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Dreiecksbetrug beim Verkauf von Gaming-Accounts über Kleinanzeigen / Artikelbild: Unsplash

Triangular scam selling game accounts through classified ads

Sellers lose their game account and don’t get any money or buyers don’t get an account and reserve the money back. As often happens, only the third party laughs – here the criminals who steal the game account without paying themselves. Our Watchlist Internet Partners (HERE) to warn.

What is the triangle hoax?

As the name suggests, triangle fraud involves three parties. First of all, there is the person who sells his goods or his account. Second, there is the criminal who wants to steal the goods or the unpaid bill and copies the advertisement for sale and offers it elsewhere. Third, there is the buyer who comes across the copied for sale ad but pays for the original first-person ad.

The person who sells receives the money and sends the merchandise or the gaming account to the criminals. The criminals got what they wanted and took it away. However, the person making the purchase waits in vain for the goods or the account and goes to great lengths to get the money back. There is a lot of hassle and effort for both the seller and the person selling.

The triangle scam in detail

The following graphic explains the process:

The triangle scam looks complicated, but for criminals it is a simple trick – Source: Watchlist Internet, Symbols by Gregor Cresnar / Noun Project
  1. The scammer is looking for a product or an account on classifieds portals. He expresses interest in the honest seller and even announces that he will transfer the amount of the merchandise through PayPal or to the bank account in the next few days.
  2. At the same time, the criminal copies the honest seller’s ad and places the offer on another classifieds platform. The criminal waits until the honest buyer shows up and wants to buy the goods.
  3. The offender gives the buyer the seller’s PayPal account or details. This transfers the money to the seller.
  4. The seller has received the money and therefore sends the merchandise or the account. However, the scammer gave his own address. Then you receive the package with the goods or the message with the data of the account that the honest buyer paid and change the login data. The buyer who paid honestly, on the other hand, waits in vain for the merchandise or the account.

Who gets the damage?

The damage happens to the person who buys, who paid the money but never receives the account, or to the person who sells, if, for example, PayPal was used and, as a result, the money can be reserved again.

But even if the money cannot be returned, the seller may have problems. If the person buying files a police report, the transfer trail leads directly to the person selling.

Recover accounts through support

If you sold a game account and ended up with crooks instead of honest customers, you can try to get the account back through game support. In certain circumstances, the games offer the possibility of recovering hacked or illegally usurped accounts.

What protects against a triangle scam?

Triangle fraud is sometimes particularly difficult to recognize as a fraud. However, the following points can be observed to reduce the chances of falling victim to this type of scam:

  • Compare profile, contact, and payment details: If, for example, the name on the sales profile and the name of the bank or owner of the PayPal account are different, caution is advised.
  • Face to Face Buying and Selling: Impossible is such a scam when the deal is done in a real meeting. In general, this eliminates most scams on classifieds platforms.
  • Be on the lookout for strange delays and excuses in communication: If you encounter criminals in a triangle scam, there may be repeated delays in chatting or making payments. This may be due to the fact that the criminals have to communicate with the seller and the buyer at the same time without the respective parties noticing anything.

Players should also be aware of other scams that our partners at Watchlist Internet here have put together

Font: internet watch list

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