Eve Online – One of the Largest Scams Ever pulled in a MMORPG

What Is Eve Online?

EVE is a massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) set in a science-fiction based, persistent world. Players take the role of spaceship pilots seeking fame, fortune, and adventure in a huge, complex, exciting, and sometimes hostile galaxy.

The Scam:

The following story covers one of most beautifully executed in-game scams in a MMORPG ever pulled. It breaks all previous world records for ‘virtual crime’.

In Eve Online, developers try to give their players as much freedom as possible, politics and espionage have become a part of the game.

The perpetrator of the heist was the Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) corporation (a corporation being similar to a clan in Eve); a freelance mercenary outfit who offers their services (which usually involves corp infiltration, theft and assassination) to the highest bidder. Over a year in planning, the GHSC infilitrated their target’s corporation with their own members and gained their trust, as well as access to the corp hangers. It all concluded in a perfectly timed climax, with a massive theft in multiple corp hangars synchronised with the in-game killing of the corporation’s CEO, the primary target of the contract.

What’s most interesting and impressive about this operation is that it was entirely ‘legal’ and within the game’s own rules, and the mastermind and his agents pulled it off together flawlessly, all the while staying in character. The estimated real-life value of the items stolen is, according to PC Gamer, $16,500 US. The in-game value of course is much, much higher as the things stolen would take years and years to aquire.

The following article was published in September 2005 PC Gamer and is a really good read. It goes into great detail about the scam and all involved. Here are the scans:

September 2005 PC Gamer Scans

Eve September 2005 PC Gamer Scans

Eve September 2005 PC Gamer Scans

Eve September 2005 PC Gamer Scans

Eve September 2005 PC Gamer Scans

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Eve Online Scammers Guide


[1] Introduction

[2] The Tricks

[3] Scenarios

[4] Social Engineering


[1] Introduction

When a person thinks of scamming, they think of deception; however in today’s EVE, most scams have already been tried out/done before, thus being convincing and sincere is what helps drives the most successful EVE scammers.

All of these conversations are based off of the Payout Scam, a guide on that will be posted later.


[2] The Tricks

The trick here is to convince others that what you are saying is true, thus being persistent and wordy can pay off; even on the most stubborn cookies.

1) Be prepared, have your photoshop open; have your game in windowed mode, have pre-fabricated
screenshots ready so you can just insert a timestamp.

2) Details, details, details; it’s good to put time into your pre-fab pictures, because these people are persistent.

3) Calm and collect; the two greatest virtues ever.

[3] Scenarios

Let’s take this into various scenarios, with the answers/responses below it.


Scenario A.


(The gullible person)

Victim – hi

You – Hello, how are you doing?

(Always be courteous and welcoming)

Victim – are you doing the offer still?

(This shows that the person believes what you are saying)

You – Yes I am, any amount of ISK sent will be doubled, and if you break the record (X amount) you will get 4x the ISK; please note it is one time per person.

(It’s good to have the one time per person thing; I find it helps increase the odds of getting larger funds)

Victim – okay, ISK sent

(Depending on how much they send, you can either take it or you can pay out; typically if it is a low amount (In this case I will make it 1,000,000 ISK) I will pay out, and offer them a chance to pay again for a higher amount, remember earn trust of the low-paying majority is key, however 10m up in some cases is keeper amount; however there have been times when I would pay 100m out.)

You – Okay, one moment

You – 2m ISK sent

Victim – wow thanks

You – Wait

Victim- ?

You – Tell you what, that was a really low number; I will give you an exclusive offer, so you can get more, I will give you a chance to send whatever amount, and I will double it, and as before; if you break the record of (X amount), I will 4x it, but this is your last one.

(It’s good to reinstate it, to show that you’re sincere and professional)

Victim – well… okay…

(Typically the person will send more than before, if it’s,the same amount, you can choose to take it or pay out, if it’s a small amount, paying out is the best option. In this scenario we will say he sent more.)

