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3 hours ago, ColeB126 said:

To answer your first question, I am not sure. I met my "business partner" first (on my first day in SL) and she immediately introduced me to him. 

 

I'd rather not list all the ways I was dumb enough to fall for his ***** and give him Linden's. It's actually pretty embarrassing.

Well despite all this you have done a very nice job with your rental area. Since you are new, it is important that you know that SUMMER (the US summer) is really hard on rentals as well as many other retail businesses. So judging how things might be by what is happening right now isn't the wisest really.  

IF you have the capital to make alternate accounts you could do the "alt - group- free tier" bit and lower your tier prices to almost zero (a dollar US ish a month per 1024 lot size). There are a few threads on how to do this (a little complex but lots of folks on the forums know the method) and Linden Lab seems fine with it so nothing against the TOS or in the least bit shady.  That would be one way to go.

Since there has been  lot of land price reduction going on recently and right now, that makes it even more complex and difficult for folks renting land and rental houses. But explore some options and ask more questions.  Most of us have had folks try and take advantage of us when we were new. In the olden days for gals it was the "wanttabe a hooker" thing. But there are plenty of other pitfalls, just like real life. 

You have learned a valuable lesson, likely not a "valuable" as what it has cost you, but still -- of importance.  Things pick up again in general during September. 

You can advertise on the forum in the land section here for free. And of course in the classifieds for as little as 50 linden a week. And people that are REALLY looking for places to rent often go through the WHOLE list of available spots, knowing that often the best deals are in the cheapest ad category.  I certainly have done that many MANY times.

 

 

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First and foremost, I am so sorry this happened to you. Even if this deal had been legitimate, the creator was in fact wrong. So I am going to have to disagree with those that said otherwise. The OP did not state that the final product should be delivered to his business partner, but rather that his partner was going to re-texture the build. The person who is paying is generally the principle client. So unless otherwise instructed to do so, that is who should be receiving the final product. In this case, the creator should have provided him a copy as he was the principle client (again, if this has been legitimate).

These forums are a great resource for those wanting to learn more. in fact, many of the people I'd call regulars here on the forums own successful businesses who are always willing to give their valuable insight for absolutely nothing in return.

I do have a question though. Have you since spoken to your partner, or are you aware of him having been online? You are absolutely right though. These two individuals could be the same person.

 

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12 minutes ago, Chase01 said:

First and foremost, I am so sorry this happened to you. Even if this deal had been legitimate, the creator was in fact wrong. So I am going to have to disagree with those that said otherwise. The OP did not state that the final product should be delivered to his business partner, but rather that his partner was going to re-texture the build. The person who is paying is generally the principle client. So unless otherwise instructed to do so, that is who should be receiving the final product. In this case, the creator should have provided him a copy as he was the principle client (again, if this has been legitimate).

These forums are a great resource for those wanting to learn more. in fact, many of the people I'd call regulars here on the forums own successful businesses who are always willing to give their valuable insight for absolutely nothing in return.

I do have a question though. Have you since spoken to your partner, or are you aware of him having been online? You are absolutely right though. These two individuals could be the same person.

 

And there is one of the central problems with newcomers and SL.   And in fact, most of the RL folks that I know that are not in SL (some are). Along with all the technical things people have to learn (walk, fly, teleport, change the time of day etc etc) there is the whole concept of relationships. We seldom know who we are talking to, how honest they are, if they are male or female, black or white, gay or straight. Personally, NONE of that matters to ME, but it does to many people. 

I keep remembering long ago when a new person came up to me in Winterfell (themed sim that was on the entry list at one time) and wanted to know how old I was. I told him "3". He had NO CONCEPT of that. Could not relate at all. The best rule in SL in my book is to trust slowly. Over time, we get to know the people that we deal with on a daily or weekly basis. We still won't know if they are black or white or gay or straight or male or female Republican or Democrat and the list goes on. We WILL, hopefully, understand their character. At the very least we will have better odds of making decisions based on what we have learned over time. 

