Thursday, October 18, 2007

Counterfeit Lindens - YOU take the risk.

Alot of people were wondering what happened to Brie... well here is her side of the story... It is ugly...


What Happened to Me:

For those of you that don't know me, my name is Brie, i am owner of XFE-xXx Fantasy Escorts. I have been a sl-escort for about 2 years, and recently had an experience you all should be aware of.

This is a condensed version but the gist of the story:

Met a new client, he hired me 1-2 times a day for a week straight. He then tells me how he has purchased a great deal of linden (300K) to be exact. He tells me the lindens cap the amount he can hold on his avie cause his age, and if he gave me money if i would run him an account. Considering the money he had already spent, I agreed. He gave me money, tips, gifts, payment for services. My ingame partner, Garrold Devax, who also accepted him as a client when i couldnt, received large payments. On monday, 10/18/07, while in game i was logged out by an admin. I have a concerige account, so promptly contacted them, 3hours later find out i am being accused of accepting fraudulent lindens. Garrold was also locked out, didnt take much to connect it to him. 3 days later, after numerous phone calls, emails, and live help chats, my account & Garrolds were both unlocked. While understanding the lindens had to investigate, they took care of us rather quickly, as by all reports i heard from others to expect a week minimum, or more. They allowed me & Garrold account access. THey also TOOK BACK all the linden the client had paid me for services rendered. $110,189 Linden--YES that amount is correct and i will verify that for anyone that needs proof--was removed from my account leaving me a negative account balance of $78,456. Yes Negative. a Minus Balance. Garrold lost $67,000. Now, while i understand linden was doing their job, all the VENDORS that recieved money from him was not investigated, nor made to return the money. Since i had no "tangible" items that were sold (clothes, skins, ect ect) they took away the linden. I found out tonight from one of the owners at Escort Island, one of her girls also was logged out, and put under investigation due to him paying HER large sums of money as well. I understand the lindens have a job to do, but the services i rendered should be just as acceptable as an actual *store merchant*. My job is legal in sl. I am well known, and my business has been in SL for about 20 months now, we have an outstanding reputation for honesty and business integerity.

What this means to you and how to protect yourself:

what this means to you is that being an escort, you are a likely target for these scammers, as you do not offer "tangible goods" in exchange for linden. This also means that if they suspect you, you will be taken out of game, pending an investigation, and your account is subject to the scrunity of an unknown number of lindens...meaning your clients are at risk as well. (even the honest ones). While some of you will simply make a new account and start over, those of us that have taken the time and effort to become well known, respected, and have that *honest* reputation, stand to lose thousands (over 1 million in my case) of invested linden dollars in clothings skins, accessories of the trade, your other business/land ventures. The overall effect is frightening to consider.

How to protect yourself:
IF your approached by an avie that is under 30 days old that offers you large amounts of cash, although tempting, do not accept it.
If your asked to *hold linden* due to new avie status and linden restrictins, DO NOT AGREEE. According to Echo Linden, of the fraud investigation team, there is a cap on how much linden may be purchased by avies under 30 days old, NO RESTRICION on how much they can have in their account. By agreeing to *hold lindens* you are putting yourself in a position to be targeted the same way i was. If you are paid LARGE sums (10K plus) lindens to *run an account" for a client that you recently met, do not agree to this.

** Just as we all know in real life, if it appears to good to be true, it normally is. **

If you log into your sl account from the website, you can download your transaction history. KEEP THESE RECORDS on your hard drive....if your account is locked out you WILL NOT HAVE A WAY TO ACCESS THIS INFO. IF YOUR LOCKED OUT, and you have the records on your hard drive, you can access them quickly to provide the lindens with dates/times/amounts/account names/transaction history.
Keep records of any and all transactions ON YOUR HARD DRIVE that appear to be suspious. If you are given money that is not part of a "client" services, RETURN it. if they pay you again, FILE AN ABUSE REPORT,,,stating the Avies name, ect ect, so there is a RECORD with the lindens to show you didnt activly take part in a deception.

The long story short- if you are an escort, you already work a *morally* unacceptable job in most cultures. Do not give the people that are trying to run us out of second life more amunition. Protect yourself, and all the rest of us that do "an honest hours work for honest pay".
Those of you that simply dont care...do us all a favor and simply find another game to run your scams and rip people off. Don't taint an already tainted profession with shabby work habits and scams.
For the rest of you, Best of luck in your quest to be an excellent sl escort, with honor, integrity, and a decent regard for people and giving value for the money.
Please feel free to IM me if you want/need to know more.

