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Buying gold is not a victimless crime

Amanda Dean
June 6, 2008
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For many reasons I've never felt compelled to buy gold or pay for leveling on World of Warcraft. So I had no idea how the process worked. We got a tip from Kyron of Andorhal about a friend whose account was hacked. In addition to having all of his gear and gold stripped from his characters, he had 2 emails in the inbox for cheap items that he'd purchased off the auction house that the hacker had purchased for 500 gold a piece.

They recorded the name of the seller from the auction house and confronted him when he next came online. It turns out that person wasn't a gold seller but a gold buyer. He'd been told to put Coarse Thread on the AH at the 500 gold rate and would receive his gold when the hacker purchased the ridiculously priced item.

I didn't know how gold-buying worked, but this sounds like a way to exchange gold easily. This is something that blizzard could check into pretty easily. While sometimes players make strange prices in order to dupe would-be buyers, something like Coarse Thread would go unnoticed because most players wouldn't look for such items on the auction house.

If you're buying gold, you know that it is in violation of the terms of use. Keep in mind though, that the gold you're buying is probably not being purchased legitimately. Blizzard warns that people who buy gold and pay for leveling services are more likely to get keylogged. But also keep in mind that your gold purchase is most likely going to come at the cost of a bystander's labor. You are paying real money for something that has been stolen. While it may be exciting to get your shiny new gold, someone out there is going to get hurt, and you may very well get banned.

There are legitimate ways to make money in the game. If you don't want to put the time and effort into raising funds for your epic flying skill, or other pricy purchases, full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.

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