Real Money Transactions

Good Morning,
I had a couple of concerns I wanted to address that have been bothering me in-game lately.

  1. If you’ve spent any amount of time in Trade Chat, you’ve probably noticed that it is full of people advertising Mythic Keystone and Raid sales. I have no problem with this, I’ve sold many keys for gold. However, when I began to notice that a lot of those players advertising are level 1 (or lvl 20 allied race), I started to suspect they may not be following ToS. The last couple of weeks I’ve been messaging those advertisers for more info to check for myself. A large number of them have directed me to 3rd party sites, which only offer Dungeon/Raid clears for Real Money Transactions. When this is the case, I’ve been reporting them and including a note briefly explaining the above. My concern is that I keep seeing the same names advertising, over and over again, day after day. I’m concerned that nothing is being done when these people are clearly violating ToS and further cluttering Trade Chat. What is the best way for me to report this behavior? Should I include the URL to their RMT site in the report? Is there any other information that would be more helpful to Blizzard to take action?

  2. Advertising sales in the LFG tool is against ToS, even for gold. I’ve been reporting players in-game for Advertising, but it seems like I continue to see the same names there as well. Are these reports addressed by an individual or is there an automated system that handles these? If it’s automated is it based on the number of reports to trigger any kind of action?

There are plenty of people using Trade Chat correctly, and selling clears for gold, not RMT … but the players violating ToS are cluttering the channel/LFG and messing with the economy. It starts to feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. I would love to hear that these are being addressed, or read about some bans being handed out. As for now, I read about bans being lifted for people modding client side, a clear ToS violation, and it starts to feel like the ToS is more of a guideline than a rule, you know? I’d like to know I’m not wasting my time following the rules.

Right click and report, it’s the best and only way to report.

Same names doesn’t mean same accounts.

Same with question 2.


That was explained in a sticky post in the general forum.


Same name, same server, same level, same advertisement post, word-for-word. It’s the same players.

I saw this sticky post the other day, but it didn’t make me feel any better about the situation. It just showed that the ToS can be violated, as long as your intentions weren’t bad … even if you intentionally violated ToS. That isn’t a good look, nor a good example to set. As an investor in ATVI, I’d like to see my company preserve the integrity of the game by sticking to their guns when faced with intentional ToS violations.

Not necessarily. These criminals (yes, they are criminals) who do this sort of thing have a huge database of compromised characters and accounts ready to go. Just because you see them using the same character name doesn’t mean it’s actually the same character.

I know there are quite a few posts from a Blizzard Support Forum Agent that explains how they operate. This quote pretty much sums it all up:


You’re right, I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of this being done at an Organizational level. As many keys as I’ve sold for gold, that’s a bunch of $ if converted to USD, which is going to entice criminals. :frowning:


They’re multi-billion dollar criminal syndicates, so yeah, they’re pretty large and sophisticated syndicates. :confused:


It’s an on-going battle. When one is silenced (or banned), they just change to another account. There is just too much profit to be made from unsuspecting players that don’t realize most if not all of them are crooks.

Advertising these scummy sites is one of the reasons the right-click>report system was implemented. “Spamming” is the category you use. You don’t need to add anything else for the report if you don’t want to. The report automatically includes the character name, realm name, time, chat lines, account it is being done from.

There are two systems in play when you report for spamming.

There is an automated system that will squelch the reported player until a GM can look at the reports. There is a threshold that needs to be met for this to engage.

Second, there is Silence. It is applied by a GM after they review the spam report(s). Some are definite violations, like RMT scams. The rest would depend on what was being spammed and how many reports they received.

You will not find out if any action is being taken on other player accounts. That is between those players and Blizzard. You would only know for sure about your own account. We have seen posts by players advertising runs for gold or looking for new guild members that have been silenced because their realm felt they were advertising in chat too often, so indirectly we can see that it happens.


That’s something to bring up at the shareholder meeting, not the game forum. Unless you are referring to purchasing the games, in which case you are a customer, not an investor. (removed incorrect information, thanks Gangrol)


You’re somewhat correct, although I’m not sure how it is relevant here. ATVI is Acitivision Blizzard, Inc. and owns a controlling interest in Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of ATVI, goes the way ATVI steers it. I own part of ATVI, the company that owns and steers the Blizzard ship. I own part of ATVI, I own part of Blizzard.

My mistake. You are correct in this. It’s still the holding company, not Blizzard as such. It still needs to be brought up at a shareholder meeting, not the game forum. The removal of the suspensions was a case of the punishment fitting the crime. The exploit being used was used by people modding client-side items. A standard punishment for those is a warning for first offense, not a suspension. It was also being used by botters. The punishments for actual botting were not removed.


