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  • Prime's Comprehensive Guide to Safe Trading


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    It is in the interest of the whole community here that people better protect themselves from scammers. Each time someone from this community gets scammed, the scammers get even more encouraged. To make the trading community here safer and better, it is important that we all adopt safe trading practices. With this guide, I want to encourage everyone to become a smarter trader and avoid being taken by scams.


    Defining the Scams


    A scam is defined as "a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit." Scams can appear in many different forms, and scammers are always thinking of more creative ways to con people. Here are a list of the most common scams that you will encounter when trading Runescape goods:


    1. The person wants you to go first, despite not having the trading reputation to demand such a condition.

    Here, the scam depends on winning over your confidence. Scammers can be very smooth and convincing, making you drop your guard. They know that they do not have any reputation to stand on, so they will offer something else: an extremely tempting deal, or by telling you some story about how they've been scammed before and they won't ever go first again. Whatever amazing deal they can be offering you is immediately a bad deal when you factor in the amount of risk you are undertaking. You're maybe thinking "I can afford to risk a small amount for a huge gain", but now you're part of the problem that keeps these scammers coming back for more.


    2. The person is selling you items with an unverifiable or hard-to-verify nature or claim

    Here, the scam depends again on winning over your confidence. The scammer will make claims that are unverifiable and nearly impossible to prove untrue, expecting you to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may sell you a botted account and claim that it is completely hand-made, convincing you to believe it is an amazing deal. They may sell you a dedicated proxy, when in reality, it is a shared proxy with multiple users. When you inevitably end up banned because they lied to you, they will put the blame on you and you have no way of proving that they were at fault. You should only put as much faith into their claims as their reputation is worth. In other words, when buying items of this nature, buy from trusted people.


    Script scams also fall into this category. Someone may claim to be able to offer you an amazing private script. After you pay for it, you have very little recourse if the script does not work as advertised.*


    3. Chargeback scam

    Here, the scammer wins over your confidence by actually giving you what they agreed to pay. You're convinced everything is okay and you honor your side of the deal. You hand them the goods. Eventually, you will see that the payment you've received has been reversed. Any payment received over PayPal, Venmo, Skrill, are subject to chargebacks. The money is not yours to keep just because it has been transferred to your account. There are many ways to get a transaction reversed. The easiest way is for the scammer to claim that the payment was an unauthorized transaction.


    4. Account recovery scam

    This scam has the potential to be the most damaging. The scammer will sell or even give (for free) you an account. The account will seemingly work and be exactly as they stated. You'll begin to use the account and transfer your money into it. One day, this account will get recovered by the scammer. Now, he's scammed you of not just your initial payment to him but of all the work and money you put into the account. If you want to buy an account that you plan to invest on (such as a main account), you should do so from a trusted seller.

    5. Scam quit

    As a general rule, it is safe to trust high-reputation traders. After all, their reputation is typically worth much more than what they could scam from you. However, a scam-quit defies these rules. This scam is the hardest to avoid, as you would not think that a highly trusted member of the community would suddenly decide to turn into a scammer. This type of scam happens when a person decides that he is done with the community so they sacrifice their reputation to scam as much as possible. The plus-side is that you will almost never encounter such a scam. The ultimate verification for someone's honesty in this regard is whether or not they have been tested with such an opportunity. For example, when selling membership codes, I had 2000+ orders that I denied when I ran out of stock. If I were of a dishonest nature, that would have been an easy $3000+ scam-quit for me.


    6. Impostor scam

    The scammer will impersonate a more trusted user of the community, to get you to drop your guard. If you believe them, they will be able to conduct the trade with all of the privileges of the high-reputation user they are impersonating. They will make you go first, citing their faux reputation to make you feel secure.


    Safe Trading Practices


    Trading is all about risk-management. Follow these tips to lower the risk you take for each trade.


    1. Always identify anybody you are trading with. Get their forum username, so that you know their reputation, and so that they know you can hold them accountable if they scam you. If their DreamBot reputation is low, ask for their identities on other forums. The more accounts of theirs you can tie to the trade, the more they have to lose from scamming.
    2. Trade primarily with trusted users. These people have proven trading histories. They have a lot more to lose if they decide to scam you.
    3. Forum reputations and feedbacks are just numbers. Inspect the trading history of the person you are trading with. See the posts and threads to ensure that his reputation is genuine. Determine the types of trades this person has conducted. Make sure his trading history actually contains meaningful trades.
    4. If you must trade with an untrusted user and the other person won't go first, use a middleman to facilitate the trade. Note that middlemen can only secure the initial transfer of goods, and cannot protect you from future chargebacks or account recoveries. Do not become overconfident in the trade just because the other person is willing to use a middleman.
    5. Only accept PayPal from highly trusted users. Otherwise, opt for irreversible payment methods such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.**
    6. Do not buy accounts with unverifiable claims from untrusted users, as it is most likely untrue.
    7. Carefully verify the people you are speaking to on Skype or Discord. Make sure that they are who they claim to be. Check their usernames to make sure you are not speaking to an impersonator. Ask for a PM verification, in which they send you something acknowledging that they are speaking to you on Skype or Discord. For example, they can send you an excerpt of the chat log you guys share. This is especially important if someone is claiming to have off-site reputation (such as on Sythe, other botting sites, etc). If you choose to recognize the value of their off-site reputation, you must have them verify their off-site account with you. Otherwise, anyone can claim to be anyone.


