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FBI crack down on gold farmers

FBI crack down on gold farmers

The FBI has raided the homes to two Michigan students in relation to gold farming claims.

The FBI has raided the homes of two students at the University of Michigan in connection with World of Warcraft gold farming, according to ComputerWorld.

The students, who share an apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, deny the allegations and claim neither of them even play World of Warcraft. Despite their claims, computer equipment, cell phones, credit cards and paperwork has been seized by FBI representatives.

'They thought we were involved in some kind of fraud,' said one of the students, whose identity is currently unknown. 'I'm pretty sure they have the wrong people, but they took all my stuff.'

Court records show the FBI were specifically looking for transaction records connected to World of Warcraft, Chinese gold farming website gameusd.com, eBay, PayPal and the United Services Automobile Association. It's not known if any of these records were found.

It is speculated that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs. A data mining programme called The Reynard Project was started back in 2008 and was designed to profile emerging social, behavioural and cultural norms with a view to detecting suspicious behaviour.

Ever seen some suspicious banter in the Warcraft trade channel? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

45 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
smc8788 15th April 2011, 12:51 Quote
Quote:
that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs

lolwut?
B1GBUD 15th April 2011, 12:53 Quote
^^ LOL ^^ I always thought there was something fishy about MMO players
fuus 15th April 2011, 12:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW
Ever seen some suspicious banter in the Warcraft trade channel?

Interesting
Deders 15th April 2011, 12:55 Quote
Terrorists in Azeroth? Is nothing safe anymore?
Teh Noob Slayer 15th April 2011, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs

lolwut?

I had to wiki 'gold farming'. Apparently it's the acquirement of 'game money' then sale of game money for real money.
TheStockBroker 15th April 2011, 12:59 Quote
I think the race with the largest propensity for terrorism would be the Goblins.

Start there FBI. Start there.

TSB
Pieface 15th April 2011, 13:01 Quote
I don't usually say this, but do the FBI seriously have nothing else to do? Shouldn't this be an internal WoW investigation, not an FBI thing on breaking terms and conditions. Next thing you know, the SAS will drop in on a house of gold farmers.

FBI are just using the terroism links to gain public support.
leveller 15th April 2011, 13:04 Quote
The FBI are using terrorism laws to grab gold farmers?
Fingers66 15th April 2011, 13:06 Quote
Think about it...micro transactions across millions of people spread around the world - sounds like a money launderers dream.

Regarding terrorism, the FBI are simply following the old fashioned detective principle - follow the money.
Almightyrastus 15th April 2011, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
The FBI are using terrorism laws to grab gold farmers?

Why not? It seems they get used for everything else now......
Picarro 15th April 2011, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Court records show the FBI were specifically looking for transaction records connected to World of Warcraft, Chinese gold farming website gameusd.com, eBay, PayPal and the United Services Automobile Association. It's not known if any of these records were found.

Wait - WUT?! xD
Woodspoon 15th April 2011, 13:09 Quote
Since when was gold farming illegal?
Immoral probably always but illegal?
TheStockBroker 15th April 2011, 13:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon
Since when was gold farming illegal?
Immoral probably always but illegal?

It just contravenes the Blizzard Terms of Service/Eula, but no, you're correct - it's not illegal.
Paul2011 15th April 2011, 13:24 Quote
could you imagine the reaction of the uk people, if MI5 were wasting our money on such petty things when there are far worse crimes going on
SMIFFYDUDE 15th April 2011, 13:26 Quote
Can imagine taliban screaming LEEEROOOOOY JEEENKINS as they drive a Toyota Hilux into a crowd of people.
Fizzban 15th April 2011, 13:31 Quote
What a joke.
Droih 15th April 2011, 13:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
What a joke.

Yeah I get this feeling as well, I remember some old news that CIA was interested in watching MMO-logs since they thought that terrorists might plan/meet there...
logan'srun 15th April 2011, 13:37 Quote
Now if this was April 1st I would laugh and say "Oh you Bit Tech, you had me there!"
Can I still laugh anyways?
Teh Noob Slayer 15th April 2011, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
Think about it...micro transactions across millions of people spread around the world - sounds like a money launderers dream.

Regarding terrorism, the FBI are simply following the old fashioned detective principle - follow the money.

