Monday, December 7, 2009

How to report scammers

I am going to provide you with information to help you make Stardoll a better place. Are you ready?

Start by reporting scammers. You must catch them in the act. You can only report ones that you actually catch. This is very important. Do not report anyone just because a friend said they were a scammer. You must see the scam on the presentation of the scammer, in her starblog or album or in a guestbook. You must be able to take a screenshot of the wrongdoing. There are penalties for putting in a false report. Do not risk it. You could lose your account. If you have any doubt, contact me thru my club advice4newbies or my guestbook and I will check it out.

Use the report tools on the site. Write in a specific paragraph about what you are reporting and why. Let them know you are taking a screenshot. This is important evidence.

Do you know how to take a screenshot? Go to and make sure you are doing it right. I have a mac, so it is easy for me to take a shot of multiple windows. There are also software programs to help you with that. The important thing is to make sure you get the shot showing what is going on. I put the little window of the report next to the bad thing I am reporting and take a shot that includes both at the same time. I never crop the shot after I first create it. That way the programming data that is inside the file and unseen except by experts will show that the shot is authentic and not edited. Make sure never to make changes to a screenshot or it will not be usable as evidence.

I always rename the screenshot with the scammers name and put it in a folder on my hard-drive. I can go back to these later, put the names in the search at stardoll and see if the scammer got deleted. And if anyone says I put in a false report, I have evidence to protect myself.

Look at the bottom of this post for sample screenshots.

After you send your report, send a follow-up email to Stardoll support at from your personal email. And include what you wrote in your report as well as your screenshot.

It is important to remember to not abuse the ability to email support directly. Don't overload Stardoll support with spam. Send them detailed messages with screenshots and true reports and you will get results and respect. There are millions of girls on this site. You get the notice of the people at support as someone who is helping, and you will be heard.

Here are some blurbs to use when reporting scammers. Use your copy and paste and then change them to suit the particular scam.

This is a scam. She tells girls to email their usernames and pwords to a posted email address. She will steal their accounts. Notice how she inserts spaces so that your software does not recognize the email address. She knows she is breaking the rules. Delete her. I am documenting this complaint. I am taking screenshots and keeping records.
Crime: scamming. She tells girls to change their email address to the one she has posted. So she can steal their accounts. Notice how she inserts spaces so that your software does not recognize the email address. She knows she is breaking the rules. Delete her. I am documenting this complaint. I am taking screenshots and keeping records.
She is a scammer using the "change your email scam." In her presentation she tells girls to change their email address to the one she has posted. This is a clever idea. Many of her victims don't realize that she can get access to their accounts. After all, she didn't ask for a password, and she says she can do a magic trick, a "cheat" that will give them stardollars. The victims won't even know they are scammed until this scammer hits the "forgot password" button and the password is sent to her email address. Then this scammer can log in, change the password and steal everything.
I am documenting this complaint. I am taking screenshots and keeping records. If you would like to send me a note telling me what action you are taking, I will include that in my records. I have plenty of notes that say you are looking into to it or thanks. That is significant too. I am keeping track of what you are doing and how long it takes you to do it.

This is a scam. She claims she has special editing software so she can change the amount of stardollars in a suite. She lies. It looks like she may have stolen many accounts already with this scam. The same scam is posted in other presentations. Delete this scammer immediately. I am documenting this complaint. I am taking screenshots and keeping records. Thanks.

You get the idea.

There are a lot of variations on scams. Besides just asking for passwords, promising to buy stardollars for someone or asking to have a sucker change her email, there are dozens of other scams girls are trying with some success. They put up tiny pics for proof. Or direct suckers to a website outside of stardoll. Some members claim to be stardoll staff. They are all liars. Watch out.

Here are a couple more scams:

Presentation Makeover scam. A variation on making over a suite or doll. The girl will ask for a victim's password to make over her presentation and make it look snazzy. Real friends give advice, they don't do log into your account and do things for you. (BTW, you can drag and drop presentation into your page and customize it. A little more work, but no risk. The user moon_doggie has a cool presentation and instructions on how to do this at his scenery, and starblog.)

