When I started playing this was the scam of choice in the trade hubs, one careful look at the Contract on offer was all that was needed to see it was a scam but there were so many that it had to work. The fact there were so many meant it really had to work and was bringing in ISK.
If you were a visitor to Amarr then one look in local for Spaceship Barbie and you would see the top dog of this scam and one that, according to their biogaphy, had netted the character over 40 billion ISK. Freebooted even interviewed Spaceship Barbie in 2011 and it's worth a read.
Anyway, the details of the scam are as follows.
The player will advertise in local that they are quitting the game and have setup a contract to trade all their ISK for one piece of tritanium.
Thats it, I'm done with this game!... Take my money whoever wants it, trading it for 1 tritanium... enjoy.... [Want To Buy]
As shown above (as used by Spaceship Barbie) the text of their post will include a link to contract that they have setup:
|Image credit to Broadscope Corporation Online|
Look closely at any contract before accepting, make sure you're paying the right amount and/or the right goods. The use of the seemingly random number for the amount to pay helps convince, those that don't look closely, that this is a legitimate contract.
What Happens Now
The contract is correct with a casual glance, there is an ISK amount and a piece of tritanium however closer look you'll see that the items aren't correct. The contract states YOU will pay for the tritanium and not GET as the issuer has stated. In this case you'd pay 687m ISK for a piece of tritanium instead of receiving the 687m ISK as you expected.
The red/green text in the contract is helpful but most people do not look closely at the actual details before clicking Accept and this is why this type of scam has been successful.
How Can You Protect Yourself
Read any Contracts carefully, more than one, to verify that the Pay and Get details are correct. Thirty seconds confirming these details could save you a lot of ISK and, of course, embarrassment.
That said, a generalised rule that everyone should follow is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true and should be ignored. Blocking know scammers via the in-game context menu should be a must, the more spammers and scammers that are blocked the quieter your Local chat window will be but more importantly the less chance that you could get caught out.