Yeah, but they could prob get more money if they got a 'job' then used pay-pal, e-bay etc instead of earning fake money to sell for real money. (Although maybe less fun.)

They will be raiding Blizzard HQ next.
banshee256 15th April 2011, 13:42 Quote
What isn't 'believed to be linked to Al-Qaeda' these days? What's next? The stupid Facebook pages you have to 'like' to see the contents? People who jaywalk? Midgets in dresses?
B1GBUD 15th April 2011, 13:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Can imagine taliban screaming LEEEROOOOOY JEEENKINS as they drive a Toyota Hilux into a crowd of people.

I lol'd

+ Rep
Fingers66 15th April 2011, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Noob Slayer
Yeah, but they could prob get more money if they got a 'job' then used pay-pal, e-bay etc instead of earning fake money to sell for real money. (Although maybe less fun.)

They will be raiding Blizzard HQ next.

No, what I mean is use "dirty" money to pay gold farmers, then sell the gold generated, via micro transactions, to generate "clean" money. If you do it on a large enough scale you get a constant revenue stream.

Untraceable....
Lance 15th April 2011, 14:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
Terrorists in Azeroth? Is nothing safe anymore?

Its got to be those Damn goblins blowing themselves up!!!!
DXR_13KE 15th April 2011, 14:56 Quote
WTF?
Fizzban 15th April 2011, 15:27 Quote
I couldn't resist it any longer..

http://i52.tinypic.com/crgbt.jpg
liratheal 15th April 2011, 15:46 Quote
Ha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahaha.

Next, we'll be linked to terrorism because we have an FS/FT board.

Paranoid FBI.
Mitcian 15th April 2011, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs

lolwut?

I loled.
metarinka 15th April 2011, 17:40 Quote
I believe the investigation stems from fraud by gold farmers, both in stealing accounts and claiming to sell gold but never deliver. Since the fraud is happening across state lines it's FBI jurisdiction.

That being said, sounds like these two students are being left out to dry while the real guys are behind 7 proxies
kzinti1 15th April 2011, 20:11 Quote
Sometimes I'm completely ashamed to be an American. At times such as these the FBI is almost always involved somehow. From the transvestite 1st Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover to the murderess, Janet Reno, who precipitated the Waco Massacre, and now some idiot trying to tie gaming to terrorism. At least this moron Director has the tiny bit of sense to keep a low profile. I don't know who he/she/it is and am afraid to search the net to find out lest I be arrested and tortured to death at Guantanamo Bay.
BTW, Janet Reno, for incinerating innocent men, women, children and babies, for legally exercising their Right to Religious Freedom and the Right to legally Bear Arms, Hell has made a special room just for you. While you're frying there you'll be forced to watch what you did. Yes, you'll get some small enjoyment for a year or two, watching the burning of innocents. But, Hell is repetition. I doubt that you'll enjoy yourself after a few years and you won't be having any fun at all when you realize that this will be happening constantly, for all eternity. I do not pity you at all. God forgives, but after that, Satan gets even.
Sloth 15th April 2011, 21:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
Think about it...micro transactions across millions of people spread around the world - sounds like a money launderers dream.

Regarding terrorism, the FBI are simply following the old fashioned detective principle - follow the money.
And gold farming certainly is money!

Where do people think terrorists get their money from? Working day jobs? Gold farming may sound a little crazy but it's certainly not impossible. If you're a less than legal organization looking to make some money it's a valid option. It's really not too different from drug production and trading.
SMIFFYDUDE 15th April 2011, 21:41 Quote
@kzintl1 Pehaps if there wasnt a right to bare arms they wouldnt all be dead now
thehippoz 15th April 2011, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
@kzintl1 Pehaps if there wasnt a right to bare arms they wouldnt all be dead now

hell no.. that's one of the rights we have- if our government ever gives up the ghost we have a way to defend ourselves.. putting your trust in politicians/government is foolish.. look at switzerland- one of the highest gun toting nations in the world and also happens to have the lowest crime rate

waco was law enforcement botching the job (hate to say as usual, but yeah).. the only real debate should be about automatic and semi automatic rifles which can be used for mass murder

even then.. if enough citizens aren't foolish and believe that it can't happen here, maybe someone will have a concealed gun permit and be able to take out the shooter before he mows everyone down.. if someone like that ever happened, you'd be singing a different tune

