know some big secret? Whether it be the solution to a plot or the method for getting an avatar, users will gloat if they think they are the first to know. However annoying this may be, no one can force another to tell them anything. When the user tries to charge people in order to reveal the secret, that is where it becomes a scam. Never pay for "secrets"...eventually someone else will figure it out

Black Shop Scams - This is kinda similar to the item lookalikes section. In fact, it is a tactic that some nasty scammers use to confuse you. Simply put they will but a solid black background in their shop and then put in an overpriced item or an item look alike. Then they will make a board saying it is something else (see item lookalikes above). Highlight the item before you buy! Be safe!

Neomail Scam - Some users have received neomails (and in rarer cases, emails) from accounts claiming to work for TNT. They require that you reply with your account information because their "systems" have flagged your account as being accessed by someone other than the original owner (or some corny reason like that). They also say that if you do not remit this information by such and such a time, that your account will be frozen. PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Go here and scroll down a bit...right there under #11. Do you see that statement in red bold letters? Good. Then we are clear that TNT would never send you a neomail/email like that. That was simple wasn't it?

I've Been Scammed/Hacked/Frozen - This last scam is a poor attempt to call on sympathy to get neopoints or items. A user will make a board saying that they were scammed, hacked, or frozen. Sometimes they will flat out ask for donations or lends to rebuild, sometimes they will constantly whine about specific things they lost in the hopes that people will donate or lend them items. Please do NOT go onto an "I've been scammed/hacked/frozen" board and right out attack them. I made a board to vent when I was frozen...but I also told everyone I didn't want anything. Not all boards with that topic are trying to get items. Even if they are, it is best to just move on and ignore them. VERBALLY ATTACKING A USER, EVEN IF THEY DESERVE IT JUST PUTS YOU ON THEIR LEVEL AND IT MAY ALSO CAUSE THE ADVERSE EFFECT OF *YOUR* ACCOUNT BEING WARNED/SUSPENDED/FROZEN! An extreme version of this scam involves a truly sad individual that thinks if they say their relatives are sick or have died and all they wanted in life was for their dear, dear sister/brother/niece/nephew/etc. to borrow "insert item here". To think that anyone would use real life tragedies is beyond me...alas I have seen it though. Don't fall for it!



COOKIE GRABBERS

Cookie Grabber (n.)
A web page script that allows the script user to copy an HTTP cookie from a webpage visitor to a different server. The copied cookie can then be used to gain access to that visitor's account, to steal words or other electronic information.

Most people have fell victim to, or know someone who has fallen victim to a CGer. Before the advent of the PIN, users could lose everything on an account, even the account itself. Sometimes even now it can happen. About 2 years ago, I went onto an offline site (not sure which) and the next day my gallery was cleared out and my petpets stolen. Although I was lucky enough to have 98% of my items returned, not everyone has such luck. It is better to protect against CGers.

Neopoint Makers - Some users choose to scam through sites that promise never-ending neopoints. They make boards and send out neomails...both advertising an offsite link. In some cases they will send out emails (premium seems to be a target since we have webmail) stating that they are someone we know and try to get us to visit the link that way. TNT clearly states in their FAQs that "Many outside sites claim to have programs that will assist you in earning Neopoints. This will require you to download a program which may contain a keylogger or a Trojan. Then *poof* goodbye account. You will find no sympathy from us if you lose your account as a result of visiting outside sites promising easy ways to earn Neopoints." In other words, this is against the rules...if you insist on trying out these sites and you lose your account, you will not get it back!

Fake Login Pages - Some users claim that if you login on certain "pages" you will find neopoints...I have even seen one user claim that a funny picture will appear if you login on their link. Unless it is www.neopets.com, it is not a valid neopets login page. DO NOT login to any other web address (don't get technical and say 'Well I don't use www' or 'what about the image servers'...you know what I mean). The fake login pages will send your information to scammers and you may lose your account.

Fake TNT Warning Emails - From time to time, I used to receive emails from "The Neopets Team" stating that I had broken the T&Cs and if I didn't send my account information to a website so that they could "further investigate," I would lose my account. This link is a CGer. As stated above in the scam section, no member of TNT will EVER ask you for your account information. They know it after all. DO NOT under any circumstances visit the link.