My RL friends finally understand that I make my living here. (That took awhile and I am pretty sure they still think it odd.) But they cannot comprehend how you can have long term relationships with people that you have never actually met.

We respond to the energy of the person, and in many ways that may be the healthiest relationship criteria that there is. 

So small and slow steps.  We will get there eventually. 

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On 6/23/2018 at 10:35 PM, Chic Aeon said:

Well despite all this you have done a very nice job with your rental area. Since you are new, it is important that you know that SUMMER (the US summer) is really hard on rentals as well as many other retail businesses. So judging how things might be by what is happening right now isn't the wisest really.  

IF you have the capital to make alternate accounts you could do the "alt - group- free tier" bit and lower your tier prices to almost zero (a dollar US ish a month per 1024 lot size). There are a few threads on how to do this (a little complex but lots of folks on the forums know the method) and Linden Lab seems fine with it so nothing against the TOS or in the least bit shady.  That would be one way to go.

Since there has been  lot of land price reduction going on recently and right now, that makes it even more complex and difficult for folks renting land and rental houses. But explore some options and ask more questions.  Most of us have had folks try and take advantage of us when we were new. In the olden days for gals it was the "wanttabe a hooker" thing. But there are plenty of other pitfalls, just like real life. 

You have learned a valuable lesson, likely not a "valuable" as what it has cost you, but still -- of importance.  Things pick up again in general during September. 

You can advertise on the forum in the land section here for free. And of course in the classifieds for as little as 50 linden a week. And people that are REALLY looking for places to rent often go through the WHOLE list of available spots, knowing that often the best deals are in the cheapest ad category.  I certainly have done that many MANY times.

 

 

Thank you for the kind words and advice. I plan on trying your suggestions soon. 

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On 6/23/2018 at 11:18 PM, Chase01 said:

First and foremost, I am so sorry this happened to you. Even if this deal had been legitimate, the creator was in fact wrong. So I am going to have to disagree with those that said otherwise. The OP did not state that the final product should be delivered to his business partner, but rather that his partner was going to re-texture the build. The person who is paying is generally the principle client. So unless otherwise instructed to do so, that is who should be receiving the final product. In this case, the creator should have provided him a copy as he was the principle client (again, if this has been legitimate).

These forums are a great resource for those wanting to learn more. in fact, many of the people I'd call regulars here on the forums own successful businesses who are always willing to give their valuable insight for absolutely nothing in return.

I do have a question though. Have you since spoken to your partner, or are you aware of him having been online? You are absolutely right though. These two individuals could be the same person.

 

I have not spoken with my "partner.". She has not logged on in a while. If I had to guess I think my "partner" and the builder are the same person and they worked with my "friend" the land owner to scam me. 

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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 5:45 PM, ColeB126 said:

I'd rather not list all the ways I was dumb enough to fall for his ***** and give him Linden's. It's actually pretty embarrassing

I didn't mean to put you on the spot. I was just hoping you might become aware of the pattern (if you weren't) that caused you to give more than you wanted and so be more cautious, and also hoping others chancing across this thread might become aware of a common pattern of abuse that can occur here and so not fall into it. Perhaps it's not a good idea for you to reveal too much though, as there's always the armchair analysts who lack empathy or don't bother to get the details and so think it could never happen to them, and then label you in a negative way.

The reality is that this could easily happen to most anyone. We all want to belong (although there are the perpetual adolescents who claim to need nothing), and when someone is a friend or mentor we receive emotional support and so it's easier to give more than we should.
When I look back over experiences here when I gave too much it was always because I felt they were giving me something valuable, and so it was hard to say no. For example, I wanted to be part of this group that had land and I purchased a chunk to add to the group thinking I'd get it back when the land sold -- the group imploded in a bad way though, and no money came my way. In another incident I let a full-prim sim renter slide in her payments as I really didn't want to go to the hassle of finding another renter at that time and she was soo convincing in her promises of "I'm getting money in a couple of weeks and I'll catch up" -- in the end I was out over 500 usd. Then there was this guy who borrowed money, not a lot, just 15k $L, and although I hardly knew him I was enthused about a recently development where we would be working together on some future projects and didn't want to spoil the good vibes by setting a firm limit and saying 'no' to his request for money.

