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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

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Mistletoe

That's rather interesting; I was reading on Tumblr just the other day about someone who had the exact same conversation with someone in a shop and how frustrated she was that this (evidently) bot asked her for Ls immediately after she'd said "As long as you don't ask me for money, it's cool."

Marianne McCann

Ya, I came across one of these at Wasabi Pills while doing FLF the other day. Pretty well-done scripted convo, though.

Angela Kwak

I ran into one 2 days ago at Wasabi Pills. The beginning is the same only she started to tell a story about how she left SL for a man that started to cheat on her with people he knew on Sl. After that story she started to ask for a favor 150 Linden Dollars.

Valentina Huxxely

Yep, This happened to me at Wasabi Pills as well only she started the convo by apologizing for bumping into ME. Then by the end of the annoyingly personal convo she asked me for 50L to upload some photos and then asked if we could be friends.

Now, I have to admit, this bot DID have me fooled at first, but just before I paid her to shut her up and move on, I happened notice that she was over 1000 meters away. How in the world could she have bumped into me from so far away, right? So I logged on my alt a few min later, went to the same store and sure enough I got the same exact message! Clever.... very verrrrry clever!

Pussycat Catnap

This is as obvious as the Nigerian banker thing though...

You have to wonder about people that fall for it.

A relation did reveal she was talking to a nice gentleman from Nigeria who had some financial issues he needed help with. She revealed it when she asked us how to transfer money overseas...

But she (coming from a different side of the family and being suburban) has also stopped us during a walk in the hood because she wanted to ask the nice looking guy who 'just wanted a buddy'. (No, not that kind of bud...)

And she once had an Indian Guru... Who eventually knocked up a couple young ladies who I guess got guru'd too intently...

Which was not long after we'd rescued her from a 'bible camp' that lived in a locked compound...

See where I'm going with this?

I'm not -that- jaded... I'm just not oblivious.

I just have to wonder... who falls for this stuff? Or rather, how do they fall for it?

I think it's established that SL's users are older. And I suspect less tech-savvy than the average modern person (the whole insistence on using the wrong terminology for digital art, for thinking a 10-year old video game is cutting edge, for clinging to UIs as tech advances, for clinging to old specs and outdated info as tech advances, and a number of other things imply such)...

But ya'll done can't just be off the farm now can ya? And even folks on the farm have more wits than this... :P

Arcadia Codesmith

Multiple beggars using variations on the same script implies some level of collusion and organization. It might bear further investigation.

Pussycat Catnap

Or sometimes, when a con works, others quickly adopt it.

tito devinna

you know i believe in the kindness of strangers and all that rot, but seriously people 2 types of players ask for L in sl. beggars/scammers, and escorts. rather than give to the beggars why not just surprise an obvious real noob and slip them some L unsolicited.

Kate Miranda

2 words "ban" and "mute"

Pappy Enoch, Bot-Hunter

Them-there bots am a-givin' beggars a bad name.

I reckons ol' Painless, my chain saw, would make short work o' them rascals.

Turn on the damage, shop owners! I are fo' hire and I aims to cut 'em up! Clothes on special (ladies clothes half off!) and bot-killin' would be quite the draw where I do come from.

Dreamin22 Nitely

Wow, great article, Iris. Happened to me too when exploring the other night at LAQ. I took pity on the person and ended up giving them some Linden. Thinking back on the situation, I should have offered to buy then gift a specific something they needed vs. just handing out the funds. Same way I handle panhandlers asking for money. Live and learn.

Hitomi Tiponi

Clearely it is effective sometimes ....and also could explain why we had a rash of requests in groups a month or two back for people to sell their old unwanted alts (strictly against LL's ToS of course).

Emilly Orr

The annoying thing? Is that we've heard about these types for years, but prior to the last few months, they've actually been just incredibly cheap and scamming for Lindens.

