EVE Online's colossal sandbox, it's the tales of criminality and dirty dealings that grab our attention the most. Thefts and scams would be cause for account closure in most MMOs, but they form a legitimate and dark part of the EVE universe. The famous Guiding Hand Social Club heist of 2005, Ricdic's EBank scandal and last year's massive 800 billion ISK Titans4U scam are just a few of the most high-profile thefts and scams to hit the EVE community over the years.
Today the biggest scam ever recorded hit thousands of EVE Online players like a brick in the face, netting a record one trillion ISK in final takings. Proving that old ideas still work, Eddie Lampert and Mordor Exuel pulled off a simple Ponzi scheme on a massive scale. Promising unprecedented returns of 5% per week on invested ISK, the duo convinced over 4,000 players to open accounts in their Phaser Inc. investment scheme. Many initially dubious players were eventually convinced to invest by real testimonials from their friends and corpmates.
Over 1,831.67 billion ISK was invested, 345.18 billion of which was paid out as interest and 452.72 billion of which was withdrawn by wary investors. When the business closed up earlier today its owners collected the remaining 1,034 billion ISK. To put that massive number in perspective, it's enough to buy 2,953 30-day time codes worth a total of $51,677.50.