You – Alright, I am waiting

Victim – Sent 10 Million

You – Alright, let me check

Victim – K

(You can either choose to close the convo screen or you can continue; it really depends if you want hate mail or not.)

(Close convo screen )

Scenario B.

(The rebellious)

Victim- lol, are you serious?

You- About?

(This is a good idea to just use “?”, so it implies that you have no idea what they’re talking about, thus proclaiming innocence)

Victim- do people really fall for this scam?

You- I am sorry, I didn’t know it was a scam to pay people out…

(Play along on this comment, and this proclaims innocence)

Victim- yeh, you pay people out as your cronies or you just payout the lower payers, but you take the higher payers

You- Sorry mate, but for your information I have payed everyone out (and if there are people in Jita who are saying otherwise, say that didn’t pay you), the people in local are just trying to rip me off

Victim- yeh sure lol

You- Tell you what

You- You can try me out, however the same one time per person rule applies to you, but if I don’t pay; you can spam in Jita to your heart’s content.

(The spam to your heart’s content is a reverse bluff, because typically they won’t do it; if they do, you can claim photoshop)

Victim- lol nice try

You- Look, if you aren’t going to try me out, you really have no say in this matter whatsoever

(If you play them down like this, it should strike their curiosity)

Victim- (Will either respond to prove that you’re legit, that’s where the previous transactions with your alt who is the ‘record payer’ is taken in a screenshot from that person when you bring them in the channel or they will say “ISK sent” or they will say “No nice try”)

(If they ask for proof) – Bring your alt in to the conversation, it’s important that you act differently on your alt, be impatient and not too wordy/grammatical, and post the screenshot, also be quick/slow on the chat between you, your alt, and the person; just mix it up a bit. Be convincing, calm and collect; and you will come to one of the two scenarios, but remember keep trying and question/solve why they are suspicious, put yourself in their shoes.

(If they send ISK)- Depending on the amount sent, you can either take it or payout and offer for one more chance at the ‘deal’.

(If they say no)- Don’t reveal yourself, because they can use that in an SS; just close the convo window.

Scenario C.

(Requires an Alt or Cronies)

(The Disturbers)

You- Hello, How are you?

Victim- What do you want?

You- You are saying in chat that I am scammer, may I ask if you have evidence to prove this?

(It’s good to be straight up with the person to confront their initial fear)

Victim- It’s obvious you’re scamming, no need to…

You- Tell you what

You- You can try me out, and you can SS the WHOLE thing.

Victim- Why would I do that when I know you’re scamming?

You- Well, I do have a few people online whom I sent ISK to, I can bring one of them in if you want.

(The person is your alt or cronie, it’s good if they ‘sent’ more than 300m ISK)

Victim- Who is it?

You- NAME (don’t forget to link him/her)

You- He/She broke the record of ISK sent with (in this case we will use 400m) 400m ISK, and I sent her 1.6b.

Victim- How do I know she’s not an alt?

You- Well, trust is a limited thing on EVE, I trust that you do not believe so, besides I have others to back me up; and if that’s the case, how many alts do I have, like 20?

Victim- Well… fine, let me talk to her/him

You- Okay one moment, let me invite her

(It’s important to wait a minute or so – accept the invite, so it isn’t like you’re alt-tabbing to accept)

Alt- What?

You- Hey man, didn’t I send you 1.6b earlier today for you breaking the record?

(Now, when your alt talks, you want him or her to be talking as a different personality, i.e. if your main talks with correct punctuation and is rather timid; you want your alt to type with improper punctuation/grammar and is rather quick/impatient, so on and so forth)

Alt- yeh why?

Victim- Well… I wanted to do what (YOU) are offering but I am skeptical of a scam

You- I will let you two talk about this, I am going to grab a drink

(Do this so your alt and the victim can talk without you having to alt-tab)

Alt- yeh she sent me the isk, i mean how much aer you sending?

