Scammers have been exploiting the auction house’s automatic price-setting mechanism to buy gems from unsuspecting Diablo 3 players for amounts far below their actual value.
The new scam sees conmen list gems at a very low prices and buy them back immediately via a second computer, costing themselves a negligible 15% gold sale fee.
The effect is to drive down the default price Diablo 3 automatically suggests when selling gems in the gold auction house. Legitimate auctioneers, theoretically, will fail to notice the dip in their item’s automatic price, and accidentally sell their gems to scammers for far less than their worth. And it’s worked.
Flux at IncGamers has experienced the scam firsthand. He recently attempted to sell a Star Ruby, and noted a suggested list price of under 400,000 gold – much lower than expected.
“As a Star gem costs 500k just to upgrade from Flawless Squares, and Star Rubies have been selling for over 800k of late, I found that default price a bit surprising, and went to the search window to double check,” he wrote.
“Had I not done that though, and just mindlessly accepted the suggested price, I’d have sold the Ruby for half its value, (and less than it cost me to create) presumably to the price manipulating scammers who were eagerly buying up all the Star Rubies being posted for below their usual value.”
It certainly pays to be savvy, but regrettably none of us start off that way. Perhaps some sort of Savvy Academy initiative is in order. Have you noticed any iffy behaviour in the Haus of Diablo?