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Confessions of a gold scammer and identity thief

Eliot Lefebvre
01.19.10
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"We have met the enemy and he is us." The player identified as "Patrick" is not the malevolent monstrosity we'd like to see. Nor is he a victim of circumstance, at that. He acts for all the world like a perfectly normal gamer, and if you didn't know he'd scammed between $10,000 and $20,000 in a year of reprehensible behavior, you certainly wouldn't be able to guess. That's what makes a video interview with him, mirrored and annotated at PlayNoEvil and originally recorded by Marcus Eikenberry, so odd on many levels.

The full interview lasts thiry-eight minutes, which makes it a bit long for casual viewing. The article which mirrors the video notes some of the highlights, including when he almost breathlessly exhorts the moment he realized that there was nothing in PayPal's EULA that prevented him from not transferring his EVE Online account to a purchaser on Craigslist.

His rationalizing of the actions include the loss of his job and financial instability, even as he begins the interview explaining how he would scam players in both EVE Online and World of Warcraft for fun. His words are unsettling, but what makes them all the more eerie is the fact that without the foreknowledge... there's no way to tell his voice from any of ours. When you have the time, the whole interview is well worth looking at if you're at all interested in account security and the culture of scammers.

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