Victim- I want to break the record you set, so maybe 500 or 700m

Alt- if i had more money to send i would send it but i dont

Alt- If i were you, i would go with it

(It’s good to reinforce your intentions with your alt without being too suspicious)

You- Back!

(Now that you’ve made your point with your alt, it is time for your alts exit)

Alt- okay can i go now? I have stuff to do

You- o/

Victim- yeh

(Alt leaves)

You- So have you decided?

Victim- (Will either respond to prove that you’re legit, that’s where the previous transactions with your alt who is the ‘record payer’ is taken in a screenshot from that person when you bring them in the channel or they will say “ISK sent” or they will say “No nice try”)

(If they ask for more proof) – Bring your other alt or bring one of your cronies in to the conversation, it’s important that you act differently on your alt, be impatient and not too wordy/grammatical, and post the screenshot, also be quick/slow on the chat between you, your alt, and the person; just mix it up a bit. Be convincing, calm
and collect; and you will come to one of the two scenarios, but remember keep trying and question/solve why they are suspicious, put yourself in their shoes.

(If they send ISK)- Depending on the amount sent, you can either take it or payout and offer for one more chance at the ‘deal’.

(If they say no)- Don’t reveal yourself, just keep trying by rinsing and repeating the whole ‘bring a person in’ which can be another alt or another one of your cronies.


[4] Social Engineering

Quoting from:
Social Engineering (Security) – Wikipedia, edited for EVE uses.

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.
While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose
of information gathering, fraud or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face
with the victim.

How this applies to us EVE Online scammers is that we want to earn the trust of our victims and for them to invest
in our scam.


Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a targeted victim to
release information or perform an action and is typically done over the telephone. It is more than a simple lie as
it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g. for
impersonation: fake convo, fake wallet screens, etc) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target.

“Preparation is key, for that results in success”

This technique is often used to trick a corporation into providing you with a higher rank. The information can then
be used to establish even greater legitimacy under tougher questioning with a manager (e.g., to make certain transactions,
access to the corp vault, etc).

Pretexting can also be used to impersonate corp members, alliance members, investors, conversations or transactions – or any other individual/action that could have perceived authority or right-to-know in the mind of the targeted victim.
The pretexter must simply prepare answers to questions that might be asked by the victim. In some cases all that is
needed is a voice that sounds authoritative, an earnest tone, and an ability to think on one’s feet.

Applying Social Engineering

How to perform social engineering in a 2x Ponzi Scheme, you will need:

1) Fake Wallet screenshot

2) Fake Full Screen screenshot

3) An alibi, and/or some cronies/alts

Tricks/Tips for Social Engineering a 2x Ponzi Scheme:

1) Be assertive

2) Be confident

3) Never reveal yourself

4) Have confidants or people that can back you up, ALWAYS!

5) The older your character is, the better

6) As stated before, an alibi on why you’re doing the particular ‘giveaway’


Usually, a Victim will present you with three scenarios:

a) Can I talk to someone who has done a transaction with you?

(Typically the highest donation person will be the target, in other-words, your alt or cronies)

b) Can I see a Full Screenshot?

(You have shown them your wallet only screenshot, and by request, the Fullscreen)

c) Do you have any proof that you’re legit?

(As mentioned before, show them everything you go, remember: “Preparation is key”

Remember the three C’s:

C- Calm

C- Collect

C- Confident

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Eve Online Pirating / scamming, and everything else god has forbidden

This generally means letting other people make money, and you take it away from them the “easy” way, this includes scamming, pirating, gatecamping, etc.


One of my personal favorites. Im not gonna go into details about how I do it, but lets say I didnt exactly mine for that raven of mine. This basically means using the stupidity of others, I will tell you people some old scams though so you might think of your own way:

Selling shuttles for 10 million a piece, selling minerals for ridiculous prices, putting a condor named scorpion in the trade window (they used to look a like), etc.
Scamming is commonly done with alts, but this no longer works because people know alts are being used and won’t buy from them. Scammers can however expect to become outcasts and can expect to no longer be appreciated if this gets known to others. It can definitely be the most profitable thing to do, but it will get you on more blacklists then pirating itself will.