anyways mmo gold farmers.. they make quite a bit- remember in lineage it was 100 bucks for 10 million adena in game.. was plenty of business too
pingu666 15th April 2011, 23:16 Quote
about the untraceable part, atleast a large part of the money would be through paypal and similer systems, which do keep really good records
Fingers66 15th April 2011, 23:20 Quote
True but if they are paying the gold farmers in dirty cash and taking back payments by Paypal, how can the dirty money be traced?
blinkieleblind 16th April 2011, 01:13 Quote
I met Bin Laden in Tanaris.... he is a lvl 85 warrior named terowrist

he tried to sell me gold through www.extremistgold.com...... i said no!
fluxtatic 16th April 2011, 05:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
@kzintl1 Pehaps if there wasnt a right to bare arms they wouldnt all be dead now
hell no.. that's one of the rights we have- if our government ever gives up the ghost we have a way to defend ourselves..

Not to start a 2nd amendment debate so far away from Drudge/HuffPost, but seriously? Did no one but me catch the 'well-regulated militia' clause in there? It used to be just that - you'd put down your hoe and go drill on military tactics. You know, like a militia. Now, especially with our currently-retarded Supreme Court, it's an excuse for any (non-felon) wackjob to get a legal weapons cache like that scene in Commando. Thanks to the 'gun show loophole', among other things, cold, hard cash is all you need to amass a proper armory if you're a felon.

To this, though, wut? It's like the scene in The Wire when, to expedite a warrant, 'Stringer Bell' suddenly becomes 'Mohammed'...it's BS, and I hope to live long enough to see the gov't files from the past 10 years get declassified and find out what's really been going on.

Every day, I get a little more embarrassed to be an American...not that I thought it was anything to be particularly proud of to begin with.
leveller 16th April 2011, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkieleblind
I met Bin Laden in Tanaris.... he is a lvl 85 warrior named terowrist

he tried to sell me gold through www.extremistgold.com...... i said no!

;)

edit: Server not found! The FBI pulled that website already ...
Silver51 16th April 2011, 23:52 Quote
Pretty sure real terrorists play Counter-Strike.
ssj12 17th April 2011, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Noob Slayer
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs

lolwut?

I had to wiki 'gold farming'. Apparently it's the acquirement of 'game money' then sale of game money for real money.

So, somehow in-game gold is being considered money competing with the US dollar or something now? I think this government is grasping straws now trying to save itself. Stupid US government, just go bankrupt already and everyone will be happy.
Neogumbercules 17th April 2011, 18:03 Quote
Gold farmers are also pretty good for stealing your credit card information, too.
mpr 18th April 2011, 08:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
that the FBI is interested in gold farming due to potential links between terrorism and MMOs

lolwut?

A very small number of MMO RMT farms have been proven to be supplying funding for weapons. I don't think I've seen anything directly involving terrorism, but definately funding for local militias in some asian countries
niro 18th April 2011, 09:45 Quote
I knew I should have stopped those 2 taliban looking goblins when I had the chance, could have saved countless lives, this will be my spiderman story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Can imagine taliban screaming LEEEROOOOOY JEEENKINS as they drive a Toyota Hilux into a crowd of people.

LOLOL this made me laugh (as if you couldnt tell by the lol in capitals)
ArcAngeL 18th April 2011, 14:43 Quote
in all honesty, it is simply just a tax free source of income. there are people who want to work, to make online gold to sell in game to people who want to pay for it, who are too lazy to earn it themselves, or to see the point of the game in the firstplace.

If i were blizzard, i would just be selling online goald, for real cash, the whole notion for paying for pixles is retarded within itself, just like the people who pay for it. Game dies, money lost, the world continues.

Wow is already suffering that slow death of bored players, that most MORPG's suffer over years.

The whole story sounds hoax.
ObeyTheCreed 19th April 2011, 05:00 Quote
(Shifty eyes) So basically anyone that is gold farming can get arrested for it now?? *yells to right* "Jacob shut down the sight we gotta go into hiding!" lol, soehow this wouldnt surprise me though
ObeyTheCreed 19th April 2011, 05:00 Quote
damn can't believe i spelled site wrong
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