    What is Bitcoin and Ethereum?


    For the purpose of trading, this is all you need to know:


    • Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions are irreversible after they are sent and confirmed. This makes it ideal for avoiding chargeback scams.
    • For that reason, some sellers will require these payment methods if you want to buy from them.


    As a general rule, do not hand over your items until the Bitcoin transaction has received at least one confirmation. There are ways to reverse the transaction before it has been confirmed.


    Likewise for Ethereum, wait for at least two confirmations.


    To learn more about Bitcoin and Ethereum, I recommend Google.


    Where do I get Bitcoin and Ethereum? How do I trade them back for money?


    There's a lot of ways to get them. But the easiest way is to buy your Bitcoin and Ethereum from an exchange such as Coinbase.


    At Coinbase, they give you $10 free when you buy $100 or more of Bitcoin/Ethereum if you sign up with this link: Click here to sign-up.


    With your Bitcoin and Ethereum, you can trade them for just about anything. If you want to exchange them into currency to deposit into your bank account, you can sell them at an exchange such as Coinbase.


    I want to accept PayPal anyway! What can I do to minimize the risk?


    If you want to accept PayPal, you are taking a risk. However, following these steps can reduce that risk.

    • Accept PayPal payments only from VERIFIED PayPal accounts. Especially if they lie about the account being verified, you should refund payments from unverified PayPal accounts and terminate the trade. Any serious trader is going to have a verified PayPal account. An unverified PayPal account is a strong sign of fraud.
    • Only accept PayPal from trusted traders. Again, the person's reputation should be worth more than what they gain from scamming you.
    • Make the person provide documentation to prove that they are the real owner of the PayPal account. For example, an ID that shows the name matching the PayPal account.***
    • Avoid receiving PayPal payments as "Payment for Goods" when possible. These payments are easily reversible as they are intended for the purchase of physical items. When trading virtual goods, it offers you almost zero seller protection. Note that certain PayPal accounts are restricted from sending gift payments, if they are established business PayPal accounts or if they are in a country that doesn't support it.


    What is a middleman and where can I find one?


    Middlemen are simply highly trusted users who offer a service to help mediate a trade such that both parties reduce their risks. Typically, they will hold both parties' items to be traded, verify them, and then hand them over to complete the trade. Note that some middlemen will charge a fee for such a service.


    Staff members are the best middlemen to ask for help. If one is not available to help you, consider asking someone with a very high reputation or the middleman rank.


    Help! I got scammed. What do I do now?


    When you complete enough trades, getting scammed is inevitable, especially if you don't follow safe trading practices. The first thing to do is to make sure that this was not a misunderstanding. Try to resolve it with the person you traded with. If it's clear that it is a scam or they are ignoring you, start a dispute against them on this forum. This will require them to respond or else they will have their account banned. After which, you can try to link as many of their off-site accounts as possible, to get them banned for off-site scamming. If you do this, the scammer might realize that the repercussions are not worth the scam and work to resolve it with you. If not, then you've at least gotten the scammer banned.



    Please do not copy this guide without my permission.


    *DreamBot staff is not liable for any private script sales and is not expected to help you investigate a scam report against someone who sold you a bad/faux script.

    **Guide focuses on Bitcoin and Ethereum to keep things simple, as most people are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies to begin with. Shall other cryptos emerge in popularity, I may update this guide to reflect that.

    ***This verification request will be seen as disrespectful to high-reputation traders. Only ask it from untrusted users.

    Edited by Prime
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    I had to learn all of these the hard way, until I got scammed 200m, then I learned to be extremely careful, great that people have the chance to learn to be careful before they get scammed.

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    Updated with greater clarification and detail.


    I added in that people should inspect the trading histories of those they trade with. Feedback is just a number. Look at their post and thread history to determine if their reputation is genuine. Figure out the nature of their trades.


    Not all trades are equal when it comes to establishing one's reputation.


    Whether you buy 1M Gold and go first, or you buy 100M Gold and go second; you still get one feedback. But it should be clear that one says a lot more about someone's trustworthiness.

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