Saturday, June 26, 2004

Currency Trader

Gaming Open Market President Jamie Hale explains recent halts in trading:

Swindler provides a tough lesson learned

Sunday afternoon (June 20), a new client purchased over $3,000 worth of ISK and SWG credits. He nagged us for delivery, and then immediately after receiving the goods, reversed the charges claiming we never delivered. He was making use of a well-known loophole in PayPal's chargeback policy that favours the purchasers of "intangible goods" over the sellers. He explained this to us in an email he sent today. He claims the ISK and credits he stole are "payment" for the lesson he tought us.

This incident has been reported to the FBI Internet Fraud Department, and tomorrow to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We have compiled as much information as possible on this person, including his name, address, phone number, email addresses and the IPs used to log into our site. All of this information will be turned over to the authorities.

Now, the complaints registered with the FBI were two-fold. The first was about this person who scammed us. The second was about PayPal. PayPal's policy rewarding the perpetrators of this type of fraud not only makes it easy, it actually encourages it. Please take this as a lesson learned the hard way. If you deal in any "intangible goods," be it downloaded software, music, documents and data, or game currencies or items, PayPal is not your friend.

We are currently providing as detailed information as possible to the PayPal fraud department, but we're not holding out hope for a favorable settlement. Our PayPal representative has made it very clear that we can provide any evidence we want, but that it doesn't matter - we deal in intangible goods and hence have no rights.

(NOTE: Any employees of CCP or Sony Online Entertainment (or any other game publisher for that matter) are encouraged to contact us. We know we violate your user agreement - we just want this behaviour to stop! It hurts everyone, including your paying clients! I know you have detailed transaction records proving exactly when and where those transactions were made. This information could help get the ball rolling. Linden Lab has worked with this. So can you!)

Now we have always called ourselves a "secure way to trade." By that we mean that we actually provide seller protection because we guaranty delivery. We are holding true to this policy, and absorbing this $3,000 loss. This $3,000 is approximately 70 percent of our profits since January. We didn't build GOM to make us rich. We built it as an experiment in digital world economies, and to provide people like you with a cheaper and more efficient alternative to eBay. We cannot afford to be tought another lesson.

Linden Lab is the only publisher to support our efforts. Second Life business will continue as usual.

Until further notice, all trading in all games except Second Life is halted. All currency you may have on deposit with us will be returned to you at a mutually convenient time. Please request a withdrawal and contact either Tom or myself to schedule it. PayPal withdrawals will also be made on our regular sporadic schedule.

Linden Lab (creators of Second Life) is the only publisher to support our efforts. Second Life business will continue as usual. Please accept my apologies for this delay. Linden Lab has worked with us before on this type of fraud, and we're confident that our future with them will be long, happy and prosperous for all.

Keep yer stick on the ice.

Jamie Hale
President - Gaming Open Market Corp.

Recent currency trades on Gaming Open Market:


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