Ehhhh, if it were my rodeo, I would immediately flag any account for human review if they got even a single spam report on a level 1 character, though I would think you could automate a lockdown until a secondary security check is passed:

– Level 1 toon receives spam report, AND
– Recently re-activated within X days (probably stolen) OR login IP range significantly different from recent logins (probably hacked).

It’s really not as hard as people make it out to be. Could the spammers adjust their tactics by stealing / hacking accounts, leveling to whatever or using a pre-existing character character and trying again? Sure, but (for example):

  1. Store every toon’s “last thing said in Trade” as a variable.

  2. When spam report comes in, compare new string to previous value.

  3. If a match (indicating higher likelihood of actual spam, just not reported last time they said it), then go to the recently re-activated / IP check and proceed accordingly, meaning if the account is recently re-activated or logging in from a new IP AND gets a spam report for saying the same thing twice in a row, lock down for secondary security verification.

  4. If not a match, EDIT or fails the recently re-activated / IP login check, probably just a normal spam complaint that may or may not be valid, treat as standard complaint like they do now, which seems to be “needs X unique reports to squelch”.

people use level 1 characters as bank alts, and use trade to sell items.

it’s really not as simple as you make it out to be.


Um, that’s what Blizzard does…ALL reports are investigated.

Also IP Checks don’t work, IPs can be spoofed quite easily.


i did read the entire post.
i quoted one tiny snippet as an example of why your thought process is flawed.
i could address each of your points, but they’re all equally as flawed as the first.

people reactivate accounts all the time.
reactivation does not equate to stolen.

spammers will simply create more than a singular message, and alternate them.

player reactivates, creates level 1 asking “what is this realm like?”, they’ll get silenced if they dare to ask the same question on more than one realm… especially if those realms should happen to be connected, or are x-realmed with each other.
(where the reporting players will only be seeing the same sentence being repeated over and over)


I’m still getting the sense that this is more about being contrary than a genuine discussion of ideas.

Nowhere did I state simple reactivation “equates to stolen”; your example of spammers changing their message is trivial to counter; your example of the lonely reported newbie would trigger so few false positives relative to positive IDs of spammers that it amounts to a straw-man argument…and my back-of-the-napkin post is a “for example,”; you get false positives, you adjust your criteria.

My point is that the current system, which requires a high number of unique spam reports to squelch and post-report human intervention to investigate is inadequate; players are so report-fatigued and human checking so delayed that you’ll see the same spammer going for hours after the first report comes in.

This equates to more eyeballs on the advertisements (and therefore more people buying illicit services, and some presumably getting their accounts hacked in turn), more player cynicism that “nothing is done”, and extra income for the spammers because their ads are successful, which drives them to continue. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle precisely because the compromised accounts are being allowed to spam too long before being detected and shut down.

If you were starting from scratch, today, you wouldn’t design the system currently in place. I used to do a direct equivalent for a living, detecting cheats and compromised customer accounts and altering detection and prevention systems to keep them to a minimum. It’s not that hard to differentiate between “things a legit customer is likely to do” and “things a compromised account is likely to do”. They adjust, you adjust.

Botom line is as long as theres players willing to cheat theres cockroaches that are willing to exploit them THeres no easy way to the top, and people will come here whinning about beign wrongfully banned when they broke the rules.


If only it were. But it’s not, for better or worse.


It looks like moderation closed this one but I figured I would touch on a few things.

No, it shows that there are various levels of severity when it comes to violating the Terms of Use. That we can tell the difference between a mostly benign violation and one that is intended to directly exploit and harm the game.

Sorry, but our company, Blizzard, doesn’t function as a Draconian regime where any “crime” results in death (account closure). We understand what our Terms of Use are and why we have them. We “stick to our guns”, but we also understand what our guns are and that isn’t the game as your interpretation of what you believe they are.

The goal of our policies are to educate whenever we can, which means that the penalties we apply are balanced against the severity of the violation in accordance to our core values as a company. We believe in giving folks the chance to improve their behavior, so that they can be part of our community. We also believe that in some situations, where more severe violation take place, we can give the person a chance to return, after sufficient penalty has been served.

I appreciate that you may own stocks, but that doesn’t really make it your company, anymore than I own the companies in my portfolio, they are just investments.

Please continue to use the right click report option if you encounter advertisements that violate our policies. The more folks that use those tools properly the better we can limit the impact they have on the community.