Regards,

Brieanne Bomazi

10 comments:

  1. Oh my God! How terrible!

    Thank you so much for sharing this and Lillie for passing it along! Is there any way that the Linden's will reduce the amount that it says that you owe?

    In a lot of ways, we are consultants. Here is something I have been thinking of a lot lately. Because of SL issues, almost all of the clothing stores that I deal with have switched to a no transfer model. To me, this means that once you have purchased something like that, it is no longer an asset as there is no possibility for resale. There really isn't a difference between the two; both have no value. In our case, it's a real human being on the other end of a computer that has reached out to him or her. In the case of a no transfer item, one gets something that on some levels is more lasting, but still can not be passed on. A dress or a chat log-- at least the chat log could be passed on! Perhaps we need to start selling trinkets at certain prices so they could be repossessed in cases like this.

    This needs to be handled better by the Linden's. If not just for escorts, for all businesses offer consulting services that take payment in Lindens.

    I wish I could help. Perhaps your story could be on a notecard at some of the escort places with a tip jar next to it. So many of us know that Escort Island has a very high level of integrity so many would believe you.

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not me, another girl


    I just want to know.....


    How can I tell a fake Linden?

    Look for watermarks? Everyone in China has a light that does that.

    But for Linden?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am weary of the judgmental attitude that Second Life members are burdened with by essentially being effective role players. A person role plays an escort so well that they can charge a significant wage, so they get punished.

    If I managed to role play a real estate tycoon well, I get rewarded.

    Members are members and customers are customers - they should all have rights and due process. Lindens are dollars.

    I suggest someone role play a Lawyer well enough to shake the trees.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I spoke at length to the lindens, and was told that due to the fact every transaction he made me was constituted a gift...it was all subject to be seized. Basically, I have no idea how the lindens were fraudulent. I provided a service, one which I plainly have my rates ect posted in numerous places. You can google my name and see where I have done RL newspaper/magazine articles. I spent 2 years as a SL escort to build a solid reputation, I have re-invested millions of linden in land, clothing, ect to build my business and my avatar up to the point I am now. Basically the lindens have made me feel like the land tier I pay, the money I have reinvested is nothing to them due to the fact I provide a service that does not produce a *tangible good*. I am not a new player that swept into SL and made a splash, I am a player that has spent years building the status I now enjoy. I have since that note card was created, zeroed out my balance-partly due to money I already had earned, plus some close friends had a fundraiser in my benefit, when all was said and done, I was 28K in the hole. And a couple of excellent clients and some well placed tips righted that. Seems to me though, I keep hearing “you can earn it back"...well guess what...I earned every single linden they took from me. I paid land tiers, bought land for my business, paid advertising expenses. So the money they took was all money I had earned. I am grateful beyond words for all the positive support I have gotten, and I am always in game if anyone has questions they would like to ask. Best of luck to you all,
    **huggs and kisses**
    Brie

    ReplyDelete
  5. This has been one hell of a week, for all involved. the bottom line, we may never get our lindens back. BUT if awareness can be raised and we can become Tangible services, then rest assured, we wont rest till all are aware.

    Muchos love...and thanks fopr all support around this!!!

    G

    ReplyDelete
  6. When one's earns Lindens by a right click rather than through a vendor script, it always shows up as a gift.

    Does anyone think it would make a difference if there was an actual exchange of some sort? A purchase through some sort of script where a purchase of a certain amount returned an actual item. If this was done, the payments would not show up as a "gift' and since something would end if being passed to an inventory, it would be a tangible good.

    As I said in my first post, I thank you for sharing this and Lillie for passing along your story. I'm so happy that you, Brie are successful enough to come through this OK. It would take me two to three weeks to get in the black again!

    Can you imagine this happening to another group that provides a service in SL-- Electric Sheep as an example, would have their consulting services dismissed as "just a gift" even though that is what it would say on the transaction history?

    ReplyDelete
  7. You should consider, selling the client an item which can be redeemed for rendered services. They would purchase a prim which would be no copy no mod and transferable, which would contain a note or other info pertaining to the type and duration of services to be performed. The escort would then sell the client this object,which would be returned prior to rendering of services. This would create a transaction record showing lindens were paid and a tangible object was obtained by the client.

    ReplyDelete
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