I was standing around at the G.E. today, fletching a few bows and trying to get my weekly shattered heart stones when I ran into yet another one. You guessed it, a scammer. Ever since the return of free trade, they're all over the place. Here's this guy shouting, "Doubling money, 100% legit!" and hoping some poor, anxious fool will fall for it. Well, I pretended to be that fool. I went over and showed him a few mil and asked if he could double it. Boy did that get him salivating. Of course, I wasn't going to simply trust him with 10m without a test first. I handed him 50k instead, and, of course, he doubled it hoping that it would be enough to convince me to commit the full amount. I took the 100k and walked away, leaving him furious.
Ah, nothing like beating the con artists at their own game.
I soon found myself browsing over my old "Unpopular Scams" file, which I used to post as a warning on several of the Runescape Forums groups I used to moderate for. What's amazing is how many of these still work and are being reused in some form or another and which ones have died thanks to some well thought out updates.
The doubling money scam is just another form of the good ‘ole trust game. They get you to give them something to prove you "trust" them only to have them log out. Seriously, why in the world would you trust these people?
There's still some con-men trying to impersonate Jagex mods or trick you into saying your password backwards. That never went out. Now, after they steal your account, it's even easier for them to transfer your goods to their account.
The key loggers containing bots and fake item duper programs are still around. The number of people who got "hacked" when free trade first came out is a testament to that. The scammers were just waiting for the opportunity to really clean people out. Those things will likely never go away.
The armor trimming scammers are still at it, but not as much as before. Most players have learned about and avoided falling for this scam, especially since Jagex has posted a log in warning about it.
Luring is back in full force. It's amazing some of the excuses they can come up with to trick people into bringing expensive items out into the wilderness. One of the most popular is, "Bring your whip into the wilderness and I'll make a video and pay you 4 dragon long swords for it.” The victim gets out there, is handed 4 noted long swords, and is promptly killed. Since the long sword’s high alchemy value is greater than the alchemy value of the whip, even if the player item protects, he'll lose his much more expensive whip. Oops...
I've seen a few instances of the double team returning but it's not as popular anymore. It used to be someone would stand in the middle of Falador or Ardounge saying, "Buying ___ for ____." Now of course the item was something most people rarely banked or had on hand and he was offering far more than it was actually worth. You get to the local bank, and low and behold, there's someone selling the item at half what the other guy is buying it for. You snatch up the item from the seller hoping to sell it to the first guy for a tidy profit only to find he's no longer there or simply refusing to pay, leaving you with an overpriced piece of junk. These days, most people know better than to fall for this and simply tell the first fellow to go check the G.E.
Jagex did an excellent job of shutting down some of the old scams. The Doomsayers warnings when you enter a cave about needing a light source and tinderbox have prevented many newer people from falling for the old Lumbridge swamp or Mole tunnel lure. The addition of gravestones also made that non-profitable to the con artist since you could usually get your items back in time. The gravestones and removal of the door at the Zamorak wine temple had a similar outcome on that lure too.
The free gem cutting scam went away with the introduction of assisting as well. That was a great idea on Jagex’s part, as well as the addition of the trade screen updates. Those made it far more difficult for people to do the old bait and switch on unsuspecting players. It's hard not to notice when they swap the item out and the trade value drops drastically.
Now, it's just a matter of getting the word out about these new incarnations of the oldest scams. As I've always said, "Once there are no longer any potential victims, there won't be any reason for the scammers to try!" Of course, I'll still be out there sounding the warnings and trying to make the tricks a little less profitable for the tricksters. After all, someone has too...
The old saying still applies, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is!"