Ore theft:

Now I have to admit prior to making this guide I wanted to know what it was like, so I trained an alt to fly a small basic indy, within 2 days I was on the KOS (kill on sight) lists of at least 3 alliances. This is the most hated profession in the game, it makes about twice the profit mining normally does. You just basically get an indy, sit in 0.5 and grab the unsecured cans of poor miners (they can attack without police response as of yet). Sometimes they will attack you, with a nice explosion as a reward. Can flipping is often done by people in fast ships. You basically steal the ore from a miners can and put it in your own can then run away. That way when the miner goes to take it back they are effectively stealing it from you and will therefore be flagged as a criminal, allowing you to pop them legally!


Now the real forms of pirating would of course be killing miners/npc hunters and camping gates, most people see pirates attacking alliances, but I consider these people to be space vikings not real pirates (m0o for instance). This profession can be among the most profitable around, if you’re lucky (and any good) you can have people ejecting from their battleships to save their pods, and you can collect an easy 30 million from most smart pilots that desire to live. Unlike what most people think pirating is commonly done in 0.1 – 0.4, not 0.0, 0.0 is usually filled with groups of people, this usually ends up in a fleet battle, and not a fast miner holdup. To start the way of pirating described here you used to only need a blackbird, but since the nerf you need a little more, you also need to make sure friends are not to close, and you need to put pressure on people. however blowing them up is not much profit so negotiation is a must.

Corp theft:

Among these are the most famous, hated and richest people in eve. It means betraying friends you’ve been with for months, and often means being hunted to the end of the world. Some examples of these are agent shield (who corptheft after his corp let a corpthief join, dual corptheft). and Fallzone (who stole form the richest corporation at the time).
This is a profession most hated and it will not get you friends, even among pirates. But it will get you immense wealth, after which you can sell your account…

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Eve Online Trade Guide

Trade Runs

A friend of mine used to make 100s of mils a day with trade runs, its useful for new players but I wouldn’t suggest its the best way to make ISK, I haven’t done any recently myself and if anyone can send me some traderuns, i’ll expand this part of the tutorial. For now I can explain the basics:

You need an indy or another ship with descent cargo capacity, find a place where something is sold cheap, then try sell it at a higher price somewhere else, it requires a lot of planning and research and is therefore very time-intensive to start with. But of course there is the autopilot once thats all done.

“exploits”: This used to be a famous one, put up a large sell order for a “low” price, and a buy order (with an alt) somewhere else (a bit far out) once someone bought the stuff cancel the buy order and the money is all yours… This is harder now days though , and finding an item suited for this is difficult on its own.

Eve Online NPC hunting/chaining Guide

NPC hunting/chaining is quite profitable, but you will of course try and take your ability to the max because the the more money you will make. The most important thing here is to know your limits, dont try to take on spawns that are a lot higher then your own ship and ability, if you get killed this will ruin your profits for some time. Its better to take pirates a bit below your ability then take them to high, also chaining will mean they’ll instantly respawn, if you had any difficulty in the original spawn that problem might get duplicated when they spawn right after they die.

Commonly, chaining is the best way for making money, however some rumors say this will be removed in the future, still we will discuss the basics:
First you skim through belts trying to find one that suits your own power, then you’ll have to kill the entire spawn except for one pirate, this should be the weakest one, let him attack you constantly and dont let him get away. At first nothing will happen but after some time (can be anything from 5 minutes to an hour for the first respawn) the whole spawn will respawn, again you kill all but the one circling you, then after that it should respawn faster and faster and faster, until it will be nearly instant (right after you kill one he’ll be back).

You need to experiment what chains suit you and your setup, and sometimes you will have to learn the painful way, but eventually you’ll get good at it, or ask corpmates for advice about your abilities.

Another way would be going to a base, this is hard at first because there can be upto 30 pirates at once, but there usually only a few spawn points, and them spamming one at a time at a slow rate ( this rate cannot be increased ).

