FBI crack down on gold farmers

Written by David Hing

April 15, 2011 | 12:42

Tags: #gold-farmer #gold-farming #legal #world-of-warcraft #wow

Companies: #activision #blizzard

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.

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