As John tells us, the guild was gathering around for another regular and fun day of game play. Things were going fine until all of the sudden one of their guild mates logged on and started acting weird. This was the first sign something was wrong. The second was when the people playing the guild mate's account started demanding gold in return for returning the character to the owner.
The gold sellers effectively held the account hostage until the guild ponnied up the ransom. John doesn't tell us if they complied, so we'll all have to guess. What is interesting here is the tactics employed by the gold spammers. If they are actually doing this, then they have gotten quite desperate in their attempts to get easy and quick gold.
One has to wonder about the legality of this all. If they are stealing property and holding it over a person's head, this is obviously crossing a line that they haven't crossed before. One could imagine a rather interesting law suit out of actions like this (mind you, I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV).
Blizzard has been doing all they can to track and punish gold sellers and those that support their industry. While it takes them a long time to restore characters and items, they do eventually follow through. With that in mind, if this were to ever happen to you or your guild mates, the appropriate course of action would probably be to simply report the incident to the GM and let them deal with it. The last thing any of us needs are these people thinking that this method would be successful.
Has this happened to you? Any horror stories of hacked guild mates accounts being logged on by a gold seller?