Monday, July 3, 2017

Hacker, Scammer, Cheater, Liar or Thief?

I am tired of seeing the term "Hacker" being used when someone is scamming or cheating or just plain lying and stealing. 

Language is powerful. It is also important. When you use the wrong term, you are not getting your message across correctly.

Let me clarify:


Someone who uses code, software or scripts to break into accounts. Hackers are skilled computer techs. Real world hackers attack computer systems. They send viruses and create malware to steal from others. They engineer cyberattacks and make ransomware. Usually hackers are targeting banks and other companies that have a lot more money than Stardoll, so real hacking at Stardoll never happens. Okay, once there was a server overload caused by hackers, but they did not break in. The payment module is separate from the site and is more heavily protected than the site itself. Your payment information is always secure.


Some people use scammer and hacker for the same thing. But I prefer to differentiate between the two. A scammer is a trickster. Scammers use words to gain access to accounts by lying. Scammers do not need to use code or technology to steal. Scammers may also invite others to go away from Stardoll to visit sites that are created to trick other members into giving away their personal log in information. 

Scammers are easy to avoid and easy to spot once you know how they operate. When you spot someone asking for a password, report them. If someone posts a link DO NOT go to the link. Report the user. Only Stardoll can safely investigate. 

Just going to a link outside of Stardoll can be a problem if the website has been set up by a hacker. You are safe from hackers at Stardoll, but when you go to other sites, you can get a virus or malware. You can not only lose your account but any other personal information on the computer you are using.

Cheats and cheating

In the gaming world, cheats are supposed to be secrets that help people in the know advance in the game. New members of Stardoll think there are cheats that will give them free stuff. People circulate silly posts about copying and pasting a certain group of words to get tons of free things. These never work and if you post them you look foolish. You can read more about this in other topics, but this sums it up. Don't look for cheats. There are none that work.

Cheating is done by people who find ways to advance in the game that may not be viewed as fair by other members. I think that designers who sell single items back and forth to their own accounts to inflate their sales numbers and win the top design spots are cheaters. Stardoll does not care that they are cheating, so don't bother reporting. People who cheat the contests are not breaking the rules.

Stealing, Trading and Private Deals

There is something that some call scamming or hacking but is just plain stealing. To illustrate this, I made up a story.

W wants to buy a LE dress from Z  for 1000 SD. They make a private deal to make this happen. (Making a private deal is breaking the rules.) Z puts up a cheap item into her starbazaar for 500 SD and W has to buy it before Z will put the dress up on reserve for her for the last 500 SD. If Z is honest, she will put the dress up as agreed. But if she is not, she may block W and keep her dress and the 500 SD. Many people call this scamming, but it is actually just not following thru with a deal. It is stealing.

Trading is similar. Two people make a deal to trade. To do this they agree to put certain items up for sale. Someone usually goes first. This person puts the item up for sale for just 2SD or SC. The second person buys the item. Then it is up to the second person. The second person is supposed to put up the agreed upon item for sale in her bazaar. Sometimes this works fine. But sometimes that person will not follow thru. At this point the second person blocks the first person and tries to keep both items. 

Trading is risky because it is based on a private deal. When you are dealing with strangers you do not know how they are going to behave and if they are really honest. I see people lie on Stardoll all the time. 

Stardoll made making a private deal against the rules to protect members from getting cheated by other members. This is a form of cheating, but it is stealing.

Why does it matter?

Often people will come to me for help after someone has stolen from them. They will say they have been hacked or scammed, but once I get the full story, I find that most often they have been stolen from, and that the person complaining cooperated with the thief.

No one can steal from you without your cooperation. Keep that in mind.

There is some good news. Stardoll will delete the account of a person who steals from another member. If someone steals from you after making a private deal you can contact Stardoll and tell them what happened. Stardoll will read all the messages and determine what happened. Well, if you made the deal on Stardoll. If you made the deal at fb or another site, they cannot investigate and you will not get justice.

Justice does not include getting your stolen items back, even if Stardoll does determine against the other doll and removes their account. If you made a deal with someone and they stole from you, you broke the rules. You were not hacked. You might say you were scammed since the person tricked you with words. 
I prefer to reserve the word "scammer" for those who set up a big lie, someone who posts a video or creates a website to trick people and then broadcasts to try to get as many people as possible to leave the safety of Stardoll. These scammers are out to steal accounts. They steal what is valuable out of these accounts and then use them to post links and broadcast. These scammers are always working their scams with low-value dolls which get deleted.

I wish Stardoll would do more to eliminate the dolls that end up benefitting from these scams. Probably there are dolls with lots of things that these scammers actually care about. The purpose of stealing is to enrich oneself. Stardoll should find out who these dolls are and remove them. Only that action will eradicate the problem.