Help Sites - Before you get angry, I am not condemning helps sites. Most users have a help site or two that they use as a guide for Neopets--even I have 3 I like to frequent. However, you need to be wary of lesser known or shady sites. Some can be not so honest with its contents. If you want to be absolutely safe, stick with onsite petpages. Neopets can monitor and control the contents and some are just as helpful if not more. I have a list of a few at the bottom. If you insist on trying out sites elsewhere, be safe. Talk to others about what is safe...odds are if a lot of friends have been to the site with no problem, then you should be safe. IN NO WAY AM I TELLING YOU TO GO OFFSITE NOR AM I CONDONING THE USE OF THEM! I just know that not everyone will stay onsite all the time. Know where you are going!



KEEPING YOUR ACCOUNT SAFE

Scammers are like roaches...you just can't get rid of all of them. However, if you do your part to keep your account safe, maybe Neopia will have a lot less whiners :D

Word/PIN Protection - A passing blumaroo says: "Never give out your word!" Well duh Mister Blumaroo! Alas, not everyone listens to the bouncing roo. Never allow others access to your account. Even family members and real life friends exact revenge if angered. Change it periodically. And if you think your account was accessed by others, change it then too! Use numbers, lower case letters, and capital letters. Make it easy for YOU to remember but difficult for others to guess. Don't use something everyone knows about you (ex. fluffyismydog74) and NEVER use personal information (ex. 123elmstreetnevada). The same goes for your PIN. Please please PLEASE don't ever use a PIN that you would use in real life (ex. Bank account PIN).

Know Thyself - On the arch leading to the main building at my old college, the quote "Gnothi Seauton," which means "Know Thyself" in ancient Greek, (Sorry I was a Language major leave me be!) is carved into the stone. This is wise! It may seem really over the top, but you should periodically go over your account. Do you know the ins and outs of everything you do? Pet stats, what is in your Safety Deposit Box, books read, abilities, neofriends, your bank amount, gallery items, and neohome items. Screenshots are a good way to keep track of these stats (you can update them periodically to reflect changes). If you are scammed or frozen, you will have this information when you try and get your account back. Thank you to Ollie for pointing out this GREAT tip!

Item IDs - Each item you own has it's own unique item ID. So my Plushie Korbat Morphing Potion has a different ID number than Joe Schmo's Plushie Korbat Morphing Potion. To get this ID, click on an item in your inventory, when it opens the page with options, right click, view source code, Press Ctrl+F, type in "obj_id" next to it you should see a value number. That's your item ID and it makes easier to track down items and those that are duped. This is most likely what helped me when I was CGed in 2005. They were able to track the person down by finding my items. You don't have to have an ID on every item you own, I suggest the most expensive items. Thanks to Taron for this tip!

Offsite surfing - There is a really easy way to safely surf the web when you are not on Neopets. Logout of the site, then clear your cache and cookies. This erases the information that is stored in your cookies. Try not to go onto shady or so-called "unsafe" sites that might leave you with trojans or keyloggers. You should also clear both a few times if you think your account is being accessed by others. This not only keeps your account safe but is also ensures a healthy computer!

Image Servers - Most people who have custom made petpages, lookups, galleries, or shops use some sort of image server, even if you have a premade. Some of the common ones allow you to create an account to keep track of your images. I will say now that I am against these servers. If you can delete and change your images, so can other people. I had such an account and it was broken into and the images changed to inappropriate ones. Better that you cannot even change them, than to compromise your account. Also beware of premades. Not everyone is cruel, but if you save the images to a server you feel safe with, that ensures that your account is safe. Just make sure you change the urls in your coding to reflect the changes!

Routinely Scan - Periodically, you should scan your computer for viruses or any other harmful programs that may compromise your computer and/or account. This also keeps your computer healthy!


And most importantly, THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!



If you have any corrections, additions, suggestion, or comments please neomail me!

Link to me?



Aaron made this button for me!





Here are great ONSITE guides to Neopets!
To add yours neomail me!

Free clickible avatar help









Heads Up! You're about to leave Neopia!

You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of
Neopets.com. We do not control your destination's website,
so its rules, regulations, and Meepit defense systems will be
different! Are you sure you'd like to continue?



It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.
Heads Up! You're about to leave Neopia!

You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of
Neopets.com. We do not control your destination's website,
so its rules, regulations, and Meepit defense systems will be
different! Are you sure you'd like to continue?



It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.
Heads Up! You're about to leave Neopia!

You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of
Neopets.com. We do not control your destination's website,
so its rules, regulations, and Meepit defense systems will be
different! Are you sure you'd like to continue?



It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.
/help/bumper/headers/log-in-to-facebook

NEOPETS, characters, logos, names and all related indicia
are trademarks of Neopets, Inc., © 1999-2014.
® denotes Reg. US Pat. & TM Office. All rights reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | Safety Tips | Contact Us | About Us | Press Kit
Use of this site signifies your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions