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.
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...