Anyway, I've heard some stories of longer-term residents preying on vulnerable new residents and I do wonder if this is what was going on in your case. Many times it's a request for money/time and a promise of big pay-offs down the road when some project gets underway. I can't tell you how many times I've been approached by people with their 'amazing' ideas for some project, and all I'd need to do is spend 2 months of my life creating their project to reap these 'amazing' profits in the future. I've always declined those, as in most cases their ideas showed they had no idea how SL works, and I just prefer creating for people who pay me when I'm finished so as not to even have to keep track of anything in the future.
BTW, lots of people have paid hundreds of dollars upfront for my work, and it in no way means to me that I would not consult with them along the way to make sure we're on the same page. Of course if they wanted major deviations at some point beyond our original contract I would request additional funds.

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Thank you all for this discussion and your thoughtful replies.  Even though my main has been a resident for many years, I probably would have made some of the same types of mistakes, if I were to start up a new business.  I made a friend in a group we both belonged to.  We had a great first conversation.  But after that, the only time she contacted me was to ask if I would trade a really good product for one of hers that had a trait I would want.  I agreed and gave her the product, then she sent me one that had the trait I wanted, but everything else was low level.  I learned very quickly that she was just using me.  However, I also have friends that I can share purchases with and they keep their end of the bargain.  She obviously was not a real friend, and I learned my lesson there.  I was still new to the group, so I don't feel so bad about falling for the scam.  I now have a solid group of friends that I can trust.

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Well SL is not doing anything about it, which is what I figured. If anyone wants to know the names of the people involved so you can avoid them please message me privately here or in world. 

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Update 3.5 months later..... I have found out that the land owner(my "friend"), my business "partner" and the builder are all the same person.  I am 99 percent sure, and I have pretty damning evidence that this is the case.  I am disgusted with SL and LL.  I have sent them everything I have found and they have done nothing, not even a response or anything.  It makes me sick to my stomach that they would allow someone to do this (essentially steal thru fraud) and then allow them to continue to play.  If there was a decent alternative I would be done with this *****ty virtual world. 

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12 hours ago, ColeB126 said:

Update 3.5 months later..... I have found out that the land owner(my "friend"), my business "partner" and the builder are all the same person.  I am 99 percent sure, and I have pretty damning evidence that this is the case.  I am disgusted with SL and LL.  I have sent them everything I have found and they have done nothing, not even a response or anything.  It makes me sick to my stomach that they would allow someone to do this (essentially steal thru fraud) and then allow them to continue to play.  If there was a decent alternative I would be done with this *****ty virtual world. 

What did the law enforcement agencies you contacted say?

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On 10/16/2018 at 9:13 AM, Theresa Tennyson said:

What did the law enforcement agencies you contacted say?

Sorry for the delayed response, I just noticed this quote.  Since the all the parties (business partner, land owner "Friend", and the builder ) are all in Europe, I would have to go thru the FBI.  I have a family friend who is a Senior Executive with the FBI and I talked to him about it, and he straight up told me that its not enough for them to work it as a case. They do have teams that work in virtual worlds but they are monitoring terrorist money transactions etc. I spoke with a lawyer about contacting SL to have them investigate and actually do something but they told me that I would probably end up spending the same amount in Lawyer fees (which no guarantee of getting anything back). So basically I am SOL.  

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On 10/16/2018 at 1:57 AM, ColeB126 said:

Update 3.5 months later..... I have found out that the land owner(my "friend"), my business "partner" and the builder are all the same person.  I am 99 percent sure, and I have pretty damning evidence that this is the case.

Just thinking out loud, could tax avoidance be a route? Not sure if the amount they took from you would be sufficient, but if this person's scammed others too....

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"Just thinking out loud, could tax avoidance be a route?"

Seriously doubt it unless the culprit is Al Capone. But even that would be moot because (s)he resides overseas.

Edited by Ela Talaj

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