Reference number scam. This scammer asks a girl to go into her transaction history and give her the reference number from the last time she bought a code. Then the scammer sends an email to Stardoll support and says "my account has been hacked. Here's a reference number from my account. Please send me a new pword." Your reference numbers are like reciepts. Keep them private. Do not give any information from inside your account to anyone.

If someone asks you for a password in a friend request, report them. Then deny the request. BTW. You cannot get hacked by denying or accepting a friend request. That is a myth.


How do you spot a scammer? Often scammers will broadcast things like "Free Stardollars" or "Presentation." Scammers advertise using broadcasts all the time.

A lot of times they set up what I call "disposable" accounts. Accounts where they have spent no money and little time. The guestbook will be closed, the scam will be in the presentation or in the Starblog, the account was opened recently and there will be hardly any starpoints. The scammer will often abandon this account once she gets a warning. A lot of damage is done with these accounts.

Then there are accounts that have been on the site for a while and have lots of starpoints and have a scam posted. Usually these accounts are ones that have been stolen. If there is a scam visible, report it. Let Stardoll sort it out.

Almost every scammer has a closed guestbook so that people cannot be warned. You can get around that. Everyone can leave album comments. After reporting and taking a screenshot, leave a comment under the album to warn others.

Here are some samples of what to say. You are welcome to copy and paste and then customize these to the situation. Remember you have a 250 character limit so keep your message short.

You are not related to anyone at Stardoll, nor are you Stardoll staff. It is against company policy for real staff to say so. You are a liar. This is a violation of the terms of service and this account will be reported and deleted.
She has lot of accounts to sell. How did she get them all? Maybe they are stolen or belong to other people. Do not be a sucker. Do not deal with this person.
She is running a scam to get access to your account. Lots of girls have fallen 4 it.You might get your account back if you can prove it is yours with reciepts. If you change your email, you cannot get it back without stardoll's help. Just say NO!
This is a common scam to get access to your account. Say goodbye to all your rares and money if you change your email. Report this scammer and trust no one. Join advice4newbies and find out more.
Lies, lies, lies. No one is gonna buy you stardollars. This is a common scam to get access to your account. Lots of girls have fallen4it. Report whoever asks for your pword and trust no one. Join advice4newbies and get smart.
Report anyone who asks for your pword. The offer to buy stardollars for you is a common scam and it works. For the scammer. Lots of girls have fallen 4 it. The references are accounts the scammer already stole.
Look out. Report anyone who asks for your pword. The offer to buy stardollars for you is a common scam. Lots of girls have fallen 4 it. Join advice4newbies to find out more.

This is just the first in a series of posts to give you the tools to make Stardoll a better place. Please join me in fighting scammers. And when you are on Stardoll please drop by and leave me a note in my guestbook or join my club, advice4newbies. (The club is for everyone, not just newbies.) Thanks for your help.


Criminal activity on Stardoll

Stardoll allows users to steal from other users. Most of the victims are minors. This has got to stop. If you are a member of Stardoll, you can help. I will let you know more about how in my next post.

For over a year I have expressed my concern to Stardoll. I have used their reporting tools and sent emails demanding action. I have reached higher-ups in the organization. Some changes have been made. But not enough. Scammers are still operating, and very little is done to protect girls from becoming victims.

Even though I am adult, I love playing on Stardoll. I enjoy the creative and the social aspects of the site. My medoll is madmadeleine and at this time you can visit my suite. I hope I get to keep my account, and that there will not be reprisals. There are many positive things about Stardoll and I don't want it to go away. I am afraid if I sit by and let things continue, something bad, like what happened to JuicyCampus, is going to happen and Stardoll will no longer exist.

You can see a video on YouTube where at minute 24 the CEO, Mattias Miksche, admits there is hacking and gaming the system on Stardoll, and then he changes the subject. It is my belief that very little real hacking occurs. Most young girls are not writing code to infiltrate other girls accounts. Instead, they use the tools of all con artists and predators: flattery, promises and lies.

Since most of the stealing on the website is the result of scams, I call these girls "scammers", though many mislabel them as "hackers." The use of the terms "hacker" and "hacking" is inaccurate and obfuscates the problem and the nature of the crimes.