The biggest prize often comes in the loot cans the ships drop, but can also be their bountys, usually you alone will be enough to chain, unless you’re going to chain battleship pirates (0.0 space) then you might need a group, i’d also recommend shield transfer arrays for everyone in this case (with 4 medium arrays on one ship you will be invincible compared to the enemys, even if its the heaviest npc battleships). Profits killing NPC’s battleships arnt that high because of the group split, but sometimes the loot is very rewarding. A great way to increase your profits is to train up your salvaging skill and salvage the NPC wrecks. People pay a lot of money for salvaged parts as they are used in the construction of rigs and other special manufactured items.

NPC hunting is profitable but it is risky and knowing your own limits its a must. “exploits”: I wouldnt call it an exploit but officially chaining is one, can’t get banned for it though. Another one is when fighting heavy guristia, hide behind a asteroid, since they’re using missiles the missiles will not hit you, and since guristia like blasters, a big rock can hold them far enough not to use them.

Eve Online Agent Missions Guide

Agent missions at the moment are one of the safest but most boring way to make money. To start you need to climb up from a level 1 agent to a level 2 agent to a level 3 agent. This can take several days. The 3 levels all contain a different difficulty, level 1 is very easy and can with ease be done in frigates, level 2 can be done in frigates but is hard. in level 3 either a battleship or a cruiser and industrial are a must. Of course each level up will give bigger rewards.

An agents effective quality will show the height of its rewards, this can be raised by standing and by certain social skills (so can the standing with the connection skill by the way). I’d say agents are for people that like to watch television while playing and cant find a good belt to mine in, and for people that are starting the game and need their first frigate to cruiser and wish to do this solo. There are 2 different classes of agents, Research and development and regular agents.

Research and development agents will only give out rare blueprints, and are based purely on luck, no matter what you do, it will always be a lottery, I myself have had an agent for nearly 180 days and still nothing, others had 3 blueprints in a row. If you manage to get a blueprint you can make several (im serious) billions selling these items overpriced (but heck you’re nearly the only one with the print…). I’d recommend people get 1 RD agent for the sake of it, but its not a reliable way of making money. Oh yeah, and to increase the amount of Research points (RP) you dont have to do anything, but by doing missions you can sometimes double or triple the daily amount (get 200 instead of 100 once).

Regular agents: They are also based on luck, and the only big profit to be made with them is by selling the basic implants (whom give a +3 to a certain attribute) for 12 – 15 million a pop. If you’re lucky you can get one every 10 missions, I think the average is about 30 missions. but again this is based on pure luck, you can only get implants during important missions, which are pretty rare. You need a level 3 agent with 6.0 standing (at least) to get implants though. So dont expect to start of with them as it requires some work.

The rewards per missions are around 150.000 isk a pop, which is not much so I wouldn’t go for that. There are tech 2 building components to get and sell though. I have no idea how much this can make you extra per hour but it doesnt exceed mining or NPC hunting unless you’re lucky (this is what agents are based on though).

You can direct the type of missions you’ll get a bit by picking the right corporations and the right part of this corp. For example, security in Caldari navy will likely get you fighting missions. However you will still get some gun shipments, so keep that indy ready.

Now here comes the “exploit” bit – It used to be possible to stack say a million minerals and get a mineral agent, cancel the other missions and only pick missions that require the mineral you already have. Just click yes and you’re done, a friend of mine made 150 mil a night in the past with this. Its has been removed in the recent editions of EVE though i’m afraid. However theres still other ways of making more money then designed, what I do for example is have 3 level 3 agent in the same station, so you can complete three missions at a time, where others only complete one.

