Recieved this:

Lum have you taken absolute complete leave of your senses? Are you taking lessons from Dr. Twister? The coverage you gave the story about OSI returning accounts to the original owner was completely biased and I cannot even BELIEVE you posted all those rants by the psuedo-lawyers that came out of the woodwork by the thousands on this one.

First off, not one of these “lawyers” bothered to call OSI and see what the actual story was. A close friend (real life friend — not just online) did call as he had bought an ebay account and was concerned. OSI told him his account was not in danger as he had bothered to change the cc info, the user info and the password — in short, all the info that can be changed was changed. They said this type of thing had been going on since accounts started being sold on ebay and that they are not in the habit of just turning accounts back over to the original owner. They went on to say that in this case, while they could not comment on in particular, chances are that the person who took over the account did not bother to change the cc or user info. If that person only changed the PW then yes, they would turn the account back over to the original owner after investigating it.

Now I don’t know exactly what was changed on the account and neither do any of this idiot lawyers. And that is the point here. They are offering legal advice on the basis of posted heresay. No lawyer in their right mind would do such a thing. These people are all blowing smoke out of their asses.

Tanada of Great Lakes didn’t even read the story well enough to realize that no money changed hands and that no one was scammed. This is an argument between former ‘friends’ and an account that never should have changed hands in the first place. I have no idea what his or her credentials are other than being a part of Stratics and the advice may or may not be good if one is scammed — but no one was in this particular instance.

The Smiling Bandit at least read the story well enough to know that no money changed hands — but then s/he goes on to talk about being scammed on ebay. No one here was scammed on ebay — no one. And as far as I know no one has been scammed (in the manner we are speaking about) on ebay.

Then there is the Canadian twit who posted somewhere. Why a Canadian attorney would profess to offer advice about an American situation is beyond me. My parents are both attorneys — one is a tax lawyer and the other a patent lawyer. I live in the Metropolitan DC area. Both my parents are members of the bar in DC, VA and MD — as they should be. THEY CANNOT PRACTICE OUTSIDE OF THESE STATES!!!!! Why? Because they don’t know state law outside of these states. A Canadian attorney cannot practice in America. Why? Because s/he doesn’t know law in America. Furthermore my parents are neither qualified nor willing to offer advice in a matter such as this. Why? Because they are not familiar with the law in this area.

Law is very specialized. One of my friends is an environmental lawyer. He knows a lot about environmental law. If I want to know about a company putting pcbs into the ground water he’s the person I would go to ask about it. I wouldn’t ask him about fraud because he doesn’t know a goddam thing about it. HE would have to find an attorney to represent him in a fraud case. And he wouldn’t offer legal advice based on some person whom he didn’t know posting what may or may not have been a real letter from OSI. He would at least look for hard evidence before he opened his yap. And so should all of these yahoos that wrote in urging people to seek out attorneys and SUE SUE SUE!!!

This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It really is nothing more than an argument between two former friends and none of any of our business. Litigation is expensive, painful, and often not worth the trouble. Attorneys fees are also expensive and while some will expense a little advice without charging you for it that is often the exception and not the rule. Furthermore, unless you really have been stolen from, crap like this just clogs up an already overloaded court system. Do yourself and your readership a favor and quit posting bullshit like this.


A couple of points here.

First off, while the person who sent me the “Help! My Account Was Stolen” letter in fact had nothing to do with eBay, the fact remains that account fraud on eBay is commonplace. Most of what I’ve heard takes place on the Everquest side, probably because it’s the more popular game at the moment and high level EQ accounts go for more money. There have been many instances of folks selling accounts then simply taking them back (and in one case, actually selling the account again). This is a valid issue for discussion.

Tyrant seems to think so, anyway. He’s solicited advice from the public on what policies OSI should set for account transfers.

Second, as for your friend’s situation in particular. Obviously I nor anyone else knows the details of this situation. I simply posted what I recieved. To my eyes, the newsworthy part wasn’t that he was scammed – sadly, scams happen in UO on a daily basis – but that Origin had set an account transfer policy that was, to put it gently, inane.

My policy on posting email like this is to post as much information as I recieve and let you decide. I’m not some godlike filter that can say “He’s right! She’s wrong! So let it be written, so let it be done!”. I’m just a fairly opinionated gamer like yourself. When I post an email like this, it should be obvious that it’s just one side of a story (and I always post the other side when it hits my email). I don’t presume to say how things should be done, I just suggest topics for community conversation.

Except for smurfs, of course. There I do in fact presume to say how things should be done. Well, we all have our character flaws.