How to spot a scam

Thought I’d throw out a quick post on a pretty elaberate scam which actually has some degree of success.  I have to take my hat off to this one.

so there I was in rens, looking at the market seeing what stock I could buy up and still make a profit what with jita being camped and all when I see in local some contacts that look legit.  Contracts in local that seem legit should cause alarm bells to ring to everyone….

Study the next screen shot for a moment or 2.

Spotting the scam master in local

Hangar clear out.  ok…  250 mil?!?  what????  Nothing in there that has the value of 250 mil unitl….. hold on….. Compressed Dark Ocher…. hmmm

View market and….. ahhhh.   What we see here looks too good to be true.  Someone selling ore at well over the market value, nothing odd about that.  What is odd is the 400 million buy order which exceeds the sell.

“But that’s impossible!” Well no it’s not if you have the right trading skill.  Here’s how the scam works.

Note the times.  the 400 mil buy order is 4 hours old, the sell orders are 40 minutes old.  to make this scam work depends on how you set up the orders.

The perp has an alt with margim Trading at level 5 :

Ability to make potentially risky investments work in your favor. Each level of skill reduces the percentage of ISK placed in market escrow when entering buy orders. Starting with an escrow percentage of 100% at Level 0 (untrained skill), each skill level cumulatively reduces the percentage by 25%. For a maximum reduction of approximately 24% total escrow at level 5.

He has to have enough isk in the alts account to set up the order but with margin trading it only part of his capital goes into escrow.  So what he does next is remove all isk from the alt.  Quickly sell a few units to himself bring the escrow up to full He then sets up sell orders with the remaining units.
Initially he’ll get a message telling him that the person he’s selling to doesn’t have enough isk to complete the transaction leaving him to set up the sell orders to a much lower price than the buy.

The rest is to wait for the next dummy to come along, buy the sell, try to sell to the buy and find out that he can’t! perp has 300 mil, the mark has some really expensive dark ochre.

and what’s the contract for?  to discreetly advertise the scam


The wages of war is….. iskies

I’m going to come off the back of the recent K162space blog posts with my own experiences on what makes money and how to cash in quickly.

Blake and myself have an agreement when it comes to trade.  He handles the main nullsec market hubs and I trade around the fringes but when war comes, those market hubs are my babies.  1st and most important rules, don’t even consider attempting to supply a wartime deployment hub without adequate logistics.  By this I mean you need a JF, and a cyno pilot with plenty of spare cyno frigates.  Don’t bother to use cruisers or anything other than a frigate because they will get popped.  cheap disposable cynos FTW.  and rememeber to SET HOME STATION so if you get podded, you won’t have all those jump bridges to negotiate again.

Plan early.  This is key.  What is the fleet docterine?  What ships will be flown and what fittings?  You’ll be surprised at how much isk can be made from modules.  Folks deployed in a warzone won’t have time to pop to jita so if you price competitively and don’t gouge you can make a handsome markup.  enough pre-ramble let me start off with how I maxed isk out of VFK during the branch assault.


When the anouncement went out that VFK was the deployment station, the first thing I did was deploy my nullsec trading alt up to VFK to assess the situation.  The market was typical intermediate nullsec.  couple of maelstroms at 260 mil a pop.  Modules sky high in price and little else.  Checking the trading site I saw maels were going hot in D2.  Blake had that covered so first stop was jita.  Maels going for 157 per unit.  6 bought and hauled to staging.
On the first night I put up those 6 maels at 190 mil per unit and each one sold within hours.

The first 4  days I was up and down from jita to staging buying maels for market.  When the price of maels dropped from 150 down to 130 on the 22nd I also dropped the market price to 169.  Throughout the campaign I managed to maintain a margin of around 15% per unit.  As the sole provider of Maelstroms on the market for the 1st 4 days I pretty much set the price based on the high jita sells + fuel costs + 15% then dropped it to 159 as jita settled down.  Passing on the saving is simple principles and good for the market.  Some marketeers would try to maintain the artificial high but that then kreeps into the regions of price gouging and can lead to diplomatic issues.  to be a successfull marketeer it’s not just reading the market but reading the psychology of the buyers.  Don’t p*ss them off because they’re the ones giving you money.

Some maels were dopped on market for 150 and 161 while Jita were still high and I snapped those up as they appeared and resold.  Some cheaper were dropped but I missed most of them and only managed to get 1 bargain but I managed to maintain the 159 mil per unit price.  If somebody undercuts you by a large margin, don’t be afraid to buy up the stock.  Resetting the price early can be the difference between collapsing the market or keeping it up. It can also save you a trip to jita.

By the 26th I’d netted enough profit to be able to maintain stock on the market and purchase minerals to keep the market filled.  15 malestroms of minerals purchased and compressed into 425mm rail guns.  the last 4 days of trading the maelstroms to hit the market were made in pure blind and jumped up.   Saving 3 round trips null to highsec using mineral compression can save you a lot.

On the 26th I dropped the price from 169 to 159 passing on the savings I made from manufacturing but on the 30th the other alliance traders seemd to have cottend on that there was money to be made.  The volume of units sold howerver had dropped from 20-30 per day to 4-5 as operations were moving from VFK to branch so I dropped price to 155 for quick sales and left the market for the other traders to fight it out.

Profits made.  Job done.