Saturday, August 13, 2016

What is and Isn't a Scam?

Hey guys! It's Agent Ladybug here. I have been thinking about this a lot. 
What isn't considered a scam in Animal Jam?
I have a few examples of things people do that can be mistaken as a scam, but isn't.
So, let's talk about them!

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS A SCAM?
Now, there isn't an official definition on what scamming is in Animal Jam, but it's basically "Tricking people into giving you items by making them believe they will get free items". Some people say that falling for an obvious one isn't, but I would beg to differ, considering how gullible some people in the community are. (I'm not saying everyone is, but everyone can agree that there are a select few who seem to get scammed every other day.) Now that we know what a scam is, let's go into what isn't.

#1. BEGGING
This one's a classic. Everyone has seen someone say "Trade me I'm poor", "Plz gift me unwanted", "Plz trade me I'm new", and so on, and so forth. This is usually considered begging, however, there is an exception to this.
If someone says that they are poor, or new, and they aren't, then it can be considered a scam.
Once, I saw someone that said to give them rares because they didn't have one.
I checked the 'animals' tab on their card, and they had an arctic wolf that had a purple short wrist, a purple rare bow and arrows, and a flower crown on. THAT can be considered a scam. Same with the 'I got scammed' or "I got hacked' people.

#2. LURING
This isn't a very widely used term, but I've had it happen to me once.
Once, I was asking for attempts for some spaceship walls I got. Someone traded me a pink long. Back then, I used a blog that was over 5 years old for my item values, so I thought it was fair, and I accepted. This was back when the 'two step' trading system was still pretty new, so they declined and started calling me a scammer.
If you trade someone an overtrade, and they accept, it's not a scam.
Again, someone who scams tries to trick you into giving items by promising for a free item in return. That wasn't me tricking him into giving me a free item. that was him tricking me into trying to accept an overtrade and then getting mad about it. It's not a scam. It's just accepting an overtrade, like most of the community would do.

#3. NOT ACCEPTING
"Trade me, I don't accept!"
You probably had heard of this. THAT is a scam.
However, if you ask for someone to accept an offer for an item, and they refuse to accept the trade, it's not. Especially if the trade is unfair.
Somewhere in the rules of Animal Jam, it specifically states that you 'should never feel bad about keeping your items'. If someone says they are going to report you for not accepting a trade, then just disregard them, and block them. 
(Also, it says so right here: Click here : You should give this a read)

#4. HACKING
This should be a no-brainer, but it's not. I've heard people call getting hacked getting scammed. It's really not.

#5. TROLLING
Ah, trolling. One of the most common things giveaways are, being tied with scams. Trolling, while being a jerk move, is not scamming. No items are taken if it's trolling. If items are, then it's scamming.

WHAT IS ACTUALLY A SCAM?

There is always a bit of controversy about what is a scam as well.

#1. A FAILED SCAM
Even if someone failed at scamming, it is still a scam. If their intention was to take your items, then it is a scam.

#2. GETTING ITEMS BACK
Now, this is a tricky subject. If you get scammed, but the scammer gives the item back, it's still a scam. 
However, the scammer should be let off the hook until they scam again, if they do at all.
Also, if they were just pretending for a troll, it's not a scam, but you should definitely keep a close eye on them.
BUT, if they were doing it for a video, then it would most likely be seen as an attempted scam.
I once had someone scam me, give me my items back, and say that they were doing it to show the dangers of scamming.
If you really want to show the dangers, then show proof of an actual scammer, or just lecture people about it. 

#1. ITEMS IN EXCHANGE FOR REAL THINGS
This is the main topic of this section. If you are promised a membership, real money, real items, or anything else in return for in-game items, it is a scam, and it is against the Animal Jam rules even if it isn't.
All "Real items" Include anything that isn't exclusively in Animal Jam, even if it is a code, a bought toy item (not including the code items in the game itself), or online currency, especially if it's for a different website than AJ itself. (For instance, The points on Deviantart)
If they don't give you the Real Items, it's a scam, and if they do, it's still against the rules. To further worsen things, if you actually want to go through with getting real items for AJ stuff, you might get in trouble along with the seller. It's not worth it.

WHAT IS A HACKING INCIDENT?

Let's talk about hacking now.
Hacking is very controversial, but it is usually defined similarly to "An incident where someone gets into someone's account and steals their items by using a password leak, a site or program, or just figuring out the password". Some people consider very odd things to be hacking incidents.

