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FTG Gameguide: Diablo III Safety Tips – Protect Yourself Against Scammers

The Diablo franchise has always been plagued with thieves looking to fool the unsuspecting gamer out of their hard earned money and gear. With the release of Diablo III just around the corner, you can bet your sweet bottom that scammers are ready to prey on the weak. Luckily for you, I’ve got your back. There are several ways to protect oneself from the inferior motives of the underbelly of the Diablo community.

Some of the most popular scams in Diablo II were the /DND, Trade Window, and Rush Payment scams – all of which can hurt players financially and emotionally. A number of changes have been implemented in an attempt to prevent such abuse in Diablo III, but that doesn’t mean new scams won’t spring up.

If scams weren’t enough to worry about, Blizzard itself will be banning players for playing the game in a way that was considered acceptable in previous iterations.  This guide will cover scams to be on the lookout for, no-no’s you shouldn’t attempt, and some valuable advice for when you enter the world of Diablo III.

There’s no such thing as free – Those are words to live by. If someone approaches you with promises of free items and cash, there are always strings attached. Regardless of how compelling the story may be, they almost always end with you supplying your login information to claim the promised goods. Guess what happens when you give the scammer what they want. You guessed it! They change your password, loot your characters, and use your character to do the devil’s work. If you’re unlucky enough to use the same login information on other sites, chances are your pain and suffering won’t be limited to just Diablo III.

Blizzard employees aren’t your friends – If someone claims to be a Blizzard employee, they aren’t. It’s as simple as that. They don’t hand out freebees willy-nilly. Don’t ever fall for this crap. I’ll even go as far as to say that you should always second guess emails send by Blizzard. Thanks to HTML, scammers are able to dress up emails to look exactly like their official counterparts. Always double check the sender and any links before you put in your information. It could very well be a phishing site.

D3 is not WoW, mods are not allowed – No mods of any kind of are allowed in Diablo III. Not even the most harmless nude mod will be tolerated. If you are going to ignore Blizzard’s TOA, you should know that you are looking at both a permanent ban and a potential key logger insertion. Once the key logger .exe is hidden within your computer, the scammer has access to every key press you make. Your passwords are now his passwords.

It’s not on Xbox, don’t use a controller – PC gamers pondering what it would be like to play a console version of D3 are plum out of luck. Controllers are considered an unfair advantage and using them is considered a bannable offense. Why you would want to try this is beyond me, but the gods have spoken and they want Diablo III to be a natural PC experience.

Trading for money = Bad – Well, it’s bad when it is done outside of Diablo III’s Real Money Auction House (RMAH). Any trades arranged outside of the RMAH are considered unfair to honest players and offenders will be banned. I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to think up a way around this, such as scheming in private, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Diablo III's "The FInal Battle"

"The Final Battle" by artist Lu Hua

Don’t exploit – You found some wacky glitches that allows you to fire cows from your fingertips and magically fill your bank account when you press CTRL+X? Okay, I’ll admit, that would be pretty cool. But if you exploit such a glitch for personal gain, you’re going to have a bad time. Report it to Blizzard and forget it ever happened. Being a show off can and will come back to bite you in the ass.

Buy third party currency, get banned – It pains me to say that I know people who have bought gold for some of Blizzard’s other titles. Only one out of the five I know has faced the ban hammer. Three of the others had their accounts stolen within the process. The other two managed to get rich quick. The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s not a risk worth taking. Anyone can through up a web banner that claims it’s legitimate and legal. Don’t take the risk and play fair like the rest of us.

Authenticate, Authenticate, Authenticate – I don’t care how cautious or experienced you are. You’re only human and bound to make a mistake at some point. This is why an authenticator is an essential for any serious Diablo III gamer. It’s essentially an extra password for your account. A password that is randomly generated, always within arms reach, and makes even the most dedicated scammers cringe. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Even if the scammer managed to get your login information, he still can’t log into your account without the randomly generated number on your keychain or app.

The iPhone and Android authenticator apps are free and there’s a keychain version available for under $10. There is also a call in option if you’re unable to acquire one of the others. With an authenticator, you’re 100% protected from unwarranted logins.

If you heed my warnings and authenticate your account you are now ready to set off on an uninterrupted adventure in the world of Diablo III.