Anyone playing World of Warcraft knows that in comparison to other MMOs the leveling time is vastly reduced. While getting a character to 60 is not nearly as hard, getting the high-end gear can be just as time consuming as any other game on the market. Even the PvP route now takes a time investment that most players can’t dedicate. The solution for players who want the nice gear, but don’t have the time, is to buy an account. Unfortunately, any time money is involved in an online transaction, so are the fraudsters. This guide will show you how to protect yourself against people whose sole intention is to rip you off.
Account buying is a multi-million dollar business. Regardless of the grief the top level players give to those in game they believe have purchased an account, there’s nothing they can do to stop it. Some guilds will prevent people with purchased accounts from joining, but in reality, most of the high-end accounts already have the best gear you could get anyway. For every guild who would block a player from joining, there are ten who would take them just for the sheer advantage of having an end-game geared player.
If you’ve already decided to take the shortcut of buying an account, there are several factors you need to consider before you hit buy it now, or enter a bid. Is the server active, are there long lines for log in, and for battle grounds? Does the gear on the character equate to the price the seller wants? Is the class in high demand for the type of playing you want to engage in? How far ahead of the playing curve is the players gear (tier 2 vs tier 1)?
Once you’ve found an account you want to purchase, you need to run down the following checklist to protect yourself from fraud. Does the account for sale provide any screen shots to backup their character and item claims? Was the sellers account created a few days before the listing? Does the account come with the discs or the answer to the secret question? Does the seller only accept money orders, cashier’s checks, or wire transfer? Is the seller located in the United States? Has the seller marked the auction as a private? Will the seller provide you a phone number if you ask?
The final process in buying an account you want, is to put as many safeguards as you can in place. It’s very easy for a seller to take back an account from a buyer. There is not a whole lot you can do in a situation like this, as the seller has intended to rip you off from the start, and has planned accordingly. If you prepare yourself to get ripped off from the start, the odds are against the seller getting away with it.
Pay with Paypal. Don’t use a casher’s check, money order, or wire transfer. Once those have been sent, your money is gone. Paypal offers some level of protection for you as a buyer.
Use a credit card in conjunction with your paypal account. On top of the protection from paypal, your credit card company can help you reverse the charges in the case of fraud. If you don’t have a credit card, open a bank account with a visa, or mastercard debit card. These offer the same protections as a credit card. Don’t use a balance funded paypal account. Move the money down to your back account, and force paypal to use your credit card.
Don’t even bother threatening the seller. Just file with paypal, and the credit card company. Emailed threats are of no use, just get your money back the second you try to log on and the password has been changed. You won’t get your money back instantly, but you will get it back.
Turn on the flamethrowers and burn the seller in every way possible. Paypal and your credit card company will both open investigations into the transaction. You can also get your state’s Attorney General, local police, and the FBI involved. It takes you virtually no time, costs you nothing, and everything can be done via email or online forms. While nothing may come of this, in many cases, sellers do get caught and prosecuted.
Keep in mind, if you try to use this guide in reverse and scam a seller, you’ll be committing some pretty serious felonies. Being underage is not going to save you. Credit card companies come down on fraudsters like a ton of bricks. When you move cash around on the internet, it always comes from, and goes to someplace. It’s easier to track than you think it is. Don’t risk it.
Most of the time there is no problem with buying or selling accounts, but there are people out there who’s plan was to rip you off from the start. If you follow this guide, you will get your money back. Between paypal’s protection, and the protection the credit card companies offer, it is almost 100%.