At this time, I estimate that there are thousands of girls on the website who are stealing from younger and more naive members. The perception on the site is that scammers get away with their crimes. Since there seems to be little or no negative consequences for stealing, many girls are willing to do it. I'm sure that most of the girls who are scammers learned how to do it by being scammed. It is easy to do, involves very little risk, and the payoff is great.

Most scammers get to keep what they steal. Occasionally a scammer gets deleted from the site. But she will have more than one account. She will be running her scam from multiple accounts that she opened as well as from the accounts she stole from other girls. She also keeps a separate account into which she can funnel all the most desirable stolen goods for her personal enjoyment. One that is not linked with the accounts she uses to steal. That is the only account she cares about. The other accounts are disposable. She can always open or steal more.

There are simple ways to eliminate many of these scammers. Stardoll could block the IP addresses of the girls they catch scamming. They could cross-reference the email accounts they use, and when one is linked to a scam, they could eliminate all the accounts, not just the one with the posted scam.

Because Stardoll does not do enough to stop scammers, it is my opinion that they are morally complicit in these crimes. The way the site is set up, Stardoll makes money because of these crimes. More money than if there were no crime. Perhaps the people who are making decisions about site monitoring are little better than the scammers they allow to proliferate. It is expensive to monitor the site with real people, instead of with just text editing software. So far, Stardoll has chosen the cheap and lazy route. But this route is going to cost them more in the end. They need to step up.

As for making money, this is how Stardoll benefits from these petty crimes. Scammers use the broadcast feature to advertise and reach new victims. Since Stardoll charges 5 stardollars for each broadcast, they make money. A little bit of money, but it adds up. They charge a 1 stardollar commission on every item that is sold from one account to another, so Stardoll makes a small amount of money each time a thief takes over an account and makes multiple transactions to move items and stardollars. These are minor revenue streams that result from tolerating cybercrime on the site. In addition each scammer has to pay a fee to be a Superstar, so she can move stolen property. Many of the victims open new accounts and purchase the same or similar items that were stolen from them. If a victim manages to convince Stardoll to return her stolen account back, by the time she regains possession, her suite and closet have been stripped of everything of value including her stardollars. From what I have learned, Stardoll never returns stolen stardollars or stolen items to victims. Though these items are vitual things, clothing, furniture, and decor, they were paid for with stardollars, which cost real money. If the victim wants to have nice things, she must purchase more stardollars and buy them again. The overall lesson is that for Stardoll, crime pays.

I started a club over a year ago, advice4newbies. Since I started posting information about scammers the membership has increased. Many victims have joined my club and asked me to personally help them try to get their accounts back. I do not help them directly, but I provide them with information and support. I tell them how to contact Stardoll and what they will need to do. I have posted information about scams, cheats, real hackers, predators and safety in the club discussions and in my medoll's presentation and starblog.

I spend a lot of time helping kids. Time that I could be enjoying myself, or time that I should be doing something else. I do not live in a vacuum. Whenever I am on the site I can find scammers running their con games. I try to warn girls, but there is only so much I can do. The site should be monitored by people who care. People who can spot this stuff and put an end to it. The people at Stardoll have many more tools than I do to discover and eradicate wrongdoing. However, it seems as if the management has not chosen to put time and money into this. With time, money and access I could do a much better job.

Monitoring should be a priority on a site that has so many kids and teens on it. There are other problems. The language filters do not completely prevent kids posting websites and email addresses. There is some bullying and dirty talk. I have not personally come across any predators, but there are rumors about someone that tells girls that she is a casting agent for The Suite Life on Deck and has girls send her photos and personal information. If Stardoll does not step up and increase monitoring on the site, they are courting potential ruin.

These seem like petty crimes. But they add up. I know of one instance when over 3000 stardollars was stolen from an account. I pay $25 for 1200 stardollars. If figured at that rate the hacker got away with over $60.

One more thing that Stardoll probably does not want their advertisers or investors to know. A lot less actual users are on the site than Stardoll reports. Because of all the multiple accounts owned by the same people, the figures are significantly lower. Maybe Stardoll is reluctant to delete accounts because they want to support their inflated figures. I am not sure what they tell their advertisers, but I googled Stardoll and found a site that said that there are only about 1.4 American users going to the site. Hmmm.

If you want to do something about this, want more information or would like a personal guided tour of the seedy side of Stardoll, feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading.