Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sassy Romano

How would you like a replacement fraud plywood cube?

Recommended Posts

If only that allowed inspection of boxed content Darrius.  It doesn't of course so it's trivial to rename "Object" to "An exciting product that sounds plausible all boxed up".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sassy Romano wrote:

If only that allowed inspection of boxed content Darrius.  It doesn't of course so it's trivial to rename "Object" to "An exciting product that sounds plausible all boxed up".

Aye, very true. But it does offer an extra tool that can help someone decide before they purchase. When taking into consideration all the clues and indicators about a product, it isn't a "sure fire, never fail" detail. However the overall sense one gets from that info can be the tiny straw to break the camel's back. (And keep your money in your own hand.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed.  This is also one of the reasons that i would love to see more metadata about the listed object such as date of listing and age of merchant.

Both on their own are reasonably innocent but that "too good to be true" item that just got listed in a very near timeframe would  raise a suspicion for me and having the SL age of the merchant would correlate that.  Still, i've asked for this since of the MP 'team' for a long time, it's simple, low hanging fruit thus I don't expect to see it.

Oh, maybe we should ask for a single button to 'like' the listing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc. yes, that's the sort of thing that receives dev time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sassy Romano wrote:

Indeed.  This is also one of the reasons that i would love to see more metadata about the listed object such as date of listing and age of merchant.

Both on their own are reasonably innocent but that "too good to be true" item that just got listed in a very near timeframe would  raise a suspicion for me and having the SL age of the merchant would correlate that.  Still, i've asked for this since of the MP 'team' for a long time, it's simple, low hanging fruit thus I don't expect to see it.

Oh, maybe we should ask for a single button to 'like' the listing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc. yes, that's the sort of thing that receives dev time. 

I use Cerise Sorbet's absolutely amazing "Blue Goo" and "Make Usernames Visible" Stylish themes for the SL Forums. I don't know how Stylish Themes work nor how much "Active" capability they have, but perhaps it's something that Cerise could investigate and implement? It might be possible with a bit of Ajax magic to scrape out some basic info about the Merchant (from their my.secondlife.com page for example) and display it near to the Merchant Name in the listing.

But, as I say, I'm slightly less than clueless on what Stylish can and cannot do. We do agree that low-hanging fruit such as this is not only very powerful and would help a LOT toward reducing or eliminating blatant fraud, but also that it's something that Linden Lab and the Marketplace Dev Team will never undertake.

Another vertically minimalized fleshy morsel of juicy goodness would be the ability to "drill down" into the Contents of an item. They are obviously able to open and resolve the Inventory record for the item, thus it stands to reason that they can also follow links to the individual items and resolve them into their Contents, Creator, Permissions, etc. They ought to be able to display the names of the Textures as well, thus exposing a "Box" that is nothing more than a plywood cube with the default Texture. (And if some Merchant is charging L$6500 for something yet cannot be bothered to create a custom texture for the delivery box, do you REALLY want to find out what other detail items they chose to ignore? LOL)

What it boils down to is the lack of time investment deemed as a requisite by LL in the support and growth of a high income web property like the Marketplace. The amount of time invested by the Server Dev team is clearly high. Yet that investment is not directly tied to income. An hour spent by a Server Dev has a very conceptual and convoluted connection to money received by Linden Lab. On the other hand, an hour spent by a Marketplace Dev, especially on items such as discussed here, can be demonstrated to have a direct and plainly visible correlation to income obtained from the Marketplace.

As has been mentioned many times .. so many times that it has ceased to sound like "Conspiracy Theory" and instead is generally taken as sad fact .. Linden Lab derives income every time a fraudulent sale is made. (And yes, I know all the mechanics of sinks, sources, etc.)

In fact, fraudulent sales are more profitable to Linden Lab than are legitimate sales. Not only is the Lab able to sink off the 5% commission on the sale, but they can sink the entire purchase price! They won't refund the purchaser, and they won't pass the L$ to the fraudulent Merchant, thus the entirety is added to their bottom line. This makes so much sense that I'm almost surprised Linden Lab doesn't do more to guarantee fraudulent sales. After all, it is an immediate increase in their commission fee from 5% to 100%! Woot!

Hmmm .. forgive me if I'm mistaken here, but isn't that in the realm of Anti-Trust Violations? Aren't those the same laws that forced the break up of AT&T and caused mid-20th Century mega-moguls (like J.P. Morgan) to be subjected to congressional investigation and indictment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an assumption being made here, the assumption being that LL is keeping all those Linden Dollars.

We do know that LL has the ability and right to both create and destroy currency via Supply Linden & the Lindex.  We don't know what LL does with any remaining Linden Dollars in an account when it is banned (deleted).  Nor do we know what they do with any Real Dollars left in those accounts.

Retrieving any money that the Fraudster has cashed out prior to being banned could be next to impossible.  It could be done but could be fraught with legal implications.

Setting aside all the discussion about the real meaning and implications of the new TOS and who owns what, etc, LL still treats purchases as a User to User transaction.  Their position would be that you'd need to pursue the Fraudster yourself.  You did not buy the item from them, you bought it from the Fraudster.

Still that would not inhibit them from pursuing the Fraudster themselves.  As I understand the new TOS we have granted LL the right to act on our behalf.  But nothing obligates them to and those kinds of actions can be very costly.

Ethically speaking I'd say that LL should not profit from the sales of fraudulent goods.  Legally speaking I don't know enough to even begin to guess how the laws would apply in the unique situation of a Virtual Economy.  My assumption would be that a Court would find in our favor.  But I really don't know.

What ever is going on here we do need to keep pushing LL to act swiftly and decisively when DMCA's are filed or when products are flagged as being 'not as described.'

And to be clear, I am not saying they aren't keeping the Linden Dollars and Real Cash, they probably are.  I'm just saying we don't know for a fact what they do with these sums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a very simple yet not simplistic way to look at the Linden Dollar. That method is to consider each L$ as a "Liability". Every L$ in the hands of a Second Life Customer is a Liability for Linden Lab. While it is in the hands of a Customer, Linden Lab might be forced to take some of the money spent by other customers to purchase L$ and instead of putting it into their own accounts, they put it into the account of another Customer.

When a Linden Lab owned property (such as the Marketplace for example) charges a fee in L$ currency then that is a little less Liability that LL must maintain on their books. When they intercept the entire purchase price for a bogus product and do not refund the purchaser, that entire amount reduces their Liability.

I know this is not a fully detailed and concise description of the mechanics that are involved with Virtual Currency commerce systems such as that extant within SL, but for our purposes here it is fully sufficient to get the point across.

The bottom line, the REAL bottom line that matters, is finding ways for a company to reduce its expenditures. Reduction of Liabilities is one method of doing exactly that. Further to the point, it is in LL's best interest to keep the fraudster's account active and their products live on the Marketplace. Every purchase made by an unsuspecting customer that is intercepted by LL, retained by LL and not refunded to the purchaser is a big chunk of Liability removed from LL's books.

It is a system of reinforcement that promotes bad actions, not good. This is why Regulatory Agencies have ALWAYS been separate and unaffiliated with the enterprises being regulated. However in the case of the Marketplace and Second Life, we have both the commercial enterprise AND its overseers being from the same team .. and that inevitably leads to temptation, the perception of wrongdoing (if not outright) and a process that yields a never ending spiral into worse and worse service, performance and fraud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is why legal briefs and complaints and rulings are so damned long at times.

LL knows that stolen goods do get sold on the MP.  But  that is no different than E Bay or other Internet marketplace.

But legally speaking LL only knows that an item was stolen if a Court rules it was stolen.  Just because they receive a take down notice is not proof. 

As an example, consider You Tube.  If I upload a video with the title "Hotel California" I will get a warning that it may be subject to copyright and take down.  But You Tube does not act on it until they receive notice from the copyright holder.  It would be nice if LL could implement these types of filters but I can think of no practical way to do so.  Everyone is warned against uploading stolen content.

Linden Lab can and does freeze or ban accounts that sell stolen goods.  Of course, anecdotally speaking we know there are many who seem to keep operating without being sanctioned which IMO sucks.

However there is still another problem.  Just because a take down notice has been received, LL can not automatically retrieve any payments that were issued to the accused.  For all good and intent purposes that money is gone.  And in this matter we have to remember that for better or for worse it is a buyer beware marketplace.

Is LL profiting from the sales of stolen goods?  More than likely.  How much?  Well actually we don't know.

Regardless you would more than likely need to prove "knowingly" to get relief in a Court.  Otherwise LL's position will be that it is a Resident to Resident dispute and that if I want relief that I'd need to pursue the accused fraudster in Court myself to get my money back from them.

To be clear, I am not on LL's side here.  I do think they could do a much better job in fraud control.  But that is a real easy thing for me to say sitting here in my lazy chair.  Still as I stated in my original post we are making some assumptions here that might be wrong.  I'll be the first to admit that I simply do not know enough no matter how much I'd like to see things work in our favor and not in Linden Lab's on this issue.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to revisit this thread, I have heard that in this case, the customer has been compensated by LL.   I won't name the particular Linden individually but THANK YOU for doing the right thing in this instance.

The next challenge is for you to bring this up internally and make sure that the correct remedy is applied each and every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sassy Romano wrote:

Just to revisit this thread, I have heard that in this case, the customer has been compensated by LL.   I won't name the particular Linden individually but THANK YOU for doing the right thing in this instance.

The next challenge is for you to bring this up internally and make sure that the correct remedy is applied each and every time.

"Compensated BY" is a very interesting term. 

