A scam is when someone tries to trick another person into giving away their pieces of eight, doubloons, items or account information, generally by tricking them into thinking they will get something back for it. Scamming is a violation of the Terms of Service and may result in a ban.
Types of Puzzle Pirates scams
- Claiming to be staff and asking for passwords to accounts. (Never give out a user name or password to anyone in the game. Neither Grey Havens employees (Developers and Ocean Masters), greeters nor anyone else affiliated with the game will ever ask a player for an account password. An account name is only ever requested when a player wishes to swap two pirates' names and one pirate is on another account, or when a player is making a doubloon purchase. All the same, an account user name should never be mentioned outside of the Puzzle Pirates billing server, a letter if paying by check, or a petition.)
- Advertising websites other than puzzlepirates.com that claim to give free doubloons or PoE to players who log in with their account name and password. These will not grant the player anything, but will instead steal their login details.
- Selling codes to the game that will allow a player to cheat in some way (if such codes existed, it would be considered an exploit).
- Selling used badges other than the Pirate badge (Other badges, once unwrapped cant be traded. Badges that are wrapped may be traded at any time).
- Offering to buy or sell some item, but promising to pay or give the item later instead of placing the PoE or item in the trade interface. (All trades should be executed solely through the trading interface. Using any other method is unnecessary and extremely risky.)
- Asking for money to order some item, and then not giving the item to the player being scammed. (Note that this is technically a loan, which is not enforceable within the game.)
- Offering high wages in Shoppes/Stalls for labor types that will not be used (An example: Basic: 15, Skilled 20, Expert 1000, when Expert labor is not being used. This is in an attempt to get players to take a job with them for lower wages than normal.)
- "Trapping" players in shacks using furniture that blocks the door, then demanding PoE or Doubloons to let them out. (Players can exit a building at any time by using the mini-map, the "Go home" button, the yellow portal arrow by the door, or just by closing the window.)
Not a scam
In May 2006, Three Rings did a promotional campaign to encourage former players to come back to the game by sending out emails promising a 1000 PoE bonus. Many players found this very suspicious since the mails were sent from the address PuzzlePirates@mail136.subscribermail.com, but it has been confirmed as legitimate by OMs on the forums. The emails were sent out by another company on behalf of Three Rings.
What a player should do if they have been scammed
Each scam requires a different course of action. If a player is asking for an account name/password, or if they are trying to sell any type of 'cheat' for the game, they should immediately be reported with /complain and a petition should be also be sent. If the person is trying to sell an item that cannot be sold (most types of badges, except pirate badge), or offering a familiar for a very low price or some other rare item for low prices, players should tell them to stop, and send in a complaint. Most scams can be resolved by a /complain or petition. New players (greenies) can also ask a greeter for advice (Click the Ye tab, then Help, then "Talk to a Greeter"). Greeters can help new pirates with the course of action to take, but cannot enforce any rules on their own.
What to do if witnessing a scam
If a player is attempting to scam other players (i.e., one who keeps trying to sell something despite being told it's not possible), file a complaint immediately. If they don't seem to be getting the hint that their actions are not allowed by the game, it can be followed up with a blackspot (if possible).
Some shoppes or stalls may offer deceiving wages in attempt to get workers. Some establishments may offer high wages in a category (usually Expert) but make it so it is impossible to order any items that use the labor. Really obvious scams will use absurdly high wages, say, over 1000 PoE, but if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The type of labor at a certain stall or shoppe being used can be approximated by checking what items are available for sale, but that does not guarantee that a different kind of labor will or will not be used in the future.