This DOES sound more organized. And what's really killing my brain is how often I've heard this story (without the begging aspects) in various places. Girl meets boy, girl marries boy, boy gets jealous, girl quits SL, girl imports boy to live with her, relationship implodes...so nine times out of ten, she trots herself right back into SL because it's not like she'll get ANOTHER loser, right?

I'm pretty sure no one actually wrote these scripts, just tightened up the stories we hear every day into single-line cons.

Toilettage

What a great article!I really enjoy been a part of you blog.

Wrath

Oh man, I knew I should've copyrighted all my SL pick up lines.... sigh.

Arcadia Codesmith

Uh-oh... the bots are here too.

Mistletoe

Also, just as an aside, "Two-year-old shoeless lump of an avatar" makes a brilliant insult. I shall have to steal it sometime.

Lourdes

"There is a sucker born every minute."

As long as that is the case, they bots and beggin will continue until some way is found to permanently get rid of them. I believe if the scam didn't work they wouldn't be so prevalent. They are showing up more and more at the popular shopping spots. I'm surprised one isn't parked at The Arcade Gatcha.

Cake

Haha, I saw one of those yesterday--she appeared right outside my house window! ...It was kind of weird.

Corcosman Voom

Now, if only some young genius could rig things so that the bots only IM each other...

Pussycat Catnap

On the official forums, an "update" on this scam:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Panhandler-bot-at-Vista-Anims/td-p/1758661

- Note how the OP says the bot claims they're up 75KL in earnings from it, and claims the shopkeep is ok with it... Highly doubtful.

Suggest more shopkeeps put up signs like the one screenshotted here to make it clear.

GasOven

I probably looked like a bot last week in Akeyo. I actually did bump into someone since they hadn't quite rezzed yet and then I sent them an IM and apologized for it. I guess that's why the bots use that as an ice breaker though. It's something any of us could actual do and then feel rude about. That's also a bit of a shame though. Like Iris says, it makes it harder to share with new users. I'll just be giving gifts from the marketplace for sure.

CronoCloud Creeggan

I admit that I fell prey to one, at Sine Wave. As Emilly Orr says, the story rings true in that we've seen it before, only this time it adds the begging element. And here's the thing, I think this scam is smart, because I think it's partly manual. I'm of the opinion that the "bots" are actually somewhat manually driven for the following reasons.

1. They do seem to target avatars that are more likely to have money, and they don't seem to rapidly target lots of avatars at once hat could talk to each other and realize there's a begging bot.

2. they don't ask for large amounts that would trigger our internal scam alarms they keep it to 50 to 150 L$ it seems. That's pocket change to most fashionistas.

3. there are slight differences in their "story", mine used the bumped me tactic, but didn't use the chubby cheek line.

4. The flatterbots are oldbies not day old newbs which is also less likely to trigger our internal scam alarms. The one that got me was 3 years old.

I didn't suspect a scam till the conversation ended and I realized she hadn't actually directly responded to what I said, just said general things that "could" be taken as responses. For example she didn't respond to me asking if she knew about FabFree and giving her the FabFree URL.

I gave her 50L$, I'm a softie who likes helping newbies and makeovers in general.

JJ

While in Truth I was im'd by someone, think they were 2-3 months old, and they had very similar lines to the ones in this article. I replied to two of her comments, then didn't say anything else and she didn't either. I looked on my radar and she wasn't around so I thought the whole bump thing was odd.

Dev Darkbyrd

This happened to me at Vista, I fell into the trap and offered them L's cuz that's my favorite thing to do is newbie makeovers...guess I should hurry and change passwords

shockwave yareach

Detection is simple - ask a question. If you don't get a rational response or the "person" starts a long-winded sob story instead of answering it, just mute them.

Minxy

Yes same thing at Catwa

I hate people - so it got told to poke off and was muted *giggles*

Lindal Kidd

This type of panhandler bot is far from new. I encountered one at Vista Animations maybe three years ago or more. Pretty much the same lines, too.

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