Did the Linden involved retrieve the payment from the fraudster and then return it to the defrauded

or

did it come out of LL's bank account?

There is a difference.  Oftentimes people who had their accounts compromised wonder why LL just cant put the Linden Dollars back in their account.  To paraphrase what many a parent has told their children, "Linden Dollars don't just grow on trees."   ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Perrie Juran wrote:

 

"Compensated BY" is a very interesting term. 

Did the Linden involved retrieve the payment from the fraudster and then return it to the defrauded

or

did it come out of LL's bank account?

 

I don't know Perrie so it would be inappropriate for me to guess, nor would the affected customer know unless LL explained and even then there's opportunity to be told one thing and another action taken.

Bottom line is that there is at least ONE Linden capable of doing the right thing by the customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bottom line, I now only buy in world, In MY opinion, by MY experience Linden Lab fails to do ALL that they can to provide a safe shopping experience for me at their Marketplace. This is based on this particular fraudulent listing being left up by the commerce team for a full 10 days AFTER they were aware that this listing was an empty ply wood prim scam.

If I get scammed by an in world merchant by paying his in world vendor I see this solely as a ’resident to resident' transaction and I am aware of the risk. 

Marketplace for my friends and I has now become nothing more than a search tool.  We use this to locate items, try and establish if they have an in world store. Then we check if they are a registered PRIMBAY user as I have spoken to the creator and he has spelt out a very different approach as to how he and his team would have handled this specific plywood prim scam. Funnily enough his actions were almost exactly how I would have thought Linden Lab Commerce team would have handled it.  Once alerted we'd perform a test delivery, check if the item is as advertised, if not we'd delist the item and check some of the seller's other items, too...  if there are more examples, the merchant will be banned from listing on primbay. Otherwise a warning would be issued, and a ban issued on the next offence

The main issue here for me has always been not the linden dollars being returned but the inaction of the commerce team.  They KNOWLY continued to support this scam merchant by providing a platform for him to continue to rob more and more of their customers all the while collecting commissions themselves and their refusual of at the very least  the return of the lindens that they took in commission of a fraudulent sale.  Whether they were able to recover the lindens from the scammer is not applicable. What about the commission Linden amount, they should be able kept them?

In the event that I choose to purchase anything in the future from  LL's marketplace my payment method with only be by credit card or PayPal where I am offered 'some' protections.  If I flag a transaction in Paypal I doubt Linden Lab as the selling agent would be able to dismiss it quite so easily as a  'resident to resident' issue in which they do not get involved. Will be interesting to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well considering i have went through and personally flagged every damn item in mp that is being listed and is not from the original content creator and still nothing has been done is really starting to piss me off.now i had been flagged once in the past for an outfit not being in the right spot and had to completely relist the item and when i check back these people are still listing and its being sold is uterly insane....My suggestion is to start a campaign to not shop on MP for 1 day to put out a mass targeted listing to all my groups and friends and 900 of my customers to not shop for 24 hours trust me i would rather loose a few thousand L and watch LL loose a million if they wont do anything about this.

Now if anyone else is interested in this let me know i would sure love to let them know how much this hurts our business by hitting them in the pocket where obviously is the only thing they care about

Sincerely one pissed off Content creator and customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Veralis Basevi wrote:

Well considering i have went through and personally flagged every damn item in mp that is being listed and is not from the original content creator and still nothing has been done is really starting to piss me off.now i had been flagged once in the past for an outfit not being in the right spot and had to completely relist the item and when i check back these people are still listing and its being sold is uterly insane....My suggestion is to start a campaign to not shop on MP for 1 day to put out a mass targeted listing to all my groups and friends and 900 of my customers to not shop for 24 hours trust me i would rather loose a few thousand L and watch LL loose a million if they wont do anything about this.

Now if anyone else is interested in this let me know i would sure love to let them know how much this hurts our business by hitting them in the pocket where obviously is the only thing they care about

Sincerely one pissed off Content creator and customer.

Honestly, you'd be better off concentrating your efforts into your own creations, rather than scouring the Marketplace for items to flag and thinking up schemes to screw LL.

...Dres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree and trust me i work my butt off in SL just to make a little L it just drives me nutts to see these people do these things and LL take our Money with a smile.

Now i only do that with the recent rash of wooden box material being sold not everything lol....as i have alot of down time at rl work i scour MP and anytime i see something not from the original creator i flag it and will continue to do so until they get the hint or LL bans them from selling it may be futile but at least im trying.

It's more then i can say for LL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Veralis Basevi wrote:

anytime i see something not from the original creator i flag it

This is what I don't understand... what reason do you use to flag it?  The only thing even close, would be the "Infringes my intellectual property rights", but the only way in which this reason would be valid, is if you were the creator who's rights are being infringed.  Why would you expect LL to act on a flag being submitted by someone without the proper authority to do so?  They won't, thus you are probably just wasting your time.

...Dres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×