Eve Online Mining Guide

Mining is the most basic, and ancient way of making money in EVE. It basicly means getting a frigate, cruiser or battleship and fitting mining lasers on them. Mining is done frequently by havign a few miners in asteroid belts (which are found in nearly every system) fill up cans, and then have industrial class ships pick up the ore left in the “jetison cans”, this can also be done in secure cans, however they only anchor in less secure systems. The reason secure cans are being used is because of the fear of ore thieves! They’re people in industrial ships that will come to your cans and take the stuff in them, they cannot be shot or they will trigger concord (=police) responce. Usually the best mining ships are the ships with most gun slots (=most miners).

Frigates: The race here doesnt matter, usually frigate pilots will mine solo, therefore cargohold would be nice to have. for example, bantam, probe, imicus.

Cruiser: If you have time and money to spare for the skill i’d recommend getting the thorax, this ships got 2000 m3 drone space and 5 turret slots, so defence and mining capability are at its best with drones and 5 lasers here, a vexor or maller would be second choise, below that most ships will have near equal mining ability.

Battleships: most battleships have enough turret slots to be a pretty good miner (tempest and domi = 6, arma and mega = 7, apoc = 8 ) drone bays on these ships are all enough to keep defence at nominal levels. The best ship is offcourse the apoc, but the 1 or 2 more slots its got only insure a 12.5 or 25% higher yield, which with skills isnt that much of a diffrence (especially if its the first battleship id recommend the armageddon since its half the price).

Mining can of course be done in diffrent areas, between: 1.0 – 0.9, 0.8 – 0.5, 0.4 – 0.1, 0.0. Of course different locations have different minerals available, but as a general overview(One or 2 minerals will be missing in each area because of the location/region the belt is located – Profits are considering 1 indy and 1 battleship, solo):

1.0 – 0.9: These are some of the worst areas to mine in, these are often very close to general traveling routes and will be mine by hordes of people and stripmined by mega corperations. They will contain scordite and veldspar most of the time. also there are no pirates. Expect serveral millions per hour.

0.8 – 0.5: These belts are often mined out unless you find one out of the normal routes people have, I found a few totally unmined, this can be profitable. Common minerals are veldspar, pyrox, scordite, plagio, and in the lower security levels also omber (0.7) and kernite (0.5). Expect a few frigate pirates, but nothing drones cant handle. Also player pirates are not to be found in these sectors. Profits are again serveral millions per hour, yet more then 0.9 and 1.0, but at a slightly higher risk.

0.4 – 0.1: STAY OUT OF HERE unless in rather large groups, in my opinion this is the domain of the real player pirates, expect to find decent ore, cruiser NPC pirates, but worst of all player pirates, these are people usually working in groups of 3 or more, they will first come in with one of them, he will scan you, by this time you should already be at a station or even docked! If you plan to mine here, in any kind of group smaller than your whole corperation watch local with your life. Profit can be around 2 – 3 mil per hour per person if its mined correctly. However against the risks I suggest going back to 0.5 – 0.8 for more profit. If you know how to escape properly you can stay here. There are however sentry guns at the stations so you’re safe there.

0.0: lawless space, no sentrys, a players will is the law here. You can be killed without any security hit. However in my experience as long as the refinery and your mining spot are close to eachother there is not that much risk from players compared to immense rewards. Expect 10 – 20 million per hour or sometimes even more. The NPC’s are very powerfull and 1 or 2 battleship sized defenders are a must (or park your own tanked battleship in a safespot).

If you’re on your own i’d reccoment ninja mining, which basicly means, get a ship that can run properly. Park an indy at a safespot in the system, and mine in the ship untill you see pirates. Once you see them, run to a moon or your safespot. Wait for about 10 minutes till your scanners clear and go back. Once the can contains about the amount your indy can carry get ur indy out of its safespot and make it grab the stuff also bookmarking your mining roid is a good idea so you wont have to travel much.

My own favorite: 0.0 space, if you’re in a good allience, have a good group and dont have 2 many player pirates around this is the number one way to make money, however its only for the people with nerves of steel and people that live with the knowledge they could lose a ship daily.

For anyone that does not have this and people that are simply not ready for it yet i’d recommend 0.8 – 0.5, that is if you can find a descent system.

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