#1. SOMEONE CHANGING A FEATURE
This is an odd one, but let me explain.
This is talking about if your looks are changed, your dens are changed, your pets or animals are deleted, your chatting abilities are changed (If someone changes you from free chat to restricted chat) or if your account is used by someone else, WITHOUT THEM TAKING ANY ITEMS.
If someone does any of these, and they didn't take or change one item, then it is not an incident of hacking. In other words, if your inventory is left untouched, without anything traded, gifted, or stolen away, then you are fine. However, you should still change your password, especially if you don't know who did it. It might lead to your items getting hacked later. If someone changes your chat settings, then change the password to your parent account. If someone has your email, then they can access every account on it, they can change the passwords, they can see your billing, login, and discipline histories, they can change your language, and, the worst, they can disable gifting, trading, your jammer wall privileges, and they can disable your accounts (making them unable to be accessed unless you turn it on again), they can reset your password, and they can also change your parent email so they are in full control.

#2. IF SOMEONE TRIED TO ACCESS YOUR ACCOUNT
If someone tried to get into your account, but failed, it's not a hacking either. You should change your password, but it isn't much to worry about. If the security question pops up, I still wouldn't worry about it too much, because AJ randomly asks you a security question sometimes. 

#2. IF AN UNRARE ITEM IS TAKEN
This is a very controversial one. If someone goes into your account and only recycles or steals unrare items (items that are bought from stores) It's not a hacking. However, if this does happen, and I cannot stress this enough, Change your password immediately.  This means someone has full control of your account, and might hack it. It is dangerous to leave your account alone if this happens.

#3. IF YOU GIVE THEM THE PASSWORD.
This might be the most controversial topic when it comes to hacking. If you gave someone your password, in most cases, it is not hacking. Even if it is your best friend, you should never give your password to someone else, and be very careful about it. I have a friend who always made Animal Jam accounts at my house, since she didn't have a laptop at the time, and she would always write her password on sticky notes. I have found every one of them, and I threw them away, but now I know her passwords since her passwords were so easy to remember.
The point is, you should always hide your passwords when you make them, and only tell a trusted adult about them, if you tell anyone at all. You should also make your passwords hard to guess, and use a different password for every account.
Again, never think you are hacked if you tell people the password. That's just called trusting people too easily.
But, when someone promises you an item in return for your password, then it can be considered hacking, as well as possibly scamming. However, you should know better than to fall for these.

#4. IF THEY GIVE YOU AN ITEM INSTEAD OF TAKING ITEMS
Why would you get someone in trouble for being nice? If someone finds out your password, gets in your account, and gives you a free item or free gems, it's not a hacking. However, you should change your password, since it might be a hacker trying to give you a false sense of security, or your password might have been leaked, and someone who was nice saw it.

WHAT IS ACTUALLY HACKING?

Hacking is also a bit controversial in this field.

#1. IF SOMEONE FINDS OUT YOUR PASSWORD
in most cases, this isn't a hacking, however, in Animal Jam, I would say it is. Being hacked like this is still having your items taken away without your consent, so I would say so.

#2. IF  SOMEONE FINDS YOUR PASSWORD FROM ANOTHER ACCOUNT.
You should never use the same password for every account. If you do, you might get hacked on one, then get hacked on your others. While this is partly the account owner's fault, I would still call it a hacking. 

#3. IF YOUR PASSWORD IS LEAKED OR DECODED
For no reason, it seems people don't think this is hacking.
If someone finds out your password, and leaks it to the internet, then yes, it is hacking.
If someone uses a program or a site to decode your password, it is hacking.
While both of these events are rare, it is a definite possibility that it could happen. As I type this, it could happen in 2 hours and no one would know until the hacker released the leak or program.

#4. IF SOMEONE FORCES YOU TO TELL THE PASSWORD
Blackmail. Cruel, cruel blackmail. 
If no one knows, bullying someone into telling them your password is blackmail, or "when someone says that they will release private information if you don't comply with their demands." In the real world, it's illegal, in Animal Jam, it's against the rules. If someone tells you to give them your password in return for not spilling information, tell Animal Jam, even if they say not to. Most people who do this are little kids who just want to scare you and usually don't have the information. 

That concludes this important post! Remember, if you don't want to get scammed or hacked, you can click the "About scamming" and the "About hacking" tabs that are on this very blog, or you can click these useful links to the official AJ team telling you about it!





Remember to read the rules! Happy Jamming, and stay safe!

-Agent Ladybug (Who just had to tell someone that nothing in my den was for sale nearly five times)







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