World of Warcraft scams and scam artists are very real. You got to watch out, you got to be careful. Here are five ways you, the player, can protect yourself.
Kotaku asked Rodney Gin, co-founder of website SiteJabber, to list a five ways players can steer clear of WoW scams. Site Jabber helps consumers avoid online fraud, and Gin is an avid WoW player.
Here is Gin's response:
1. "Avoid responding directly to emails you receive about Beta Invitations-as tempting as they may be. You're better served avoiding the email link (which could track your action or lead you to a malicious website) and go the ‘long route' instead. Take the extra few seconds to log into your account through the game's website http://us.battle.net and verify if they're promoting the same feature that is supposedly offered in the email. Blizzard will never ask for your username or password."
2. Check user reviews of websites before before purchasing gold or power-leveling services (although SiteJabber does not necessarily endorse doing this). It is very difficult to get a refund from paypal or your credit card for not receiving virtual gold or services as these companies have no way to verify the delivery of virtual items. Check the websites reviews on Sitejabber.com before trusting a website. Become familiar with the various scams some of these websites will try to pull on you, read some of the negative user experiences here; http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.power-level.net
3. There are many malicious websites set up to look exactly like a Blizzard website. Players may whisper to you in game to go to a website where you can get a "free mount" or other such item. But as soon as you enter your username and password, they will have your account information and your character and gold will be sold off immediately. Never go to a website and enter account information that doesn't have a direct link from the official Blizzard website. Blizzard lists their official domains here; http://us.battle.net/en/security/checklist#domains
4. Be very wary of malicious game add-ons. Some add-ons may make very enticing claims such as doubling your in game gold or adding stats to your character, but if you run that executable file, you may have just given the hackers complete access to not only your Blizzard account but your entire computer and it may result in identity theft.
5. Player posing as Blizzard employees many message you in-game and ask you to verify your account username and password for any wide variety of reasons ranging from winning a prize to helping your guild. Once you give the player your username and password, they can hack your account and sell off your items. Blizzard employees will never ask for your account name or password in game."
Good old fashioned common sense advice. I'll go ahead and add number six: Don't be stupid.